Have you seen the television ads that promote quick and easy insurance policies? They just ask you a handful of questions and just like that you have cover. While this might seem like an attractive option based on convenience it might not be the best way to go about obtaining insurance.
Nothing as important as insurance should be taken out quick and easy! Think about the recent floods and fire damage where people were insured (some by well-known brands) and still had their claims denied for various reasons.
Learn from these unfortunate situations and don’t fall victim to being under insured or inadequately insured which could lead to a claim denial. The ONLY way to know you are properly covered is through your own due diligence and a strong understanding of what to look out for.
Most people spend a lifetime working hard to provide for their family and to build up their assets, such as their home, car, and personal belongings. The worst thing that could happen is for an unexpected disaster to come along and jeopardise everything they have worked so hard to build. Getting adequate protection from a trusted and dependable insurer is important. You don’t want to deal with an unresponsive provider during your time of need.
General things to look for and ask
- If you have the unfortunate situation of having to file a claim, you need to understand that insurers will go through their list of policy exclusions in great detail – Always make sure you review the list of inclusions and exclusions in great detail…if anything is unclear get clarification from the insurer and try to get it in writing.
- Don’t just focus on the price; it’s more important to get the right cover for your specific needs.
- Don’t stretch the truth on any declarations, if it’s something in the gray then disclose it
- Ask what you need to do if your situation changes and the time frame in when this needs to be done
- What happens if I can’t pay my premium – find out what your options are so that your policy isn’t cancelled.
- Is the policy valid when overseas
*A key tip in research is to visit personal life insurance reviews sites. See what others are saying, you’ll learn a lot more through unbiased reviews
Shop Around– the best source of information is generally free!
The most important thing to remember is to take your time and shop around for different insurance carriers. Below are some tips for finding and researching different personal insurance companies in your area.
- Personal References. One of the best ways to find a reputable insurance carrier in your area is to ask people you trust. Check with your friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers to see if they can recommend a company to you. Find out why they chose that insurance company and ask if they have ever processed a claim through them.
- Online Blogs. Another great source of information is online blogs, and there are plenty of them. See what past and current customers of the insurance companies in your area have to say. Pay close attention to the complaints and see if the insurance company was willing to work with them or just flat out denied their claim. See if the coverage they required is similar to what you need. Now, keep in mind that no company is going to please their customers 100% of the time, but repetitive complaints for the same insurance company should send up red flags that their coverage may not live up to their promises.
- Social Networking Sites. Do not forget about the social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Read the comments on the company page and see what people are saying about them. Remember that companies will be able to delete posted comments that they do not like, so limited comments is not necessarily a good thing. Are customers posting good stories of how the insurance company helped them recover from their loss? Also, be leery of any insurance company that is constantly posting statements on their page to clarify their policies. This may be a sign that they are not upfront from the beginning.
Cost of Coverage
It would be impossible to compare insurance companies without comparing costs. The cheapest plan available may look like an attractive offer at first, but if it does not provide the coverage you require then it is useless. On the other hand, the most expensive plan does not equate to the best plan. Even some of the best-known insurance companies in Australia have come under fire for not paying claims, due to questionable exclusions. Match the price of the insurance with the coverage it provides.
Read the Fine Print
Finally, before signing any insurance contract, it is crucial that you read the fine print in the contract. Pay close attention to what exactly is covered under the policy. You also want to look closely at the exclusions and determine what they will not pay for and why. For example, with the recent flooding, many homeowners thought they had flood insurance, but when they read the policy closer they realize that it only covered certain types of flooding.
When looking at your policy do not assume anything, and ask as many questions as you need to in order to fully understand what is covered and what is not. Also, do not take the insurance companies word for anything, ask them to point out where in the policy it shows the coverage they are promising.
Taking the time to find the right insurance company will pay off if your ever have to file a claim. Important things to remember are: review the companies background via review sites, pay attention to inclusions and exclusions of policies, ask questions when unclear, get things in writing. Once you find the right coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that you and your family are protected in the event if an emergency.
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