Insurance Mistakes to Avoid
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected does happen. Vacations were cancelled this year, as were weddings, events and so many other things. If it wasn’t already evident before, the importance of insurance has never been so clear. But like anything else involving numbers, insurance can be confusing. Sometimes individuals fail to avoid making the ultimate insurance mistakes and end up invalidating a claim when they need the funds the most. Whether it’s understanding what to insure, or at what cost, things can start to become a little unclear.
But we don’t want it to be that way. One of our four main brand values at Laferla is fairness. We believe in settling claims not only promptly but fairly to all parties involved. That’s why we’re highlighting the top insurance mistakes clients make so that you will know what to avoid and make sure that you are fully covered.
Not Insuring in Time
The main principle of insurance is to protect you from the unexpected. It’s important to secure insurance coverage as early as possible in order to make sure you’re prepared just in case the worst happens. It is pointless trying to take out an insurance policy to protect against an event which is already known to be likely, if not certain. For instance, taking out an insurance policy for a trip booked months before, only because it is becoming probable that the said trip will be cancelled. This is one of the biggest insurance mistakes that you can make!
Getting the Cheapest Cover
Insurance is one of those things that seems super extra when everything is going right. The sun is shining, business is the best it’s ever been, and you’re all set to travel on the trip of a lifetime next week – What could possibly go wrong? Then 2020 happens. That doesn’t mean you need to get the most expensive insurance cover available, but it’s important to analyse all options to choose the right cover for your needs. Also, it’s always a good idea to look at your lifestyle and future plans, and assess the risks that could apply to you.
Not Keeping Receipts
Insurance is primarily based on the value of the items insured, so whether you’re insuring or claiming – it’s important to keep a record of the value of your items. When covering items with an insurance policy, such as your home contents, make sure you have an inventory of the items as well as their value. If you’re making a claim, you might be requested to show original receipts so that your insurer will know how much to pay you back, such as a hospital receipt. In certain cases, such as for electronic equipment and other valuable items, consider keeping an inventory and scanned copy of your receipts on your smartphone, PC or cloud-based storage service.
Discussing issues with Third Parties without your Insurers Present
Claims can get messy, especially if other parties are involved. It’s therefore essential that you never discuss or commit to anything without having discussed it with your insurance first. One key part of the claim settlement process is that we relieve this headache from you, and it is handled by our expert team instead.
Not Getting a Professional Report
If something is broken, you probably want it fixed as fast as possible. However, you also need to make sure not to forget any crucial steps or, more importantly, vital documents that your insurer may need. For example, if you go ahead and fix your damaged electronic equipment, make sure you have a technician’s report declaring the damage.
Not Having Necessary Documentation
Similarly, in the case of particular incidents such as a motor accident, certain documentation needs to be completed at the time of the incident. If it’s a bumper-to-bumper, a fully completed, dated & signed Front-To-Rear form is required, or a warden or police report for more complicated accidents.
Not Taking Photos of Any Damage
Documentation doesn’t just have to be in the written form – it can be visual too. Whether it’s a motor accident, a ripped suitcase or damage to your home, the biggest mistake you can make is not taking photos of the damage as soon as it happens or is found. Photos will confirm the extent of the damage, as well as provide additional information and details, such as in the case of a motor incident.
Not Taking Care of Your Belongings
Again, we cannot repeat enough that insurance is for the unexpected and the unavoidable. So, some claims can become invalidated if you don’t take care of your items well enough. These include leaving the key in the ignition of your car if it is stolen, not taking care of that small leak in your ceiling years ago (before it falls all over your living room floor), as well as driving under the influence if you have a car accident. One key principle is to always act as though you are uninsured, even if you are covered for any possible risk!
Not Filing a Claim Immediately
Certain claims need to be filed within three months of an incident, or they will otherwise expire. In addition, any damage you may have incurred will only get worse if it is not repaired, and such extra damage may be excluded from your claim.
Not Being Clear
Whether you’re insuring your property or filing a claim, clarity is key. If something is not clear, always check with your insurer if an item is covered. It might seem obvious now, but that flood insurance clause in your policy doesn’t mean that you can leave a property unattended for a year and cover for a burst pipe is automatic. Make sure you understand what is covered by insurance – and what’s excluded. For example, if you live in an area that’s particularly prone to burglary, you may wish to insure jewellery items under a dedicated section within your home policy, to avoid being restricted by capping in the event of a claim, for any high-value items not specifically mentioned at the proposal stage. And when it comes to a claim, be clear on what damage was incurred and how, to make sure the process is fast and fair.
Fairness in settling all claims is a policy we stand by, and we hope the above tips on what insurance mistakes to avoid will help clients when it comes to understanding insurance. If you still have any questions or difficulties, feel free to get in touch with Laferla here.