10 Things to Remember When Buying Insurance
There are a lot of insurers out there with different policies, and this can make it overwhelming when looking for a policy that suits you and your needs.
1. Research a Reputable Insurance Company:
Protecting you and your family’s assets and financial well-being is something that you depend on your insurance company to do without question. However, you can’t trust your family’s future to just any company without checking it out first. There are hundreds of insurance providers in the market. It’s important to choose one with a proven track records, from reputation in the market (awards and reviews) to customer service to claims history.
Therefore, gather as much information as possible on both good and bad experiences from others: Speak to friends, browse the web, read forums, you would be surprised at how much information is available if you just ask.
2. Shop and Compare:
Thankfully, insurance comparison shopping is not as difficult a task as it once was, as the internet today can be a valuable source of helpful information. You don’t need to physically go from agent to agent or even online from company to company to find the best value on an insurance policy. By using insurance comparison websites, you can obtain a few quote comparisons in order to compare and help you to make a more informed decision. There are many great insurance comparison shopping websites out there for example www.hippo.co.za and others.
3. Discount Advantages:
Insurance needs can be an expensive undertaking especially in today’s economic climate. Therefore, take advantage of possible common discounts that can help you find the best value on an insurance policy. These could include multi-policy discounts, safe driving discounts, home ownership discounts, discounts for safety devices installed, and many more. There may even be hidden discounts not readily seen on a website or that your agent tells you about, however it is worth enquiring about to save on costs and achieve maximum benefit.
4. Cheaper Is Not Always Better:
Cheaper insurance prices can unfortunately also mean lower customer service and claims, not to mention a lower degree of coverage and payout. Always bear in mind that there is sometimes truth in the saying that you often get what you pay for.
5. Ask the Agent for a Best Offer:
If you are using an insurance agent instead of buying directly from an insurance company, he may be giving you what he thinks is a good deal on an insurance policy. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can get a better price or perhaps a more comprehensive coverage package plan. Independent insurance agents often represent many different companies and would have more quotes for comparison than a “captive agent.” A captive agent is one who only represents one company and will only offer you the policy options from the company he represents.
Once given a final price, if that isn’t good enough, tell the agent so. Your agent may be able to go back to the insurance company and ask if a lower rate is available.
6. Your Agent does not make the Final Decision:
Insurance agents, for the most part, give good advice about the policy and coverage options you need. After all, most insurance agents receive insurance licensing and training that makes them qualified to give sound advice. However, there are abundant resources available to you if you feel you need to research your options further. It is best to make the best choice for coverage options now than to be sorry later when you have a claim and are underinsured and do not have the right coverage. Then it is too late to get the right policy.
7. Upgrade Policy at a Later Stage:
There may be occasions when financial restraints prevent you from getting the coverage options you want and or need. Enquire as to whether, once you are more financially steady, if you can upgrade your policy to include a more comprehensive coverage package, just in case this is a viable option for you at a later stage.
8. Tell the Truth:
Did you realize that an insurance company is not legally obligated to honour your policy and pay claims if you knowingly misrepresented the truth on your application? For example, such as lying about how many speeding tickets or accidents you’ve had in the past. Getting a cheaper premium is not worth the risk of the company cancelling your policy or refusing the cover because you misrepresented the truth.
9. Coverage Is Not Always Automatic:
If you buy a new vehicle or add additional structures to your property, they may be automatically covered for a time. However, there can also be a time limit to this coverage. Normally, you have a specific time frame, perhaps 30-days (this could be more or less depending on your company) to contact the insurance company and let them know of your purchase or addition. The same goes with trading in a vehicle for another one. The coverage will transfer to your new vehicle, but only temporarily, unless you notify your insurance company, and sometimes not at all. Ensure you have investigated and understand all possibilities to avoid any unexpected surprises in the ‘fine print’ later down the line.
10. Re-evaluate Your Coverage:
Life changes come to all. When you have a significant life change, such as a major purchase, a move, getting married, getting divorced, having children, etc.; it is likely that this will affect your insurance coverage and you may need to update your coverage. Even if you’ve had no major life events, it is still a good idea to do an annual policy check-up with your insurance agent and make any necessary changes.
Finding the best coverage to protect you and your family from whatever life may throw at you doesn’t have to be a difficult or confusing process. Use all the tools and resources you can find to make finding the right coverage a smoother process.
A little homework and research will go a long way to giving you and your family the peace and security you deserve.
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