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Insurance Claims - The Acid Test for Insurance Policies

Nov 22, 2007
The acid test of the quality of an insurance policy is when we are in the unfortunate position of having to claim on them. This is when the insurance company is put into a position where it is being asked to pay you money rather than the other way around. How well a company handles this determines the real worth of their insurance policies that are being sold.

It does not matter what type of insurance policy is being dealt with. Insure your car, home, cat, or life it will always be a sure sign of value if the claim is processed and paid smoothly and on a timely basis so that you can recover from the insured loss and get on with your life with the least amount of fuss and bother. carefully check a companys insurance claims record before committing to buy a policy from them and avoid companies with a poor claims history.

Make sure you take the time to understand what your insurance policy is going to cover before you are in a position to make a claim. This will help you avoid difficulties later on and especially disappointment and complications. Make sure you know what you have to do in the event of a claim as delays in reporting a claim may invalidate the insurance cover. More than this, some policies such as car insurance have very strict conditions that attach to whether you should admit liability before the insurance company has had time to assess a claim. Make sure you educate yourself on what to do in such circumstances.

It also pays to realise that just because you pay a hefty premium, this does not mean that you are going to get good cover or a good claims handling experience when the time comes. Many insurance companies are reviewed not only on the basis of premiums but the features and benefits that they offer in terms of helping you through the adminstration of a claim. Good companies will have a structured and helpful customer claim process which provides good communication on a timely basis. Bad companies will usually try to hide such information from you so do not be diverted by slick sales talk when researching policies.

The cheapest premium does not mean the best deal. Customer care does come with a price tag and very often a cheap deal does mean that when you claim, you are the one that has to do the running around in order to get the claim approved, settled and paid. It can make the difference between weeks or months of inconvenience when you need the money the most or a very easy, hassle free experience that lets you recover the loss and move on with your life.

A claim is also an acid test of an insurance companys financial position. If you are insuring an asset such as your life or your home, the sums involved can often be very substantial. You need to bear in mind that a claim has to be paid from the financial resources that are available to the insurance company. If a company was to receive the odd claim here and there, this may not cause any serious concerns. What if an insurance company was to suddenly receive a number of such claims at the same time, say because of a flood? Ask yourself if the insurance company can pay out all of those claims and if there is some doubt consider insuring somewhere else.

Insurance claims take place at a time of some distress or disturbance in our lives. A burglary of our home, a car accident, a health concern or a pet that needs veterinary treatment; life can be distressing enough when these things happen so we need the claims process to proceed smoothly and effectively to get us back on track. You can take responsibility for making sure this takes place by firstly, making sure you have proper coverage and secondly, by making sure you understand what the conditions are and what you need to do. A good insurer will help make things clear in both cases and will not hesitate to answer your questions if you are unsure. These are things to look for in a company when you are considering insurance in the first instance.

When you are claiming on a policy, do everything you can to document what has happened. Photographs are very helpful in many situations as are comparisons and keeping results and valuations for your insured items. The process of setting up insurance will often help you get these things organised to begin with, and never hesitate to ask your insurance company for help as after all, if you can make their job easier during the claims process, they will keep their own costs to a minimum and everyone wins.
About the Author
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