More success, less stress: Five tips for making insurance claims
Here's what you need to know for a quick and pain-free claims experience, says Metropolitan
It’s no surprise that the most common complaints insurance companies receive are from customers who are unhappy about the way their claims have been handled. After all, we’ve all heard stories from family or friends that create the perception that insurers will take your money and leave you high and dry when the time comes for you to claim.
These rumours are one of the reasons having to submit an insurance claim can feel daunting, adding unnecessary anxiety and stress to an already stressful situation.
The truth is, with the right knowledge and proper preparation, the claims process needn’t be intimidating, says Metropolitan, a leading insurer and financial services provider.
1. Understand your policy
Knowledge is power. To avoid any unpleasant surprises or unnecessary delays when you claim, it’s important to read your insurance policy and understand the type of cover you have. For instance, is it life cover or funeral cover?
Also take note of whether a waiting period applies to the policy. If so, be aware that you might not be completely covered should something happen during that period.
If you don’t understand anything in your policy document, don’t be too shy to ask an accredited financial adviser.
2. Honesty is your best policy
The cover provided by your insurer is dependent on the disclosures you make, so to ensure your policy is set up correctly, it’s important to be honest with them from the get-go.
Don’t filter out any information because if you’re not totally honest with your insurer, they reserve the right to cancel their contract with you, meaning a lack of transparency can result in a rejected claim.
3. Pay your premiums on time
One of the most common reasons for an insurance claim being rejected is nonpayment on a policy, leading to it being cancelled. You can avoid this by ensuring that you pay your premiums when they’re due.
If you aren’t able to make a payment, speak to your insurer about the many ways you can make up for missed premiums, so that you stay covered.
4. Keep your information updated
Update or check your personal information with your insurer once a year or when a major life event happens.
To ensure continuity of cover, let your insurer know if you change jobs or even start a hobby that could be considered dangerous
Let them know if you change your cellphone number, get married, have children or get divorced as this can affect your insurance needs and your list of beneficiaries. To ensure continuity of cover, also let them know if you change jobs or even start a hobby that could be considered dangerous.
Not keeping your insurer updated on such changes might result in a claim being invalid, rejected or reduced.
When updating your beneficiaries, ensure that your insurer has the correct names, ID numbers and contact details for each beneficiary listed in your policy.
5. Empower your loved ones
Keep your policy documents in a safe place where they can be found should you or your loved ones need to claim.
Once a year, have a discussion with your family about the policies you have in place, what they cover, the premium amounts, when payment is due and how to pay. You can also teach your trusted family members how to claim should the need arise.
Make it normal to talk about finances with your loved ones — money is something that affects us all and we should get used to having such discussions.
This article was paid for by Metropolitan.