When you buy insurance, you’re really buying something that you hope you’ll never have to use. But if you ever do need to file an insurance claim, you’ll understand why having the right amount and right types of coverage are important.
Decide how much insurance you need
You can’t stop bad things from happening. But you can protect yourself financially by purchasing insurance. How much insurance you need depends on a lot of factors including how much you owe and own, how much your assets are worth, whether you have dependents, and how much out-of-pocket cost you could afford to bear. It’s a good idea to sit down with an insurance agent or broker who can thoroughly evaluate your needs.
Understand what you’re buying
An insurance policy is a legal contract that may be loaded with technical terms that are hard to understand. But read it anyway before you sign on the dotted line to find out about the coverage you’re buying. For instance, the policy will tell you:
Who or what is covered
What coverage exclusions and limitations apply
When coverage begins and ends
How much coverage is provided
How much you’ll pay for coverage (the premium)
How you report a loss or file a claim
It’s always a good idea to ask an insurance agent or broker to explain any terms, conditions, or benefits that you don’t understand.
What kind of information do I have to tell the insurer?
Anything that may be relevant. If you withhold relevant information, your policy may be invalid and your insurer may be entitled to refuse a subsequent claim.
So if in doubt about anything, always disclose it.
Policy Document: Once you pay your first insurance premium, make sure you receive a written policy. This tells you the agent forwarded your premium to the insurance company. If you don’t receive a policy within 60 days, contact your agent and the insurance company.
Read your policy: Yes, even the fine print! Ask questions. Keep your policy at hand. Call your insurer to keep your policy up-to-date, inform your agent of any changes (new car, new job, new baby, etc.)Review your policy yearly with your insurer.
In case of a claim: Make contact with your insurance company as soon as possible after a loss event to register your intention to claim and seek advice about the claims process under your policy.
It will assist and may fast track the claims process if a detailed inventory (with photographs) is available.
Don’t let your health insurance lapse. (You may not be eligible if your health is not the same as it was before)
Lock into a health insurance policy when you are young. (Getting health insurance when your older is much more difficult).