It’s not hard to find stories on the internet where insurance companies have refused to pay out on a policy.
Two of the most common reasons claims are declined are that they don’t meet the definitions covered by the policy and/or that the policyholder allegedly didn’t tell the insurer about a previous medical problem.
It’s vital then, that you understand your responsibilities to your insurance company and what you are and are not covered for in the event of a claim.
Firstly though, let’s remember what insurance is. It is to protect you against unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances.
Most insurance policies therefore won’t cover for pre-existing medical conditions and also will not provide income support if you are off work due to pregnancy. Injuries or illness due to drinking, drug use, self-harm or cosmetic surgery are also deemed areas which are avoidable and therefore are unlikely to be covered in your policy.
The key advice before choosing a policy then, is to ask lots of questions.
• What illnesses are covered and what are not?
• Is there a delay period before a pay-out begins?
• Will the insurer pay-out even if I am able to work, just not in my normal occupation?
There has also been a leaning more recently towards severity based payments, whereby a policy will only pay out once an illness has reached a critical point so it’s important to quiz your adviser around this as well.
Be sure to give your insurer full details of you and your family’s medical history. Don’t leave anything out as your history will be reviewed in full should you need to make a claim and if there are disparities, there is a chance your claim could be turned down.
Away from your health, you’ll also need to provide details of your job, your age, your fitness levels, your hobbies (particularly if they are dangerous) and some insurers might even ask how many miles you drive in a year and how many holidays you take.
All of these attributes will have an impact on the level of risk your potential insurer believes you pose to making a claim
Our last piece of advice is to review your policy regularly. If you switch jobs, have kids, move house, take out additional borrowing, move to another country, quit smoking or even take up unicycling it may impact your cover.
Credius provides independent, honest advice across a wide range of insurance products so why not contact us today on 020 7562 5858 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a no obligation appointment with one of our expert advisers.
Next time – A portfolio approach. The value of an independent adviser