18 Jun Don’t get rejected
There’s nothing more frustrating than dutifully paying insurance premiums for years on end, only to have your claim rejected when you need it most. Apio’s Caron Whitfield advises some simple steps to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Pay your premiums
The first step is also the most obvious – make sure your premiums are up to date. And before you roll your eyes, take a minute to think about that. If your debit order is rejected because of insufficient funds, or you change banks and forget to update those debit order details, your insurance might lapse without you realising it. Take a few minutes each month to check that your premium has been paid.
Read the fine print
The saying goes that assumption is the mother of all failures, and nowhere is this truer than when your policy doesn’t actually cover what you think it does. Very few of us ever bother to read the fine print of our policy, and this is where the guidance of your broker is invaluable. Their expertise in that fine print and the ability to explain to you exactly what is included and excluded in your policy will help you understand where you might need additional cover.
Unlicensed or unapproved drivers at the wheel at the time of a car crash is another big reason your claim may not be honoured. As unlicensed drivers are driving illegally no cover is provided by insurers. In addition, if your teenage child has recently obtained their license and is now using an insured vehicle on a regular basis, check that your policy does not impose any named driver requirements.
Needless to say, if you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this will also negate your cover. This does not necessarily mean that your insurer needs medical proof that your blood alcohol level is above legal limits. The mere fact that you were under the influence could result in a rejection of a claim.
Keep up the maintenance
While on the topic of cars, make sure your car is in roadworthy condition and that your tyres and brakes are up to scratch. If you have an accident and it’s discovered that your car is not in a roadworthy condition, your claim may be rejected.
Sound the alarm
If your insurance policy requires you to have an active satellite tracking system fitted on your car, make sure that one is fitted and is in operational order. The same applies for alarms, immobilisers and gear locks. Likewise, if your house insurance specifies that the house alarm must be activated when you’re not there, make sure you switch it on before you leave home.
Last but certainly not least, dishonesty is a big deal-breaker for insurance companies. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to be completely honest during the underwriting process at the start of a policy, if your circumstances change, and when claiming for a loss. Claiming for something you didn’t own, or inflating the value of what you’ve lost, could lead to your claim being denied. Just don’t do it – the potential repercussions are never worth it.
If you’re unsure about exclusions in your policy, discuss the fine print with your advisor, who will ensure that you understand all the important details of your cover.