If asked, most people cite insurance as being a necessary evil, and thanks to a generous amount of negative press, they don’t particularly trust insurance companies. But is this fair?
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), UK insurers paid out a whopping £77 million a day last year, which included:
- £27m a day to motorists to repair vehicles and cover injury claims
- £13m a day in property claims, of which £8.2 million was to homeowners
- £9m a day from protection policies, such as critical illness, income protection and life insurance, to help people cope with financial strains that can arise following a death or serious illness
- £7m a day to help private health insurance customers receive medical treatment
- £1.6m a day to pay for medical treatment for pets
- £1m a day to travellers under travel insurance who needed medical help away from home
Of course, there are times when insurers seem to get it wrong, denying a claim which ends up having a devastating effect on the people involved. But cases like these are actually few and far between, with only around 4.5% of the total complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman relating to insurance claims. The reality is that most of these rejected claims could be avoided:
1. Beware of non-disclosure
The more information you can give an insurer the better. Our natural tendency is to tell them as little as possible in fear of increasing the cost of our premium. But not telling them everything that is relevant (even if you don’t think it will be), could easily mean a claim being rejected, costing you an awful lot more in the long run.
2. Don’t just opt for the cheapest policy
It’s the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. Always check the level of cover you are being offered. For a few pounds a month more, you could actually get a great deal more cover for your money.
3. The more evidence the better
Get into the habit of keeping receipts for large purchases that would be expensive to replace. And if you’re involved in an accident, or experience a burglary, take lots of photos as well as asking people for witness reports.
4. Don’t delay
When it comes to an insurance claim, time is of the essence. If a police report is required, make sure you get this within 24 hours of the event. And for all claims, make sure you submit them within 30 days.
Michael Ward, Managing Director of PayingTooMuch.com said “Sadly when it comes to insurance claims, it’s usually the negative stories we hear about, rather than the positive ones where people have been helped out of a distressing situation thanks to their insurance cover. We firmly believe in the benefits of insurance, and we can help all our customers find the best policy for their needs, advising them on disclosure and other areas of the application process in order to minimise the chances of a rejected claim.”