Fragments of a Broken Trust: 7 Things You Can Do When Your Insurance Company Turns Its Back on You

Sometimes in life, you need a referee or umpire to call the fair play, When you have lost your home or business from fire, flood, hurricane, or worse, your heart just will not take much more.

Most conscientious citizens put their trust in insurance companies. But, when it comes to making decisions on the related expenses and recommending a settlement for damages done, insurance companies may seem to break that personal trust.

The losses can come from many directions. Pain and suffering may follow a personal injury. Your business physical loss may have effects on your business goodwill and employee welfare. Damage from flood, mildew, and mold may not reveal itself until months after the incident. So, it can be tough to identify the expenses immediately.

Any road to recovery after a big loss can be traumatic, but full recovery can be determined first by the language of your insurance contracts. As The New York Times reported, “The disorienting months following disaster are often marked by endless Saturdays spent wandering the aisles of Home Depot; afternoons wasted on the phone arguing with your insurance company about the value of an Ikea crib; and critical decisions made at your most vulnerable hour. And all of this often happens while you are living in temporary housing, wondering if your life will ever return to something like normal.”

Even where the insurance company has no contest with another insurance company, it may disagree on the benefits and costs incurred. You are not likely to fix such problems on your own, but there are things you can do when your insurance company turns its back on you.

7 things you can do to recover damages:

  1. Prepare for the worst: You can avoid or reduce your risks by taking steps in advance. You should make a concerted effort to have emergency plans in place for your home and business. Risk management plans can reduce the level of damage and injury, but they can also save lives and further liability.

Emergency, safety, and recovery plans should impress the insurance adjusters because you have taken the time and care to comply with insurance policy conditions in advance.

  1. Get things right: You want to be in the best position to object about your claim, so re-read your policy carefully. You must know what the “covered perils” are and how they are worded. You should know what is covered and what is excluded.

You will be in a better position if you understand what’s at stake or you’ll have a stronger basis to estimate losses accurately.

  1. Understand the insurer’s notice of denial: If you have received a notice of denial, you must read it closely. Chances are it is phrased in legal language which is not always easily understood. But, the notice of denial could leave you some wiggle room.

Perhaps, you filed the claim incorrectly on incompletely. Perhaps you worded it incorrectly or filed it late. But, even insurance companies do make mistakes. So, you should read the denial carefully to see what you can put together as a response.

  1. Organize your stuff: You should reopen the file you originally made. Then, you can organize the documents by source, type, date, and so on. There are lots of forms, of course. But, you want to confirm that all the forms required are there.

You should also review the forms, estimates, and contracts offered by all the contractors, mechanics, restorers, and other providers involved in making you whole once again. You should include any pictures and videos taken before and after the damage from as many angles as possible. And, you should have complete inventories of possessions, property, equipment, or stock.

  1. Get those doctors’ records: Medical records can be complicated. They can be late being billed and provided. Hospital, doctor, therapy, rehab, and pharmacy bills can overlap and duplicate each other. And, some may have been covered by other resources and insurers.

It may take time, but medical billers do finally get most things correct. However, it may prove you did not have the records you needed for the claim you filed when you needed them.

  1. Consider the settlement: You should not accept the first offer made by your insurance company or the insurer for a negligent party involved. But, you still should have some idea of a high and low number you would consider fair.

You have a right to receive the settlement offer under review in writing even if you are not inclined to sign it, for it is a record you can show to others who might help you resolve the unsatisfactory claim.

  1. Listen to the insurance adjuster: You might call the insurance company adjuster about the notice of denial and listen to their input. It is not the time to argue with them. You just want a record of their view of things, of what you did wrong or what the policy does not do.

You might ask how you should proceed to file a complaint with the insurance company. You have the right to do that as well as the right to file a complaint with your state’s insurance commissioner. But, suing an insurance company or waiting on the state to complete its work means time and expense to you, so you might prefer to contact expert public adjusters.

Your insurance claim takeaway

As Huffington Post says, “A public adjuster works for you, not the insurance company. Your home insurer pays its own adjusters — either in-house or independent — to figure out how much the insurance company should pay for your loss. The insurance company offers its adjusters at no cost to you.”

Insurance claimants using expert public adjusters are protected by Wisconsin Legislative Documents Chapter 618 and by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and its Model Legislation Act. This assures insurance claimants an additional layer of protection if they opt to hire a public adjuster.

 

Linking Insurance with Investment: Everything You Need to Know About ULIPs Explained in 5 Simple Steps

We all know how simple the insurance market used to be several years ago. They were simply ruled by endowment plans and terms, and everything was relatively to understand. However, this all changed when Unit Linked Plans (ULIPs) came into the life insurance sector.

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While ULIPs add protection to your life, they can also be used to help you accumulate wealth, which means they are an investment opportunity. If this is something you’re unfamiliar with, never fear. Today, we’re going to explore five important things you need to know when it comes to ULIPs.

#1 – The Costs

This is perhaps one of the most important things you’ll need to know about when investing in a ULIP. There are several expenses that come with ULIPs, which include administration fees, fund management charges, mortality charges and more, depending on which one you invest in.

Whatever the case, make sure you’re aware of the charges that come with a ULIP since they will occur on all of them. Some costs won’t be fixed, and many will start high but will reduce after three years. You’ll need to bear all this in mind when it comes to your investment plan.

#2 – Paying for Premium

In addition to the costs involved, you also want to be aware that you have three payment options available when taking out a ULIP. With regular payments, you’ll be able to pay the entire term of your policy for the duration of your policy.

A limited payment means you can choose the number of years you want to pay for your policy, whereas a single payment means you can make the entire policy in one go. There are various benefits and savings to each, but this will depend on your provider.

#3 – Tax Benefits

While we might have been putting you off with all the costs, it’s worth noting that you can expect tax benefits when you’ve invested in a ULIP, thanks to Section 80C. But, the condition that the premium paid needs to be less than 10% of the sum assured.

However, this value is subject to change along the duration of your policy and can become a much higher value as your premium ages.

#4 – ULIPs are Flexible

When you’re taking out a ULIP, you’ll have the ability to choose how you want your funds to be allocated when necessary. However, as time goes on, your priorities can change, and you may want these allocations changed.

Luckily, thanks to the nature ULIPs, this is easy to do so, although you may have a limited number of changes per year, or there may be a small switching cost.

#5 – The Risk Factor

As with any kind of investment, there’s always going to be risk factor, and this will depend on the nature of your investor. You may have someone who is aggressively investing in equities or perhaps a more conservative investor who invest in money and debt markets.

When taking out your ULIP, it’s important for you to pay attention to the type of investor you’re using, so you can find the one that works best for you.

Summary

If you’re planning on investing in a ULIP policy, these five points are important considerations when it comes to what you need to know. Make sure you’re not rushing the decision when it comes to choosing the right investment/insurance plan for you, and you’ll be able to benefit greatly in the long-term.

About AEGON Life

AEGON Life Insurance Company Limited launched its pan-India operations in July 2008 with a vision to be the most recommended new age life insurance Company. AEGON is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations (providing life insurance, pension plans, and asset management) and Bennett, Coleman & Company (India’s leading media conglomerate) have come together to launch AEGON Life Insurance. This joint venture adopts a local approach with the power of global expertise to facilitate a direct to customer approach, leveraging digital platforms to bring transparent solutions to customers and to prioritize their needs.

 

5 tips for getting the best motor trade insurance.

A business which is associated with selling, repairing or servicing vehicles will need to be financially covered in the event that a lawsuit or a similar claim is brought against the firm. This is why possessing a targeted motor trade insurance policy is critical. What do you need to consider when choosing a package?

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Proactively Communicate with a Broker

Speaking with a broker is one of the best ways to clarify what type of policy you require and how much you are willing pay. It is also wise to consider paying the cost as one lump sum as opposed to choosing monthly premiums; the broker will likely provide you with a discount.

Only Choose Coverage that is Necessary

Similar to any policy, it is wise to select a specific traders insurance policy based upon your needs. For instance, a business might require liability insurance if the general public regularly visits its premises. Conversely, a larger firm could instead opt for combined trade insurance. This package covers additional concerns such as the contents of vehicles, tools and theft. Making an informed decision is the best way to save money while simultaneously enjoying the appropriate level of coverage.

Understanding a No-Claims Policy

A no-claims clause within an existing policy can represent a very powerful addendum and it is wise to choose an insurer that is able to offer such a bonus. From a general perspective, a no-claims clause will provide you with lower premiums in the event that a claim has not been filed for a specific amount of time. In other words, the insurer will feel that the company is less of a financial risk; ultimately resulting in reduced rates.

Setting up a Business

Let’s never forget that this is a highly competitive industry. It is therefore necessary to take a number of steps when establishing a new business. Notwithstanding possessing the proper level of motor trade insurance, there are some other worthwhile suggestions to note. These include tasks such as obtaining the proper amount of financing, registering the firm with the appropriate tax authorities, establishing your brand identity and creating a viable online presence.

The good news is that a targeted and well-rounded insurance policy will provide owners with a peace of mind so that they are able to focus upon these additional core concerns without sacrificing their coverage requirements.

Excesses to Consider

There can be instances when a business owner will need to make a claim against an existing policy. Insurers often require that a contribution is made. This is referred to as an “excess”. Please note that this amount should be clarified from the very beginning so that no unexpected charges will be incurred further down the line.

These are some of the best ways to obtain a reasonable motor trade insurance policy in no time at all. Please stay up to date with The Financial Fairy Tales if you would like to learn about even more everyday money-saving advice from experts.

Investing In Insurance Policies to Protect Your Family

Personal finances tends to be a subject that dominates the majority of parents’ thoughts. Why? Well, we’re inevitably going to be concerned with our income, whether it will meet necessary bill payments, whether it will be able to support our family’s lifestyle, and what luxuries it allows us to afford for our little ones. However, it’s important that we don’t simply dwell on the present when it comes to money matters. We have to think about the future too. Unfortunately, we can never be certain what the future holds for us and we need to be able to cover the costs of any negative situations that may arise. This is why it’s so important that we take out comprehensive insurance policies. These help to protect us against misfortune and secure our loved ones’ futures, even should the worst happen! So, to get you started on the right foot, here are just a couple of different types of insurance that you should seriously consider investing in.

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Car Insurance

Now, if you have a family vehicle, insurance is a legal necessity. But many families do skimp out and simply grab the lowest cost cover available to them in a bid to save money. Sure, you should seek out low cost cover, but you need to make sure that it meets all of your needs too. So, use a site like http://www.cheapautoinsurance.co/ to input what you need from your cover and find the cheapest deals that meet your needs and requirements. Ideally, you should be protected against fire, weather, and vandalism, as well as on-the-road accidents.

Travel Insurance

Increasing numbers of us are spending longer periods of time abroad than ever before. Though prices may well increase during the school vacations (as travel agencies tend to exploit this being the prime time for families to get away), we are still able to take advantage of fast flights and low cost accommodation across the world. Now, we are all aware that we should invest in travel insurance before heading overseas. After all, we want to protect our belongings. However, travel insurance can also provide us with something more valuable – medical cover and transportation in worse case scenarios. Medical treatment overseas can cost a lot, with even minor procedures and treatments generating multiple figure bills. However, if something worse were to happen, chances are that you’d be given higher intensity treatment. If you were to pass, the bills for this would pass onto your family. Avoid this by ensuring that your medical cover on your travel insurance is extremely high. You should also take a look at policies that cover the cost of transporting a body home should disaster strike, and the worst happen.

Hopefully, this has helped you to start thinking about the different types of insurance policies that could greatly benefit your family in the long run. While it’s important that you ensure you are getting by at the moment, you should always bear the future in mind too!

Are Car Repair Costs Driving You Into Debt?

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Owning a car can be expensive enough without having to then pay for constant repairs on top. Many car owners will spend more money in repairs and servicing than they did buying the car initially. Fortunately there are many ways to bring these costs down and prevent yourself from heading into debt. Here are just a few ways to bring down these expenses.

Know when to make a claim

Third party car insurance won’t offer you any compensation. It’s worth upgrading to fire and theft or comprehensive cover as these could help you pay for damage done to your vehicle by others. When making a claim, it’s important to contact your insurer as soon as possible after the damage has occurred. Some insurers will only allow you to make a claim if you notify them within 48 hours. You don’t have to go through the claim process there and then, but you should let them know. Don’t get repairs until your insurer has accepted your claim and paid out (although it could be beneficial to spend this time getting quotes for repair services).

Similarly you may be able to make a legal claim if you have been injured in a car accident. Some of this money could help to go towards car repairs. Personal injury solicitors can help you to make a claim. Some will operate on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, meaning that you won’t have to pay these solicitors unless you win your claim.

Shop around for repair services

It’s worth getting multiple quotes from different repair centres in your area, especially when repairing major damage. Occasionally, you may be able to get loyalty rates by staying with one mechanic, however this shouldn’t stop you still shopping around for quotes to check that there isn’t anything cheaper out there.

Be wary of repair centres that are charging very cheap rates – they could be making up for a bad reputation. Many repair centres will have reviews online from users. Check these so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Negotiate

Once you’ve collected quotes from different repair centres, consider negotiating the price down. Not all repair centres will be open to negotiation as some may have fixed rates. In most cases, you’ll generally have to speak to the manager. Some mechanics may have an option of paying in instalments, which could make it more manageable to pay.

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Source your own parts

Repair centres will look to make a profit on any replacement parts they need to buy. You can sometimes save money by sourcing your own parts online. Second-hand parts will be cheaper, but could be partially damaged – meaning that they’re prone to breaking sooner in the future. Buy these parts from a trusted parts dealer. If you do decide to buy from an independent seller, make sure that photos are supplied so that you can guage an idea of the condition or buy locally so that you can go and inspect the part in person before buying. Be aware that legal requirements on the condition of parts varies from country to country. For example, when buying partially worn tyres from another country, be aware that the tread depth of those tyres may not be legal in your country.

Phone a friend

Do you have a friend or relative that’s handy beneath the bonnet of a car? If you trust that they are proficient enough, you could go to them for repairs for a discounted rate. Alternatively, there may be some repairs that you yourself feel confident enough to take on. There are Youtube tutorials and online how-to-guide on most car repairs. It could be worth visiting a mechanic afterwards simply to check that your work is up to standard, most mechanics will be able to check over your vehicle for free.

Take preventative measures

The temptation may be to only fix things that need immediate repairing. However, quite often you can save money in the long run by investing in preventative repairs. A worn brake pad could be causing you to apply more pressure on the brake pedal, putting more strain on other parts. It could be wear down your tyre too. Replace this part early and you could delay other parts having to be fixed. Preventative repairs may even prevent accidents in some cases.

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Keep fluids topped up

You’ll be amazed how many faults are the result of allowing fluid to run dry. Don’t wait until your oil levels are dangerously low – the oil keeps all your parts lubricated, stopping them from grinding against one another and prolonging their lifespan. Engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and washer fluid are other liquids to keep on top. Whilst obvious, you should also keep fuel regularly topped up. Try not to let your tank run almost to empty each time as you could be putting a greater strain on your engine.

Do you really need a hire car?

When getting your car repaired, consider whether you really need a hire car in the meantime, possibly using Hire Brid to do so. Car hire costs are usually very expensive. It could be worth going without a car for a couple weeks and catching a lift from a friend or using public transport. Be aware that some insurance policies may pay for a hire car.

Is it time to sell/scrap your vehicle?

There may come a point when you’ve spent too much on repairs and it’s time to call it quits and buy a new vehicle. You can sell damaged vehicles but must specify this damage – there may be some buyers who still want to take it off your hands and pay for the repairs. Alternatively, when it comes to serious damage, it may be better to simply scrap the vehicle. You’ll get a small amount of money for scrapping – it won’t be enough to pay for a new car but it will at least give you some money to put towards a new vehicle.