If you are planning to take out a life insurance policy, then you will need to give your insurer personal details about yourself, which will include your medical history. There are also things that your life insurer will need to tell you before and after you take your life insurance policy out.
To ensure that you don’t miss a thing in regards to your life insurance policy, here is what your life insurer should be telling you about.
What Should Life Insurers Be Telling You
They Should Give You Your Policy Document
Your policy document is important as this is the agreed contract between you and the insurer and will contain all the specifics and details about your life insurance. The information that is contained within this document includes the type and the amount of cover as well as the terms and conditions of cover.
You should receive a copy of your policy within 30 days from the acceptance of the policy. If they fail to provide you with a copy, then you must contact your insurer and ask for one.
Make sure that you keep your document in a safe place, so that you able to refer to it when you need to.
Tell You What Your Policy Covers
You will obviously need to know what your policy actually covers, the type of cover you have like life cover or critical illness cover and the amount that you are covered for.
This information should be contained within your policy document, so it is important to read it and understand it. This information will also appear on your annual review letters and you can also contact your insurer to find out.
Alongside this, your insurer should also let you know when you can increase your cover, change the cover you have and how to do this. Likewise, if you are not able to increase or change your cover then your insurer should tell you that your policy won’t allow for this.
It is vital that you read your terms and conditions and these should be in a readable and clear text in your policy. Your insurer should go through all of these and explain everything in clear and plain language so that you understand what your policy covers.
Wait…there are still things that your life insurer should tell you about…
How the Premiums Work
Your life insurance provider will tell you what your premiums are and when they are due. It can be easier to set up a debit order so that it comes out of your account automatically each month. This will require authorisation and usually forms part of your application form, but you can also give them your details over the phone.
Also, you should be told when these premiums will increase, which can be on a specific date or on the date that you took out the contract. You should be contacted in advance about any increases, what the new amount will be and when this is due.
In the terms of the policy, it should be made clear what the exclusions or waiting periods are.
You will find that life insurance policies have general exclusions and waiting periods, like a death claim, will not be paid due to suicide in the first two years. These details will be in your policy document.
However, there can be specific exclusions, which are conditions that will only apply to your policy, like claims for any specific pre-existing conditions. You must be informed about these exclusions and other details that only pertain to your policy. The insurer must tell you these before you accept the policy.
Exclusions and waiting periods should not be hidden in any fine print, or placed in small text on your policy that you can’t read it. They must be made clear and understandable.
How Do You Claim
If something should happen, then your insurance will pay out a certain amount. Your insurer will tell you when a claim is valid, how you are able to make a claim and who you will need to contact for a claim and to get the documents, you will need to fill out.
It should also be made clear if you only have a certain amount of time to make any claims.
Getting in Touch
The insurance company that you choose for your life insurance policy, should give you their full details including their company name, their registration number, their physical address and their contact details as well as their Financial Services Provider number.
This is so that you know they are a reputable and licensed company who are registered and adhere to all laws, regulations, acts and rules in place and that they are allowed to practice in South Africa.
The details outlined above will give you the assurance and peace of mind that you are insured with a good insurer, who will ensure that you understand your policy, so that you don’t get a surprise if you ever need to make a claim. Life insurance is a personal product that protects your family after your death, so you must make sure that you are using a reputable insurer and that you and your family understand your policy, so that no matter what happens you will not leave your family short.