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03-11-2012

Common insurance mistakes

As loss assessors, we help people after they’ve suffered a disaster such as a fire or flood. And all too often they say ‘if only we’d….’ and then talk about something they’ve forgotten to do, or put off, or just simply didn’t know about.

Sometimes these regrets are all to do with mistakes they’ve made over their insurance cover. These are the sorts of things we come across:

  • Under-insurance: this means that the level you’re insured for is too low and you can’t recover your full losses if you make an insurance claim. The onus is always on the policyholder to have the correct level of insurance. It’s very easy to renew your insurance each year without thinking about any changes in your circumstances, your life or your possessions, and this could cause problems if you need to claim.
  • The wrong security: some insurance policies stipulate the level of security you need, and if you don’t comply with this then your policy might be invalid. But it’s actually really worth thinking about this aspect for another reason: many insurers will lower your premiums if you increase your security.
  • Ignoring the small print: sometimes we find that people think they’re insured for something when they’re not – and they only realise this when they have to make a claim and read their policy document. This might be for high-value items, or accidental damage, or losses when away from home. Whatever it is, always read the small print when you take out the policy.
  • Forgetting to renew: or just putting off the renewal to save a bit of cash. Imagine the consequences if something happened in the interim period.
  • Only insuring physical items: these days, many of us have huge collections of videos or music on our computers. So we’d advise you to check if this is covered in your policy and, if not, contact your insurer to get it included.

 

The trauma of a fire, flood or burglary is bad enough without the extra stress of facing a mistake in your insurance cover. So our advice is: check it now and make sure it would cover you if something happened today – not some vague time in the future.

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