5 QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INSURANCE AGENT
Every journey begins with the first step. If you have decided to buy insurance, then congratulations! You have taken the first step towards a secure future. Insurance is your passport to a life free of mental and financial stress.
But every journey has bumps & roadblocks that you need to overcome or avoid in order to reach your destination. In a world full of ambiguous insurance agents and agencies, you must tread you path carefully otherwise you may end up losing your hard-earned money as well as your peace of mind.
In this blog we, Student Cover, suggest you 5 questions that you ought to ask every insurance agent before buying an insurance policy.
1. WHAT IS COVERED AND WHAT IS NOT
On the surface of it, all insurance policies look promising. Agents ask you to pay a premium and promise you to provide cover against a given eventuality. Most of the times, agents rush their clients into signing the document without explaining the terms and conditions of the contract. Reality bites when one is not provided coverage for any particular treatment.
It is therefore essential to ask specifically what type of cover relating to medical emergency, theft, damage or death, are covered by the insurance policy. For example, a policy may promise coverage against appendicitis but it may require a waiting period of at least two years before any claim regarding it is accepted by the insurer. It is better to make a list of all your queries related to policy coverage before seeking an appointment with an insurance agent.
Don’t be shy to ask the agent anything and don’t believe anything that is not explicitly mentioned in the insurance document.
2. WHICH POLICY SUIT MY NEEDS?
Before buying a policy, it is always wise to check several policies and pick the one that suits you the best. There are several policies and different types of coverage for customers with different needs. You need to ask the following questions to yourself before discussing with the agent in order to make an informed decision:
Q1. Do I want a coverage which I will not change?
Q2. Do I need a policy for a certain period of time?
Q3. Do I have any pre-existing health ailments?
Q4. Do I foresee any particular ailment in the near future?
It is best if you are completely honest about your life and your medical history. It is essential that your agent knows your life situation, as only then can he or she suggest a policy that perfectly suits your need.
3. INSURANCE RENEWAL AND GRACE PERIOD
Insurance renewal is a very important in order to continue availing insurance benefits to their full potential. The insured have to renew the plan before it expires after a year. At the time of renewal, some insurance plans offer to waive off certain percentage of premium amount if the insured has not made any claim during the previous policy tenure. This is called “No-claim bonus”.
Failing to renew the plan before the expiry date may take away the benefits that come with timely renewal. In this case, benefit of having feature of grace period proves helpful. It is that time period after the lapse of the plan period within which a client can renew the policy. It usually comes with a fine. One must ask the insurance agent about the grace period, the penalty and the terms and conditions.
4. FACILITY OF PAYING PREMIUM IN INSTALLMENTS
It may so happen that during the time of renewal, a person might not have sufficient money to pay the entire premium. Such situations usually arise when the premium is too high or if one is going through financial difficulty. One should therefore ask the insurance agent whether the company allows for part payment of premiums.
If the company has such policy, one can pay premiums in installments. However, one should not take such facility for granted and clarify in advance with the insurance agent. It must be noted that since there is a time value of money, the sum total of premium paid in installments is usually higher than that paid up-front.
5. CLAIM SETTLEMENT RECORD OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY
The performance of an insurance company is determined by the time it takes to process insured’s claims. Based on that, insurance companies are rated by rating agencies. While buying insurance, one must seek from the agent, the company’s claim settlement ratio for different products. They should also inquire separately about cashless claim processing and average reimbursement time period for each category of insurance products.