In one of our previous posts, we flashed fresh light on some basic but important steps to take when you have a claim. However, over the years, the number of insured persons and organisations that were “misfortuned” to experience losses leading to insurance claims is around 20% of the total population of insured persons and organisations. This implies that, statistically, there is a one in five chance that you will file an insurance claim in any given 12-month period. It also implies that you will likely file a claim at least once every five years. What then should you be doing when you have no claim to file?
This period of seeming inactivity is a golden opportunity to refine your housekeeping and re-assess your risk exposures. By exposures, we mean all areas of your existence, activities and plans through which you could experience a financial misfortune. This period also has its attendant benefits which you need to know about. Here are few of those things you should do:
Prepare to claim your No-Claim Discount.
For some insurance policies, you are entitled to a discount on the renewal premium if you did not file a claim in the last policy period. This No-Claim Discount is a compensation for taking proper care of your asset. Provision for this benefit is clearly stated in policies to which it applies. The level of discount is set by the insurance company offering it.
Study to understand your policy.
The policy document, no matter how little or voluminous, is the agreement that governs the insurance contract you have with your insurer. It does not just state the types of perils or incidents the policy will take care of but also your duties as a party to the contract. It educated you on what you should do when you have a claim. The most important time to study to understand your policy document is immediately you purchase the policy. However, if you have not done that, you just have to do it right away.
Carry out risk improvement measures.
Shortly after you purchased you property insurance such as the Fire, burglary and contractor’s all-risk insurance, your insurer would likely visit you for a survey of your insured property. They most likely advised you verbally or in writing on steps you can take to mitigate losses. Be clear of one fact- they are not primarily trying to engage you in a loss-minimising adventure for their own benefit. They understand that beside the financial interest, you likely have an emotional attachment to your property. Beyond that, they understand that if a loss occurs, it could bring along some significant inconvenience to you. The proof of seeming inactivity is also perfect for taking a look at those insurer’s recommendations and carry them out. The insurer benefits, but you are the ultimate beneficiary.
Reconsider your financial security.
As you may know, there are life and non-life kinds of insurance policies. Life policies provide pre-agreed benefits (known as the sum assured) to your named beneficiaries at your demise during the policy period. If your policy is close to ten years in operation, you need to review the sum assured in line with present economic realities. Sit with your broker (we suggest you have one) or your insurer and talk this through. You may need to increase the sum assured. This will definitely come with an increase in the premium. Remember- you are trying to secure the future of your loved ones.
Update your records with your insurer.
If you take a proper study of your property policy, you will see the stated insertion that you should inform the insurer of any change to the nature of your insured property. You might have added a second gate to your property, or added an extra chalet or changed the windows from the old louvers to stylish and more expensive sliding window. Your property was insured based in its physical state at the time of insurance. Your claim will not fly if you demand to be indemnified for the broken window when the actual state at commencement of the insurance was mere louvers. Check these changes and inform your insurer. It may come with payment of additional premium if the values are significantly higher. You are merely paying the fair premium for your property.
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