|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
People sometimes push the boundaries when it comes to insurance claims and while some stories are funny, others can be quite ridiculous and downright sinister.
1. The lady who kept getting injured
The 72-year old gambling addict, Isabel Parker, from the USA managed to get herself injured no less than 49 times during her long career of self-inflicted mishaps. She would make herself slip and fall at liquor stores, supermarkets and department stores, then claim from her insurance company. These rituals of falling and filing claims kept her so busy that it was almost like a fulltime job. Between 1993 and 2000, she managed to collect over $500.000 from her insurance company but eventually pleaded guilty to no less than 29 counts of insurance fraud.
The retiree was convicted to four years of house arrest.
2. Waiter, there is something floating in my soup!
Carla Patterson tried to get a $500.000 insurance settlement from a restaurant in Virginia after finding a mouse in her soup. This may sound like an easy enough trick to pull off, but investigators are very clever these days. They discovered that the mouse had no soup in its lungs, indicating that it hadn't been cooked with the soup and could only have landed in her bowl if she had put it there herself.
The lady was sentenced to one year behind bars for extortion, even though she maintained her innocence.
3. The man who took things a little too far
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
Executive Marc Thompson was up to his ears in debt. So much so that he torched his home and killed his 90-year old mother in an attempt to claim $730.000 in insurance money. One evening, he led his mother to the basement where he had splashed flammable liquid. He then tossed a match and set the place alight. As his mother was psychotic, took medication and had mentioned committing suicide in the past, Thompson had staged the fire to look like his mother's suicide. His plan of the perfect alibi – death by smoke inhalation – literally backfired when, after federal investigation, the truth was uncovered.
Of course, no insurance payout and it will come as no surprise that Thompson was sentenced to 190 years behind bars for premeditated murder and insurance fraud.
4. Cigared for life
A lawyer from North Carolina insured a box of 24 expensive cigars against storm damage, flooding and – you'll never guess – fire. Within a month, the man filed a claim with his home contents insurance company, stating that his cigars had been lost in a series of small fires. Assuming that the man had smoked them, the insurance company refused to pay. A court later ruled, however, that the insurer did indeed owe the policy holder $15.000 to replace his cigars as they had never included a definition of 'unacceptable fire' in the insurance policy.
Not only did the insurance company pay for the claim, they also had the lawyer arrested on 24 counts of arson and insurance fraud and he was fined $24.000.
Depending on your insurance policy, there are certain things that are not covered so before you submit an unusual, weird or downright ridiculous insurance claim, make sure that you read your policy documents to know exactly what you are covered for!
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|