|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.|
Insurance Laws Bill, 2008 is about to undergo a major amendment as approved by the cabinet led by honorable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi. The Bill is yet to undergo discussion in the Rajya Sabha. The amendment aims to raise foreign direct investment in insurance from the current 26% to 49%. This hike, although, is composite in nature which means that all foreign portfolio investment and foreign direct investment together would account for 49%. The raised percentage of FDI share has come as a good news for customers as well as the market.
However, the existing players will need to pump-in more capital in order to cover areas like health insurance, where they lag behind so as to remain in the competition. The customer on the other hand is sure to benefit since more number of insurance players would mean greater competition and better benefits for the buyer.
Here is a sneak peek into some major advantages that are set to benefit the customers after the bill gets amended.
Strict Penalties to restrict mis-selling:
Mis-selling of insurance policies is a common phenomenon which leaves the customer with no options of reverting the transaction. Strict penalties of up to Rs.1 crore will be levied in case an insurance company is found to indulge in practices that misguide the customer and violate the code of conduct. Agents too can be fined up to Rs.5 lacs if they are found offering kickbacks in order to sell more.
|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.|
Enhanced transparency through electronic records:
Insurance companies will be required to maintain electronic records for greater transparency. These records need to be displayed on the respective insurance website too.
Health Insurance to cover sickness due to travel:
'Health Insurance Business' definition has been modified to include benefits on account of sickness due to domestic or international travel. However, whether coverage of International travel would be included in regular plans or it would be handled separately is still not clear.
Micro-level Licensing to enhance reach:
Licensing of agents has been shifted from IRDA to the respective insurance agencies. However, IRDA will still have the authority to take required actions against agents who are found to indulge in mis-selling etc. This will mean an easy and greater hiring of agents thereby increasing the reach of insurance companies.
No rejection claims post 3 years of policy commencement:
No claims to rejection of a policy by insurance companies will be entertained on grounds of misinformation by the customer, after 3 years of policy procurement or renewal. This step protects the interest of the customer whereas puts the insurance company into a stricter phase of checks and balances during the initial issuance stage.
|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.|