When taking out insurance, the belief is that, as you are paying your monthly premium, you will not need to worry about any of the unforeseen circumstances in which you will need to use your insurance. This is what insurance has been designed to do after all. The truth is that insurance companies will do whatever they can manage to remove themselves from being responsible while ripping off their customers with high rates and any other tactic to take money without giving up anything in return.
Here are a few tactics to be aware of when dealing with your insurance company:
1. Unnecessary Travel Insurance
Each year, Americans spend just over $1 billion on travel insurance and sometimes, it is even tucked into the final bill for their holiday away. Travel agents push to sell the travel insurance with stories of lost luggage, canceled flights, but what they won’t let you in on is that you might be covered by your homeowner’s insurance on credit cards, or the airline may be responsible as part of their legal obligations. The agent may also tell you about the great promotion happening while having very little real care about the way that your vacation will turn out.
2. Home Insurance: Flood, and Wind
After huge weather catastrophes like hurricanes, homeowners with policies attempted to collect on the damage that was caused by the winds, but the insurance companies worked very hard to pin the damage on the flooding—and flooding isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. It has also been said that the employees of the companies are encouraged to underestimate the costs of repair so that the company won’t have to pay what they should be liable for.
3. Life Insurance Settlements
Life insurance brokers have no incentive to get you the best deal when you decide to sell off your life insurance policy to get some cash in your pockets and may be working to keep the buyer of the policy happy. Even though the broker will have their commission at stake, they are not looking out for you in the end.
4. Car Insurance and Lowball Offers
If your vehicle is considered a total loss, your insurance policy might cover the cash value or even a replacement. The insurance company could try to offer a drastically low amount while understating the car’s actual condition. Additionally, they may try to place the value of the vehicle by using one that is considered comparable, but having a significantly higher amount of miles. Insurance companies would seem to ignore your lower mileage to underestimate the actual value of the vehicle.
5. Title Insurance Kickbacks
Homeowners are obligated to have title insurance, but when arranging it, it is not advised to listen to the advice that your broker gives you. The broker will often push a deal that will line their own pockets. Don’t feel weird about shopping around for your title insurance, and certainly don’t hesitate to inquire about the previous homeowner’s title insurance company.
6. Health Insurance Billing
One of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills. Lots of people feel that they have sufficient health insurance, but many times the health service provider and the insurance company will disagree that the claims are valid. The customer gets stuck between it and will end up paying a bill that is much larger than originally thought.
7. Whole Life Insurance as an “Investment”
Many brokers will push for whole life insurance as it can be seen as an investment. The alternative to this is having term life insurance and putting away your extra cash as an investment. The brokers gain commission for selling these expensive whole life insurance policies. Of course, the more the customer is paying, the more the insurance broker will end up putting into their own pocket at the end of the day. This is their incentive to push for whole life insurance and sell it as a picture of an investment.