I was recently asked to write an article on the importance of insurance, predominantly personal insurance. Sickness and accidents can happen at any time, but I wonder how many of us are prepared..? The field of insurance can seem bewildering and boring, but it’s a subject that we should not ignore.
If you do need to make a claim, get comfortable, make a cuppa and get ready for a telephone call of anything around 40 minutes..! This is one area that many companies could improve in. You will also need a fit note from your Doctor to prove sickness or injury. This sounds simple enough, but when you’re laid up and injured, it can be very difficult. The press is regularly filled with stories about delays at Doctors Surgeries, although I find mine well organised. In my view the paperwork required (and the claims procedures in general) could be very much improved and simplified. When I lost my fingers to Frostbite, I was asked to fill in forms galore. When I explained that I could not write I got little help, so a good friend or family member was invaluable.
I know I’m old fashioned, because I like to talk to someone, rather than read pages of web-based data. I can ask questions directly that matter to me and hopefully miss all the pitfalls. This is very important when it comes to premiums, claims procedures and expected outcomes. When you’re sick or injured, the last things you need are people waving small print and quoting things that are almost impossible to find. One sad reflection I find in many insurance companies is the ability to demand premiums on time, but to foot drag when it comes to payments to you. More than once I’ve had different stories from people working at the same company, stating different payments and timescales. I’ve had the ‘read our policy booklet’ thrown at me. Now I’m not disagreeing with the booklet as we all need to be legally bound, but I wonder how many of you always read every bit of small print that falls through your door regarding banking, insurance and mortgages..? How many of you have clicked ‘accept new terms and conditions’ on every update of iTunes without a thought..? Most people like to talk to an advisor and believe what they say. After all, that’s what they are paid to do, isn’t it..?
Many people have insurance through their bank account, and I’ve found this very useful for basic cover. Be careful on stipulations regarding altitude, class of rapid and countries visited. Again, I talk to the company direct when I have a question. My bank account insurance booklet is 64 pages thick and needs a magnifying glass to read it..!
Specialist advice is needed in the field of insurance, so make the call and prepare yourself for the future. If you’re self-employed, you don’t want an accident or sickness, but if you do, consider how you’re going to pay the bills…