Justin Lim, Quashed founder and CEO, recently discussed the top ten insurance mistakes New Zealanders make and how Quashed can help. Although some points aren’t exclusive to life and health insurance, it is still a good list of common mistakes. Although we do not agree with him on all points, among our favourites from his list are:
“Lim spoke to Newshub about ten of the most common insurance mistakes - and how the Quashed platform can help.
- Not knowing if you're covered (and what for)
Remember that insurance policy you were sold ten years ago?
If you haven't heard from them in a while, it's worth checking if the policy is still in force.
You may also have policies with benefits you weren't aware of - big and small.
"People may miss out on claiming benefits they're paying for, simply because they're not aware of them," Lim says.
In addition to loading policy details, you can upload your policy documents to Quashed, so all the benefits you're covered for are at your fingertips.
- Not checking your policy excess and sum insured (cover amount)
The 'excess' is the amount you pay before the insurance kicks in.
A higher excess reduces your premium, whereas a lower excess increases it.
You can adjust your insurance excess depending on your budget, and the amount of your rainy day savings.
It's also important to check your sum insured, ideally once a year. House insurance is now based on a 'sum insured', meaning homeowners are responsible for calculating the total cost to rebuild their home.
If you've bought new household items, or renovated, they're good reasons to update your House and Contents insurance sum insured too.
- Not reviewing policy exclusions and/or loadings
If you have life and health insurance, you may have exclusions and/or loadings applied to your policy.
If you were a smoker when you took the policy out, you may be paying higher premiums.
Check your policy schedule, or your policy renewal letter to see if any of these apply, and whether there's a review date (ask your insurer if unsure).
If you were a smoker and haven't smoked for 12 months, you can complete a declaration and have your policy reassessed.
- Not knowing about employee benefits (e.g. a life insurance group scheme)
It's worth checking whether you receive free or discounted insurance through your workplace.
"For some corporate health insurance schemes, if you sign up within the first month of starting with the company, your pre-existing conditions would also be covered," Lim says.
The Quashed portal allows these covers to be added - some employers are already added to the platform and can be selected with a drop-down box.
- Not using an expert
Before cancelling an existing policy, or taking out new cover, it's recommended that you understand the difference and impact on your existing cover. You could talk to an expert.
We particularly agree with that last point - talking to a financial adviser with the right experience can save a huge amount of money and trouble.
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