In today’s uncertain world, we all try to have some safeguards in place that can help us deal with difficult eventualities of life. Insurance is one such instrument that helps us protect our life, health, family and vehicles financially. It’s a good idea to have assets and life insured in order to deal with unexpected events that have the potential to dent our pockets. With rising financial inclusion more and more individuals are opting for insurance. However, it is equally true that while buying an insurance or even after buying an insurance policy, you run the risk of being hit by insurance frauds. You might have come across incidents around you where people are cheated at the time of claim settlement or during payment of premium in cash, among others.
In order to play safe, you need to be cautious and take precautions before buying an insurance policy. Here are some of precautions to keep in mind.
Do A Thorough Research
It’s always better to do some online research on your own about insurance policies. There are several insurance comparing portals available as well. You can figure out the types of policies from different insurers and can easily compare the benefits of several plans and the payable premiums. This helps you get a fair sense of how a insurance product works and what are the different kinds of plans available in the market.
Consult A Good Insurance Agent
After doing your own research, if you feel the need of some human help consult a good insurance agent who has quite an experience in insurance sector and understand about plans. Don’t be afraid of asking as many questions as you can for getting clarity on terms and conditions, in particular. In case you feel you need to get a second opinion, don’t hesitate in consulting another agent. Key here is not to be in haste as insurance is an important financial solution for your life. If you get well tuned with the agent, don’t forget to check his/her licence and if need be, other identification documents as well. Genuine insurance agents have a peculiar agent ID which you should verify before buying policy.
Prefer To Buy Directly From Insurers
Instead of buying insurance policies from insurance agents, you should buy directly from insurance companies. This is always safe and preferable. If you are reasonably tech savvy, go for online purchasing of insurance policies. It is no more a rocket science. On top of it, you can also easily cut down the commission portion if you opt for buying straight from insurers online, which, you would otherwise end up paying to agents. More, you can also take the help of insurance comparing portals for buying insurance policies. These websites facilitate and make it quite an easy and comfortable for you to select the most appropriate policy suitable for you and help you buy it online.
Never Pay Premium In Cash; Prefer Cheque Or Online Payment
Once you finalise the policy from the agent, it is advisable to opt for a cheque payment for your premium. Also ask the agent for a proper and timely receipt for the same. If possible, ask your agent if you could do online payment; so that you have a quick and proper acknowledgment of the payment. Remember, online payment is safer than giving cash or a cheque. In case your agent insists for cash payment, you should take it as a danger sign as you would never get to know if the cash was actually submitted towards your insurance policies. It is better to avoid such agents. Whether you go direct or through an agent, it’s advisable to select the online mode to do premium payment. Online mode enables you to readily have a copy of the payment receipt to the insurance company. If any dispute arises, you can always show up your bank statement and the receipt so generated as authentic proofs of payment.
Use Customer Care Cell For Assistance
At any point of time, feel free to get straight in touch with the customer care regarding your policies. It’s better to keep email ids and phone numbers of your insurers handy and ring them up in an event of any confusion or to seek clarity on your policies and premium payments. Remember, it’s a good habit to be cautious when it comes to your hard-earned money. Better be alert then regret later.
Before getting an insurance policy, it is better to check and understand all the policy clauses carefully and then sign any of the insurance documents.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.
BankBazaarInsurance.com, India’s premier online marketplace to compare and apply for the best personal finance products including health insurance, car insurance, life insurance and two wheeler insurance.