Consumer Education - Insurance
Never enter into any business transaction with insurance companies, brokers or agents that are not licensed with the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (“NBFIRA”). If you are unsure, call NBFIRA to verify licensing of the entity or individual.
Shop around for the best policy
Don’t take the first policy that comes your way. Different insurance companies offer similar policies at different prices. Shop around for the insurance policy that best suits your needs.
Make sure that you can afford a policy before you commit yourself. Policies will lapse if you stop paying your monthly premiums, and, depending on the type of policy that you have, you may not get your money back.
When the insurance premium is not paid on time, all benefits of the policy stops and the policy becomes a Lapsed Policy. The insurance premium needs to be paid on the due date or within the grace period at maximum. If the premium is further delayed, then the policy becomes “dead” which means Lapsed in the insurance language! (MyInsuranceClub.Com)
The Importance of Disclosures
Provide truthful information at all times when filling in forms to buy a policy. Your claim may not be paid if you have given false, incorrect or incomplete information. Some policies requires “Disclosure’’ on certain information about you as the insured, it may be about your past or about your health. Take that seriously when you are asked about them.
Make sure that you read and understand the policy before you commit yourself. Ensure that you receive a summary of the policy. Do not sign blank documents. You are entitled to request a copy of the policy. Keep the policy documents in a safe place! Often times you are given a timeframe within which you can decide to terminate the policy after receipt of the policy document.
Some insurance policies may be cancelled within 30 days after you have received the summary of the policy. This 30-day period is termed the “cooling-off period”; and refers to the period after taking out an insurance policy within which you may cancel the policy without losing any premium you may have paid. If you decide not to cancel your policy after the cooling-off period, you may forfeit the premiums that you paid to the insurance company. Ensure that you get a copy of the policy document once you have signed the proposal form.
There is a usually a grace period for late payments of monthly premiums. If the premiums are not paid within those days, then you are no longer covered. Please ensure that you pay the premiums during the grace period if you want the policy to continue. Check with the relevant insurance company, broker or agent before the grace period lapses.
Kindly also note that you are insured by the Insurance Company. The Brokers and Insurance Agents are the intermediaries (go-between) to source you the cover. There is often some confusion around this.
They allow you to provide for income in your old age. Some retirement annuities include life cover allowing an extra amount to be paid out to your family when you die.
You have the right to lodge a complaint if you are not satisfied with the service provided by any insurance company, broker or agent. Contact the relevant insurer or intermediary whose conduct you want to complain about. Ask for the Complaints Handling Procedure and follow it. If dissatisfied with the said entity’s course of action, you can then approach NBFIRA on condition that you provide documental proof that you have exhausted all the channels within the said entity.