It’s often easy to not know your rights as a customer of a company. When insurance companies are your customers, there are many different aspects to their policies that impact you; and it’s easy to not be aware of these. Even if the terms and conditions of the policy read well on paper, when you’re reading them how can you know what questions to ask or what information is relevant?
This post is all about outlining your rights as an insured customer. And it’s also about giving in depth insight into how will this affect you in every aspect. Not only you are responsible for yourself, but also for the wellbeing of your family and friends as well as property and belongings.
Firstly, let’s begin with the common rights you might not be aware of:
- You are entitled to have your claim paid speedily.
- You have an obligation by law to act in good faith when making a claim; and insurers can’t require you to disclose any information that you are not willing to, or that is irrelevant.
- As an insured customer, you should also be aware that you have the right to be treated fairly by your insurer at all times. It includes them not being able to refuse the claim without proof of any reason and giving reasons for why they declined any cost. Insurers can’t ask for excessive amounts of information from you. Neither they request additional information after the claim has been made. It’s because this could be seen as an unreasonable delay in its payment/refusal of payment.
- You have a statutory right to exchange information withheld by your insurer. And, if you ask your insurer to withhold certain information, they are obliged to provide you with that information.
- Insurance contracts are not unlike contracts between parties in other areas of law. It means that the rules of contract law apply rather than insurance law. Insurers are therefore bound by contract laws when selling their products (such as their policies). And customer rights can’t be overlooked in these types of contracts qua contractual rights.
Now, some of the rights only a few people may know:
- You have the right to receive a copy of your policy document at least once a year.
- You have the right to be told of any increase in premiums before payment is made.
- Your insurer can’t discriminate against you due to any aspect related to your disability. It’s such as making a policy more expensive or excluding you from certain activities. And they must also treat all customers equally, proportionally and fairly at all times.
- You have the right to make a claim with no delay and without any cost being charged if it is within the time limit that your insurer has set for any claims made for covered incidents (such as theft or vandalism).
- You can make a claim for an incident even if you were partially to blame for it. And your insurer can’t refuse your claim; or make the cost higher due to them partly finding you to be at fault.
- If you have had a policy with an insurer for more than two years you are entitled to claim for any incidents of theft or vandalism (affecting your personal belongings) that occur in certain circumstances, even if they occurred before the policy began and there is no cover specified in the policy itself.
- You have the right to raise a dispute with your insurer in relation to any decision made by them.
- You have the right to give a statement/police report/medical evidence to your insurer without having to pay any fees. And they must accept this without delay if they wish to keep their no claims bonus.
- If your policy is cancelled due to any reason of misrepresentation by yourself, you can still claim on it even if the part of your claim that falls under ‘misrepresentation’ is within that time period where you cannot claim (such as theft or vandalism).
- If your insurer refuses to pay a claim then you can take them to court and they are legally obliged to pay your legal costs if it is found in your favor.
- Your insurer can’t mislead you with information about the benefits or exclusions that apply to your policy at any time. And instead they have a duty to give you all the relevant information before the you purchase the policy.
In overall, you have the right to know what to do in certain situations, when to make a claim; and how much money is involved. If you are unsure about any of these rights then contact our team through the contact us page for advice.