In this article, we’ll walk you through your insurance contract to help make it easier for you to understand. To start, an insurer’s policy document is important because if there are any terms that seem confusing, Then they can be clarified by their advisor.
There are different types of insurance that protect us in the case of a worst-case scenario. Some examples include homeowner’s, auto and life insurance.
Homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance and life are different types of financial products you should consider having if you own any sort of property. For example, the homeowner covers your house while the latter provides protection in case something happens to yourself or a loved one.
However, since your contract says what it does and how it will work on a day-to-day basis within life events like buying groceries, some understanding of its principles should rest with yourself as well.
- Life insurance policies are written in legal language. The terms of your policy include what’s covered and not, as well as how much you’ll pay for it all.
- If you have a life insurance contract, it may contain some jargon and terms that aren’t immediately clear.
- Before you sign the contract, it’s very important to read through all of your insurance carefully. This way, there are fewer chances for any surprises later down the line when something happens and they ask “Didn’t you read this part?”
- A good way to protect yourself as a policyholder is by reviewing your insurance contract. You’ll want to look for errors that could affect the terms of coverage or costs.
Insurance Contract Essentials That You Should Definitely Know.
When it comes time to review a contract, there are certain things that typically appear-
- Offer and Acceptance: To apply for insurance, you first need to acquire a proposal form from the company. After filling in its requested details and sending it with a premium check (if necessary), this is your offer. If they agree to insure you then that’s called acceptance. However, if they want changes after accepting then it’s called a counteroffer which must be accepted by both sides before moving forward together as one unit(insurance).
- Consideration: These are the premium or future premiums that you have to pay your insurance company. For insurers, consideration also refers to money paid out if an insured files a claim. This means both parties must provide value for this type of relationship.
- Legal Capacity: If you are a minor or have some sort of mental illness, then you cannot enter into an agreement with your insurer. The same goes for the insurance company. if they haven’t been licensed by their state’s regulations governing them, then they can’t legally make contracts either.
- Legal Purpose. If you want to encourage illegal activities, your contract is invalid.
When it comes to an indemnity policy, the insurance company will pay you for eligible claims and your deductible. This may depend on how these sections of an insurance contract are structured in terms of whether or not one has a non-indemnity plan.
Most insurance contracts are indemnity-based. Indemnity-type insurances refer to those where the loss is measured in terms of money and can be calculated easily.
- Principle of Indemnity: This means that your insurer will not pay more than what you have insured. The purpose of an insurance contract is to leave the policyholder in the same financial position as before, immediately after a claim has been filed for loss or damage suffered due to theft etc., during which time their vehicle was stolen. When this happens, don’t expect them to replace it with something like a Mercedes-Benz since they are only remunerated according to how much money you’ve paid towards ensuring one’s car.
There are certain situations in which the full value of insured assets may not be remunerated.
- Under-Insurance: You should avoid under-insuring your house by calculating the total value of your home and purchasing insurance at a rate that matches this number. For example, if you buy an expensive home worth $100k but only insure it for 80% of its actual value ($80k), then in case there’s a partial loss to nearly 20% or HALF OF THE VALUE, you’ll have to dip into savings since the insurer will pay out ONLY A PORTION OF THE INSURANCE CLAIM.
- Excess: In order to avoid trivial claims, the insurer has introduced provisions like excess. For example, your auto insurance comes with an applicable excess of $5,000 and you have a car accident for which the loss amount is $7,000. Your insurer will pay you only this much because it does not exceed their limit of deductible – but if losses come up as less than that then they don’t entertain them at all and every expense falls on you alone. This way no claim goes unaddressed even those small ones where money seems negligible in comparison to large damages.
- Deductible: This means that if the deductible is $5,000 and the total insured loss comes to be $15,000 then your insurance company will only pay for a maximum of 10 thousand dollars. In other words, people with high deductibles have lower premiums but they also have more out-of-pocket expenses which could lead them into debt without proper planning.
A life insurance policy is a contract that assigns the dollar value of an individual’s net worth. It does not apply to indemnity contracts because you can’t calculate your net worth and set it at one fixed price.
A life insurance contract includes the following:
- Declarations page: This is often the first page of a life insurance policy which includes your name, type and number of the policy, issue date or effective date if it has been issued. It will also include premiums in case you have purchased a term plan. If so, this section should specify coverage terms as well.
- Policy terms and definitions: Break down the terms and definitions in your life insurance contract, including the death benefit, premium beneficiary, and insurance age. Your insurance age may be your actual or assigned by the company to your nearest possible option for that particular term when it comes to assigning an exact number of years.
- Coverage details: A life insurance contract covers all the details of your policy, including how much you’ll pay for premiums and when those payments are due. You may also have just one primary beneficiary or a primary beneficiary with several contingent beneficiaries.
- Additional policy details: There are riders that can be added to your life insurance, which expand coverage. Riders include accelerated death benefit riders and long-term care policies where you may choose to take the payout while still living if it will cover expenses related to a terminal illness.
Life insurance is something that all of us need. When you decide to purchase life insurance, there are many different options available and it’s important to understand the differences between them so we can make an informed decision on what type might be best for our situation.
For example, if we don’t require lifetime coverage then the term or temporary may be a better fit than permanent coverage which will last throughout your entire life as long as premiums remain current. If however like me you’re treating this investment just like any other financial product out there then maybe having some sort of cash value over time could actually turn into quite beneficial down the road when I’m ready to think about using my money in order to buy things online.