Insurance is a necessary evil. It’s never any fun to hand over hundreds of dollars every month to various insurance companies to protect things like your home, your car, and your health, but it’s necessary.
You never know what might happen, and if something terrible does transpire, an insurance policy can make it easier for you to get back on your feet without going bankrupt.
Whether you have to make a claim, you want to dispute a bill, or you want to update your plan, there are plenty of occasions when you might find yourself on the phone with an insurance representative. Here are some tips that will make working with various insurance companies a little easier.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hire an Attorney
If you have filed a claim with your insurance company, whether you were in a car accident, you suspect medical malpractice, or you were injured on the job, don’t be afraid to hire an attorney.
All insurance companies attempt to pay as little as possible to victims who are making a claim. By hiring a lawyer, you let the insurance company know you mean business.
That attorney will communicate with insurance lawyers to come to an agreeable settlement. Without the help of an attorney, you will probably end up settling for a lot less money.
Other professionals may be able to help in other cases as well. For example, a medical billing advocate can make sure you’re being charged fairly for a medical procedure, while a public adjuster can help homeowners make a large claim to ensure everything is covered.
Ask to Work With the Same Case Manager
Calling customer service can be a nightmare. Did you know American consumers spend about 13 hours per year on hold? It can be just as bad when you finally get a representative on the other line.
They have to look up your information. Because they don’t know anything about your situation, they can offer bad advice, and because they don’t know you or your family, it’s easy for them to simply not care.
As soon as you get off the phone, they will never have to think about you again.
You’ll have a more enjoyable experience if you ask to work with the same case manager. It’s even better if you choose smaller insurance companies. They tend to treat their customers better because they get to know everyone personally.
Know Your Plan
Make sure you know your plan! That way you’re informed whenever you have to call and talk to your insurance.
For example, there are different types of Youi car insurance that include:
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist
- Medical payments
When you know your plan, you know what you’re entitled to. You don’t want to call your insurance company assuming you have comprehensive vehicle coverage or flood insurance, only to find out you don’t.
Keep Important Documents and Records
If your insurance company sends you paperwork about your plan or documentation about a claim, make sure you keep it somewhere safe.
That way, whenever you have questions, you know where to go to look for the answer before you have to call in and talk to someone personally.
If you have filed a claim or are planning on filing a claim, make sure you keep important records that prove your point.
Keep them organized and in one spot so you can access them and pass them along to insurance adjusters, your lawyer, and anyone else involved in your claim.
Compare Plans and Companies Periodically
Situations change. You may have been fine with liability vehicle insurance or an HSA before, but you may find that your situation changes.
If you buy a new car, you may want full coverage, while getting married and getting pregnant may make you rethink your health insurance situation.
It’s important to review your policies from time to time and consider whether you should upgrade or downgrade your policy.
Not only should you compare plans from your current provider, but but you should also compare plans that are offered by other providers every year to once every few years.
That enables you to see if you could get the same insurance for less somewhere else. It also gives you the chance to talk to your existing insurance about potentially switching, which may encourage them to offer you a special deal.
Know When to File a Claim
Do you know when you should make a claim? It starts with knowing your policy, but it also means thinking carefully about what making a claim will mean long-term.
In some cases, you may want to avoid filing a claim even though you could.
For example, if you get into a fender bender with another car, but everyone is okay and there is minimal damage to each vehicle, you may choose not to file a claim.
You can avoid the hassle of having to go through the claims process, and you can avoid an increase in your insurance rates.
Always Be Polite
Most people agree that being polite is important, yet, as soon as they get on the phone with a customer service representative, it all falls by the wayside.
Whether you’re calling in to switch your policy, cancel a policy, or make a claim, it pays to be polite.
Being kind makes the conversation go more smoothly, but it’s also true that the person on the other end of the line is more likely to go above and beyond to help you when you’re kind.
From forgiving late payments to recommending a cheaper policy, you may find that you’ll get more out of your relationship with your insurance if you’re polite whenever you call in.
You may want to sign up for an insurance policy and forget about it, but that’s a bad idea. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, and you want to make working with your insurance a little more pleasant, make sure you follow these tips.
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