For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ben Brett, Cara’s husband. I am (like Cara) a keen heavy weight lifting enthusiast and (unlike Cara) a terrible golfer. I’m also an In-house Lawyer for a major financial institution and have a background as an Insurance Lawyer. I have had experience with many types of insurance over the years and have seen the best and worst of insurance. When an individual is informed as to what their insurance covers and adequately plans for potential road bumps in their future, Insurance can be their saving grace. However, if a person chooses not to employ a suitable financial planner and fails to truly understand the fine print, they can find themselves financially devastated in their time of need.
When claiming on your insurance, the first thing you can do to ensure your claim is accepted happens well before any claim is made and relates to ‘pre-existing conditions’. If you fail to disclose an illness or condition prior to taking out insurance and the insurance company finds out, you can quickly find yourself unable to claim on your insurance. It is important to remember that an insurance company will have access to your Medicare history, your GP records, your Physiotherapist records and anything else they can think to get their hands on. So you may want to think back to all those doctor visits you had regarding your back/leg/whatever and note it down.
The actual process of claiming on your insurance differs depending on the type of insurance you hold and with which company. Your first point of call in this regard should be your financial planner. Your financial planner should be able to assist you with obtaining the relevant paperwork and explaining what evidence is required to support your claim. Depending on the type of insurance some people choose to employ a lawyer at this early stage. Whilst I would always recommend seeking guidance from a lawyer should you need one, in most instances at this early stage a lawyer is not needed and will charge you substantially for something your financial planner could (and should) assist you with as part of their ongoing service.
In the majority of instances where a claim is genuine, the insurance company should accept your claim. Should however the insurance company reject your claim, you should consider employing a lawyer. Most major no win-no fee personal injury firms will have a department that can assist you with these claims but be warned, the costs associated with this can be hefty. If you have a complex claim a good lawyer will be worth their weight in gold. If however, the rejection was simply an administrative error or you think you can point out where the insurer went wrong then you may choose to go it alone. It is important to remember that the insurance company will be considering the evidence alone. You should do your best to remove all emotion and outline a clear, concise argument which points out why you are entitled to the insurance in accordance with the insurance terms. It may also be beneficial to obtain further evidence supporting your claim such as a report from your GP/Physiotherapist etc.
What about you? Have you had any experiences either negative or positive in dealing with insurance companies? What did you do?