Thoughts on Income Protection Insurance

Income Protection Insurance is essentially an insurance policy that pays benefits to those insured if they become incapacitated, or unable to work, due to illness or injury. As with pretty much all insurance policies, the actual contract may be quite lengthy, complicated and written in “legalese” and will contain clauses that exempt certain things. If and when you do have to make a claim, most policies will only cover you for a certain percentage of your normal gross salary and an overall maximum may well apply. Naturally the insurer will want to pay the lowest possible claim, so you may want to challenge any offer being made you feel incorrect. Many people suffer the loss, as they are not aware of their legal insurance rights and receive less than they are actually entitled to.

Challenging an Insurance company decision

Not everyone can understand all of the intricacies of an insurance policy, so some professional guidance on what your contract says, to check if something is being overlooked can be essential. Some insurers have clauses exempting any pre-existing health conditions, so it is important that you are entirely truthful of any, and that you are aware of any such exclusions. It will be difficult to make a claim based on being unable to work due to a medical situation, when you have a long track record of exactly that problem. The insurer is trying to cover the unexpected illness or injury, not one that is widely expected to happen. If however, your insurer is giving you problems or is refusing your claim, and you believe their decision to be in error, then you should be prepared to take them to a court of law.

Suing your insurance company

Many people are quite nervous about suing an insurance company, as they know such companies tend to have an army of lawyers ready to do battle, which can be quite intimidating.  However, an income protection insurance claim at court is not as difficult a task as you might think, though you will of course probably need some professional assistance. Even though the various terms and conditions on different policies will be worded differently, the claim procedure is essentially the same. Your first port of call in case of a disagreement with your insurer, should be to your local legal professional, who can examine the policy to see if the insurer is correct in their denial of your claim.

Most good lawyers will offer you an initial consultation free of charge, to ascertain what you are and are not covered for, and can spot other entitlements to which you may be eligible. Issues such as interpretation of various levels of incapacity may be involved, with the insurer suggesting a smaller pay-out than you expect, if they believe you are capable of doing some paid work, even if it is not in your normal and chosen career path. Various restrictions on your activities and location, especially if travelling out of the country, are often included, so the best idea when buying Income insurance protection, is to buy it from a trusted and reputable insurer or broker, and to visit your local legal professional for good advice, if things do not turn out as expected.

 

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