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Insurance is Your Responsibility!

November 16, 2010

As a driver, a homeowner, a tenant, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you have insurance – and your responsibility to make sure that your coverage is appropriate. You have certain expectations about how you expect your insurance company to behave, but have you considered what they expect from you? When you’re gathering insurance quotes, you need to be aware of the following responsibilities that fall on your shoulders:

Understand Your Policy

It’s your responsibility to gain a full understanding of your insurance policy and the coverage that it provides. There are certain obligations for the insured party, which means that you need to know what you need to do, provide, and disclose to your insurance company to keep your policy valid. Your insurance company provides websites, brochures, and the opportunity to talk with or meet with a representative, including a broker or agent, to ask any questions you have that might affect your decisions about your insurance. But the key is to ask questions.

Shop Around

Many people feel that their insurance company charges too much for their premiums, or doesn’t provide them with adequate coverage. But as a consumer, it is your responsibility to shop around and compare quotes. Insurance is a competitive industry, and your provider expects that you will search for the coverage that is most appropriate for you and your situation. This allows you to identify the mix of insurance products that you require, and get quotations from numerous providers.

Information Disclosure

Your insurance company provides insurance based solely on the information you provide, and they depend on you to be truthful and fully disclose any information that could affect your coverage. Whether you’re currently insured and experience a change in circumstances or situation, or searching for new insurance, providing untrue or incomplete information to your insurance provider is dangerous and illegal. By providing false information or excluding information that could affect your insurance coverage or premiums, you are at risk of having your insurance policy cancelled at any time – even if you need to make a claim.

Your insurance company assesses the risk of insuring you and your property based on the information you provide, and they offer you coverage based on that. If you choose to withhold information or provide bad information, your insurance provider can choose to deny your claim, and even cancel your policy immediately. This could also lead to an inability for you to obtain insurance in the future – from any insurance company. If you are able to secure coverage, it will likely be at a higher premium. As an additional deterrent to defrauding your insurance company, you can also be charged criminally and, if convicted be responsible for fines and restitution, and even serve time in jail (up to 10 years for cases involving $5,000 or more, and up to 2 years for cases of a lesser value).

Whether you’re shopping for auto insurance quotes or home insurance quotes, make sure that you are truthful and that you provide complete information to your insurance company. It will ensure that you’re protected by your policy, and keep you out of trouble.