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As a policyholder you are entitled to the following:*

  • Details of the intermediary
  • Details of intermediary’s relationship with the insurer
  • Copy of the policy/policy summary
  • Details of the transaction including expenses, assumptions, values, benefits, premiums, loading, guarantees, exclusions
  • Information about the cooling-off period**
  • Implications of replacing one policy with another
  • Notification from the insurer that a policy has been cancelled
  • Written explanation for repudiation or non-payment of claims

*Applicable to policies sold after 1 July 2001
**You have a 30-day grace period during which you can cancel the policy or an amendment to the policy

When taking out a policy of insurance

  • Always complete the proposal/application form yourself
  • Always provide complete and accurate information
  • If in doubt, disclose the information
  • Always read any document before you sign it, including the fine print
  • Read through the policy contract to ensure that it is what you want
  • Keep a written record of your correspondence/dealings with the insurer/intermediary
  • Make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy organisation to avoid “scams” and illegal operators

When taking out a funeral policy

  • When buying from a salesperson, ask to see their license
  • Where the seller or administrator is a third party funeral administrator, ask for the details of the insurer
  • Read everything on the form including the fine print above your signature
  • When there are questions or declarations about the any life assured’s health, disclose all important information
  • You must be sent a policy or a policy summary when your application is accepted; insist on seeing the document, read it and make sure you understand it; if not, phone and find out what it means
  • You have a 30 day “cooling-off” period after you receive the policy or summary to cancel the policy if you are not satisfied
  • Make sure that your premiums are paid every month on time; it is your responsibility, even if you are paying by debit order or stop order
  • Keep proof of payment of premiums
  • Make sure that any beneficiary nominations are up to date and reflect your wishes
  • When a life assured (the person covered by the policy) dies, the claimant must submit the claim as soon as possible
  • Check in the policy how much time you have to submit a claim; if a claim is submitted late the insurer can refuse to pay the claim
  • If a claim is refused for any reason the insurer or administrator must give you the reasons in writing

See also: Things to note when you write to us

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