Working for more than 30 years in the insurance field we have managed hundreds of claims. Here is a list of the biggest mistakes that you do not want to make with your insurance.
1. Pay your “chova” compulsory policy on time! If the police stop you on the road, and your car insurance is not paid you have a problem. If God forbid you are involved in an accident you are not covered.
2. Do your check up of car protections –haganot- on time! From time to time you are asked to do certain checkups on your car protections. Many people are not efficient in dealing with this. If the car is stolen and you didn’t do this checkup- you have a problem.
3. Do not drive with a license that is out of date. If your silence is out of date- you are not covered. If you are driving with a foreign license- after a year in Israel you have to have an Israeli one. I personally know a case where the insurance company refused to pay since the person driving was using a French license.
4. Did you buy new things for your home? Inform your insurance agent! If something happens to a significant item and you didn’t tell the company- you are not covered!
5. Check your assessment! When you do an apartment insurance policy the insurance company sends a person to make a list of your belongings. Ask to see their list- if everything there looks good- excellent. But if not- feel free to talk to him about it.
6. Insure your drivers properly! We had a few cases where clients covered themselves only for certain ages and at the time of the accident- they were not covered! We fought for our clients and in the end they received compensation!
7. Do not forget to do travel insurance before you go abroad! Your private health insurance policy does not cover you efficiently abroad. Travel insurance also covers your suitcase. You must take out a policy before you leave Israel.
8. Be cautious before cancelling your comprehensive cover. When the value of the car is less than 20,000 shekels it is time to consider doing third party only Ie having cover for damage to other cars only.
9. Do not do polices on the phone! The direct insurance companies are experts in this. People do not understand what they are paying for. If there is a problem- who do you turn to? Do not do insurance policies on the phone!
10. Check your polices! From time to time people come to me- and I find myself advising them to cancel polices! For years they have being paying thousands of shekels without reason!
From our experience in Segal Insurance we learnt to keep a list of dates and events during the insurance year to avoid things being forgotten which can lead to serious problems.
How to avoid being tricked by people? The way I see it, the best way to not feel fooled is to create a feeling of control of the situation. Therefore, get control of the situation in the following ways- Before committing to a deal- do your homework properly.
Find out the total cost of the whole deal-ie the product and other services involved. Use friends or internet. Use internet sites that compare prices such as- “zap” for products and “Midrag” that compares various services. Reading about it in the internet will also teach you what you should be aware of and what you should check and ask about.
During the negotiation- If there is a person who knows the field better- like buying a car- feel free to ask a friend or a relative to help you out. Many Israelis do that too. You should feel free to ask as many questions as possible. If you do not feel that you have a good chemistry with the person – go somewhere else. Make sure you that you are being informed of the exact price and terms before making the purchase.
Two questions I recommend asking are – 1. “What is the amount that is going to be written on the bill”?
2. Will the price fluctuate in the future (If payments are made over a long period eg mortgage or insurance.) This is a very good way to discover surprises such as V.A.T or future changing of terms. Never give a person a free hand to fix or buy for you and bill you later. It is important to stay calm and not take anything personally.
If you feel you are not sure about something try to check it out with a friend or on the internet or even tell him you will check it and come back to him. Usually you will be told that there is a special deal and if you delay you will lose the deal. Usually the deal will still be the tomorrow.
After the deal- There in not much you can do. The worst thing is to feel bad about it. And then you have lost twice. You made a bad deal and you also feel bad about it. From our experience in Segal Insurance we learnt to check all the details of any purchase and never to any deal when under purchase.