In times of economic hardship, one area where few of us will take risks is in the myriad types of insurance we all have, and for understandable reasons. Insurance in many areas is either compulsory or highly advisable.
However, many of us have also had problems in being able to rely on insurance, with insurers seeking to rely on contract clauses which are either unclear or blatantly unfair. The biggest problem of all is that, if facing a dispute with insurers, this is a classic David vs Goliath situation and many individuals or businesses simply give up or give in.
The above are the obvious ways in which insurers may not always play fair, but there are unfortunately others as well.
Another example relates to fraud. There is very significant and hard evidence of major fraud in car accident personal injury claims over the last decade. So much so that there are postcodes in the UK with ridiculously high incidences of minor accidents and whiplash claims. the insurers have known about these areas for some time and yet have done little, in conjunction with the police to sort the problem out. Instead, they have taken the line of least resistance. Car insurance is of course compulsory – so their response has simply been to raise premiums for all drivers, which is frankly outrageous.
another scandal has been the misselling of unecessary insuarnce products such as Payment Protection Insurance and only yesterday, it came to light that vulnerable old people were being sold policies to cover care home costs by a subsidiary of HSBC which were inappropriate for their circumstances.
Other than a generalised moan against insurance companies, this post was prompted by a US story we came across today, which makes interesting reading. Here is the link to the story, which in essence shows that insurers are quick to access death records so as to stop paying benefits but slow in advising beneficiaries of rights to pay outs where policies provide for this.
What do you think of this issue – have you had bad experiences with insurance ?
Finally, not all insurers operate in the above ways, there are of course good and bad, but the general principles about the power of insurance companies nonetheless apply.