Will the insurer check all the details of my application for car insurance? If not I might be able to hide the fact that I have had three accidents, all my fault, in the last year.
In fact the insurer may not check the accuracy of the information you give, but it may mean that when you make a claim it will be refused. In other words, there is every possibility that the information will be checked at the time you make a claim, and therefore a serious possibility that payment will be legally rejected.
My car insurance application asks whether I have any traffic offences in the last five years. Surely they are not interested in my speeding fine last year?
Traffic offences are a key consideration for insurance companies and you should declare all your traffic offences regardless of how innocuous they might be. If you do not declare them it may give grounds to an insurance company to decline a claim.
When should I buy travel insurance?
You should purchase travel insurance as soon as you pay your deposit and book your holiday. The Australian government recommends that all overseas travellers have travel insurance.
What is an excess?
An excess is the amount which you have to pay in the event that you make a claim on your policy. It is a way of accepting a small portion of the risk yourself. Not every type of policy has the same excess and they can apply in different situations with some policies possibly having more than one applicable excess.
Are all insurance policies the same?
Unfortunately insurance is not as simple as purely comparing the sum insured and the premium, as the true value of your insurance is often found within the policy wording. With over 120 insurance companies licensed to do business in Australia it can be a confusing environment. Add to this the complexity that insurance policies can not only vary greatly between different insurers but the same insurer can also offer multiple versions of the same policy. Insurance policies are legal documents between yourself and the insurer so it is critical that care is taken when selecting your policy. The Insurance Council of Australia is still reporting that many people are risking underinsurance or insufficient cover because they are selecting their policy based on price rather than the coverage they really need. We have access to policy wordings that are not commonly available to the general public meaning that we can have additional benefits available to you, sometimes at no extra cost.
What is IBNA?
IBNA is the largest network of independently owned Insurance Brokers in Australia with over 80 members placing over $1.3 Billion of GWP annually. Our membership of IBNA allows us access to market leading products and to receive services & benefits that are normally associated with larger businesses.
Do you deal with all insurance companies?
Not all insurance companies deal with brokers. We deal with the major insurers such as Allianz, CGU, QBE, Vero and Zurich as well as a host of specialty insurers, underwriting agencies and Lloyds of London. We only deal with Australian approved insurance companies ensuring that our clients are protected by the Australian regulatory environment.
What are Recovery Rights/Hold Harmless/Waiver of Subrogation
Many policies exclude or limit the Insurer’s liability if you have entered, or enter, into an agreement that excludes or limits your rights of recover against third parties who’s acts, errors, omissions or other conduct have caused or contributed to your loss or liability. (These are often called ‘hold harmless’
agreements.) If you have entered, or consider entering, such an agreement, please let us know, so that we can advise you about how the agreement affects, or will affect, your cover.
What area do you service clients in?
We service clients throughout Australia.
We offer the following payment solutions depending upon the insurer:
1. Monthly installment payments direct via the insurer for no additional cost debited from your bank or credit card. We will require your nominated account details and will advise you of the monthly debit amounts and debit dates when we bind the policy. This option is dependent upon the insurer as not all insurers offer this facility
2. Payment in full to us via EFT, credit card, cheque or cash. Banking details are on our invoice.
3. Bpay details are also shown on our invoice.
4. Premium funding where your payments are combined with other policies into one lump sum and paid monthly. Additional fees are charged but this option does assist with cashflow.
Why is my home sum insured higher than the advertised building prices for homes.
Often advertised building prices for homes do not include items such as concrete footings, airconditioning, floor coverings, garden paths, driveways and other landscaping items. Other considerations also need to be given such as council fees and architect design costs.
I haven’t checked the replacement value of the property in some years, but my friend says the insurance company automatically increases the replacement value each year? Is that right?
Unfortunately most home owners are underinsured meaning that annual increases still won’t be sufficient if you are starting from an incorrect figure. We recommend you utilise our home replacement tool to assist as a guide in calculating your home sum insured or contact a quantity surveyor to receive an actual building replacement cost assessment.
Does the house contents policy provide new for old cover?
Often it does, but you must check at the time you take out the insurance, and if you have forgotten to do so, make sure you ask well before the cooling-off period has expired.
What if my circumstances change during the policy period?
Many policies require you to notify the Insurer in writing of any material change to the insured risk during the period of insurance. The Insurer can then decide whether to cover the new risk. For example, Insurers must be advised of any:
o Change your profession or occupation;
o Mergers or acquisitions;
o New products or services;
If you are in doubt as to whether the Insurer should be told about any particular change to the insured risk, please contact us.
Why should I tell my insurance company about something that has happened to me in the last twelve months, even if it increases their risk, if they do not ask it on the policy?
Before you enter into a Contract of general insurance with an Insurer, you have a duty under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 to disclose to the Insurer every matter that you know, or could reasonably expect to know, is relevant to the Insurer’s decision whether to accept the risk of Insurance and if so, on what terms. You have the same duty to disclose those matters to the Insurer before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate a Contract of general insurance. Your duty however does not require disclosure of a matter:
o that diminishes the risk to be undertaken by the Insurer
o that is common knowledge
o that your Insurer knows or, in the ordinary course of business, ought to know
o as to which the compliance with your duty is waived by the Insurer.
If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, the Insurer may be entitled to reduce the liability under the Contract in respect of a claim or may cancel the Contract. If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, the Insurer may also have the option of avoiding the Contract from its beginning.