Life is made up of partnerships which rely heavily on trust; you marry a partner, start a business with a partner, your bank is often seen as a partner, but perhaps one of the most important partnerships that you can have is one with your long-term insurance company – after all you trust that they will take care of your partners should something happen to you.
And just as you share important life changes with your loved ones and partners, so should you share some of your important life changes with your insurer.
Why you may ask? Well, the consequences of not updating your details with your insurer, or making them aware of certain changes may affect your financial plans, from a simple change in bank account to your medical condition, have the potential to affect the lives of yourself and those you love most, should the unexpected happen.
To help you understand these changes - 1Life has compiled ten of the most important items you should notify your insurer about:
Your contact detailsRegular communication between you and your insurer can’t be stressed enough, this will assist in keeping you updated on changes to your policy, such as premium increases or any important information and news about your insurer. The correct contact details will also notify you right away if anything fraudulent were to take place, imagine having your beneficiary details updated without your consent or knowledge? There’s a possibility of this happening if your insurer doesn’t have your correct contact details, in order to reach you effectively.
Your bank account detailsIf you’ve changed your bank account, then informing your insurer in time for the next deduction is paramount. This helps ensure that your policy doesn’t lapse by missing a payment from a returned debit order, and saves you unnecessary costs incurred via the bank transactions, in such instances. For example, consumers may have to pay over R100 for a returned debit order payment, creating unnecessary expenses.
Your salary payment dateIf payroll decides to change the company’s payment date or you start a new job with a different salary payment date, you will need to inform your insurer so that they can debit your account on the correct day. Your policy could lapse or even cancel should your account be debited well ahead of time or much later after your pay date and you don’t have enough funds in your account.
Any change in your occupationOne of the questions your insurance company will ask you when signing up for cover is your occupation. This is done to determine your risk profile. For example, if you change your 9 - 5 office job to chase your dream of becoming a professional sportsperson, your insurance would possibly consider you to be higher risk based on the type of injuries sustained in such careers. This new career may also bring a new salary, which will possibly impact the amount of cover you should have, as life cover is fundamentally there to replace your income if you are no longer around.
Whilst this may affect your monthly premiums, it will ensure that sufficient provision is made for you and your family’s well-being, in the event that something should happen to you.
If you have experienced a life changing event such as marriage, divorce, birth/adoption, buying a house or opening a businessYou may need to increase your cover, in order to manage your growing family, protect your newly purchased dream home or new business in order to ensure you and your family are financially protected and that your legacy can live on, long after you are no longer around.
You are taking up an extreme sport as a hobbyIt may not seem like a big deal to take up a new and exciting hobby but should it turn out to be a case of extreme sports such as rock climbing or hang-gliding, you will need to share this crucial information to update as your risk profile before taking up that part time sky-diving instructor job.
You are leaving the country on a trip or relocating Your much-anticipated family holiday overseas is finally here and although you may not realise it during the excitement of packing your luggage bag, sharing details of your overseas trip with your insurer is an important part of the planning process.
In some instances insurers may not provide cover for policyholders if they travel to countries, affected by war or those known to be home to highly infectious diseases. So before boarding your flight it is important to know you are covered to ensure your family is not left financially stranded should something happen to you while travelling.
Your medical/health condition/status has changedOne of the most determining factors for your monthly insurance premium is your health. While most insurers will accept your risk profile at policy inception, there are some instances that may result in changes to your policy such as a change in your smoking status.
As overwhelming and emotional it may feel at the time, it’s important to always declare all newly diagnosed medical conditions to your insurer, should these arise after purchasing your insurance policy as it could affect you and your family at the very time you need it most.
Your debt has increasedPurchasing life insurance is an act of protecting yourself and your loved ones. Any changes to your financial status including increased debt that you incur may leave your loved ones liable for that debt, should you pass away.
If your debt has increased disclose this to your insurer, to ensure that your life insurance is enough to cover it should something happen to you and give your family sound financial protection, even in your absence.
Your nominated beneficiary has changed/or their details have changedIn the event you pass on and your life insurer needs to pay out your life insurance amount to your nominated beneficiary, your insurer will need to have your beneficiary’s most up to date details. In addition you may have just got divorced or remarried and need to remove or change a beneficiary to ensure that the right people will be taken care of.
ConclusionWith all life’s uncertainties and constant changes, you need provide your insurance company with all your correct personal information to ensure that there are no problems when the time comes to use the benefits your policy provides.
Don’t wait, if your important personal details have changed, contact your insurer today and get all your financial ducks in a row!