17 June 2016
Reassuringly insured: 3 important tips
Insurance can sometimes seem complex. According to a survey carried out by iVox, 73% of Belgians admit to being a little lost when it comes to insurance… And six out of ten Belgians don’t even know how much they are paying in total for their insurance cover. Yet, insurance is meant to make your life more secure! Home insurance (fire, theft and third-party liability insurance), car insurance and assistance insurance... Having the right cover offers you security against unforeseen events and means you don’t have to pay for any damage incurred yourself. But how should you choose what insurance policy to take out?
3 tips to remember
- Take your time when choosing insurance policies.
- Evaluate your policies each year.
- Do not be afraid of increasing your premiums.
Take your time when choosing insurance policies
The risks involved in choosing an insurance policy come from wanting to get it done too quickly. Insurance premiums can vary between insurance companies even if the conditions are the same - you need to compare them. But be careful! Simply using price comparison sites is not necessarily a good idea. These sites do not always mention the quality of the service provided or show all of the options and accompanying clauses. There are plenty of cases where a lower premium means less cover. So there are good reasons to compare prices, but you should also compare the services and assistance offered should an incident occur. (How easy is it to get in contact? What is the procedure for registering an incident? Is there a smartphone app? etc.)
Take as much time as you need to compare similar insurance policies, and take out a policy that suits you. Making hasty decisions can sometimes lead to very expensive surprises. Whether you use the services of an advisor or you sign up online, make sure you carefully read the information on what is covered and ask questions.
Review your insurance policies on time
Do you renew your insurance contracts every year without stopping to think about it? Watch out! You run the risk of being insured twice over. This would be the case, for instance, if you already have hospital insurance and then your employer offers it as well. In order to prevent such situations, you should review your policies at the latest three months before their renewal date.
Raise the premiums if necessary
No-one likes increasing the amount they spend on insurance. Until the point they realise they are under-insured. Let’s imagine the current value of your property is EUR 40,000, but for years you have been covered for the sum of EUR 25,000. In the event of the total loss of this property, you would be reimbursed a maximum of EUR 25,000. If a quarter of your property were damaged, you would receive, at most, a quarter of EUR 25,000 (the amount insured), and not a quarter of EUR 40,000 (the actual value).
By contrast, you could also be over-insured. For instance, the value of your property is EUR 25,000 but you are paying an insurance premium that covers you for a property worth EUR 40,000. You are essentially throwing your money away, because you will never be reimbursed more than the actual value of the damage incurred. You should therefore calculate the value of your property extremely carefully, adding on a small margin of error.
First and foremost, check whether you have all the necessary or important insurance cover. This will allow you to see the risks you are covered for. Do you have any more questions about insurance? Make an appointment at your ING branch or call our help desk on +32 2 464 60 04.
Are you an expat? Check your insurance cover!
As an expat, you will often be covered by insurance policies that are paid for by the company employing you. But it is important to check what these policies cover. Who is covered? Just you as an employee or your whole family? Do you have to be married for your partner to be covered too? Is a dependent child who is studying abroad still covered? Speak to your employer to find out the answers to these questions.
If you keep insurance policies in your home country, check that they definitely offer international cover. When you move to a foreign country, there are many kinds of insurance that are no longer valid. Car insurance is a good example. The insurance company in your home country will very rarely agree to cover a car that is registered in the country you are moving to.
You will need to pay even closer attention to your assistance insurance. This will mention in its terms and conditions that your cover will be automatically terminated if you leave the country for more than a certain number of months, unless you have international cover. Before leaving your home country, don’t forget to cancel this type of insurance cover and to take out an international policy, or a new policy in the country you are moving to.