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Insurance policies: “fine” letters are prohibited

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& nbsp & nbspΘεανώ Θειοπούλου & nbsp; & nbsp;

Although many find it tedious and time consuming to read exhaustively what the insurance policy they sign says, carefully reading contracts of all types – life, health, car, property – protects against many problems that can be found in the annexes. of contracts.

The process is almost the same, as when the interested party wants to get a loan from the bank and should know in every detail the characteristics of the contract, the costs and above all to clarify any questions. If, therefore, it is assumed that any interested party conducts a careful market research on life, pension or health insurance products before signing an insurance policy, he should definitely read carefully and compare the similar products that interest him and then make his choice.

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Sales of products in the EU

The European Commission states that insurance companies can sell their products anywhere in the EU – either by establishing themselves in other countries or by providing their cross-border services directly, e.g. through their websites, or through intermediaries. Therefore, the interested party can do market research in Europe to find the most attractive insurance products (eg life insurance, home insurance and car insurance). This option only applies to private insurance and occupational pension schemes and not to compulsory social security and legal pension rights based on years of service.

Insurance products can be sold either directly by insurance companies (often through websites), or through insurance intermediaries (brokers, agents), or by companies such as airlines and travel agencies, opticians or electronics retailers. Before signing an insurance policy, sellers of insurance products must & nbsp; provide some basic information about themselves and the insurance product they are buying.

Before signing

Before signing an insurance policy, the customer must obtain a standard information document, known as an “insurance product information document”. This document will help to better understand what the person is buying and to compare offers for similar insurance products from other insurers. These rules do not apply to life insurance products. The document that the client will receive must be short (no longer than two A4 pages), clearly worded and provide the following information:

● the name of the insurance product and the insurance company providing it

● type of insurance

● what insurance covers

δεν what it does not cover

περιο any restrictions in terms of coverage

● your obligations

● when and how to pay

● when the coverage starts and ends

● how you can cancel the insurance policy

Before the client signs a contract, the person or company selling the insurance product must also state whether he or she is acting as an agent or broker and is related to the insurance company providing the product. For example, it must indicate whether it is receiving a commission from the insurance company to sell its products.

Plain language

The insurance product information document is written in plain language to facilitate the understanding of the contents of this document by the customer, and focuses on the basic information that the customer needs in order to make an informed decision. Specialized terminology should be avoided. Insured persons should be especially careful in reading the terms contained in the “fine print” of the contracts. Proper reading can avoid misunderstandings and pitfalls, which can create problems in the future.

The expiration of a contract

Many times the question arises when an insurance contract expires and what happens in the event that the insured dies or a serious accident occurs. The terms of the contracts state in detail everything that covers these cases, with small differences from company to company. Thus, the termination of a contract can lead to the untimely payment of premiums by the insured to the company. Of course, there is the possibility of returning the contract to effect, but the insured may have an additional charge.

Car insurance premiums

Car insurance premiums vary between EU countries, mainly due to differences in national contract legislation, risk assessment and compensation schemes or due to the complex and costly management of international claims. In some EU countries the insurance claims history may have an impact on the premiums the customer has to pay. You may have heard of this practice as a discount in case of non-claims, a bonus in case of non-claims or a bonus-malus system. If the client has not raised claims during the year, the insurer can make a discount when renewing the contract. If, however, claims have been made, higher premiums may & nbsp; be required. However, some insurance companies may take into account the history of claims, so the customer should & nbsp; compare the various offers. You can at any time request from the insurer the history of the insurance & nbsp; claims of the last five years. This history must be given to the customer within 15 days. However, if the consumer has to re-insure his car in another EU country, the new insurer is not obliged to take into account the previous history of claims (or any discounts provided to you) when calculating the premiums. The reason why prices differ so much is that costs are still affected by the local conditions of each country, such as the minimum amounts of compensation provided, the applicable civil liability rules and the cost of repairing vehicles. Even within a country prices can vary depending on where one lives. Insurance companies also have to comply with certain legal obligations in order to be able to insure in EU countries where they have neither headquarters nor branches. This explains why insurance companies usually operate through local branches or partners, as well as why, in practice, you may not easily find an insurer willing to offer you cross-border insurance services.

Premium adjustment

The terms of the insurance contracts include articles which refer to the unreserved right to adjust the insurance premiums by the company. This adjustment is valid from the next insurance year. In the case of health insurance plans, the adjustment is made on an annual basis and is directly related to the age of the insured, the doctors' fees and the cost of the diagnostic and treatment methods.

Validity of mandatory and optional insurance

When registering a car in an EU country, you must insure it against civil liability. This compulsory insurance applies in all EU countries. It covers you if you have an accident that has caused damage to property or injured a third party other than the driver. However, it does not cover other costs (eg the cost of repairing your car). You can also have supplemental, optional insurance, driver insurance coverage, which will cover other risks. This insurance provides wider coverage (eg driver injury, damage to your car, theft of the car/its contents, vandalism, legal aid). There are no supplemental optional car insurance rules across the EU. The customer must check the terms and conditions with the local insurer before leaving for abroad. Insurers may apply different rules in each country. Thus, the insurance could be limited in time (eg for a month abroad) or in distance (eg 150 km from the border of your country), or it could possibly exclude certain countries for certain risk categories (eg theft).

Source: www.philenews.com

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