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INSURANCE LAW - Life Insurance
Related Topics : Auto Insurance . Business Insurance . Disability Insurance . Health Insurance . Insurer's Bad Faith . Life Insurance Law . Property Insurance
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OTHER POINTERS FOR POLICYHOLDERS ?

  1. Replacement can be expensive. Canceling a life policy you already have and purchasing a new one is called "replacement" or sometimes "twisting". This action is not advisable. Sometimes you may be advised by an agent to surrender your policy with a company and take up a new one with another company and the agent induces you to take such an action by making incomplete and biased comparison between companies or policies issued by companies.

    If you are urged to cancel a policy, or advised to borrow on any existing policy and to buy a new one, DO NOT REPLACE a policy without fully discussing the proposed change with your company. Provide the necessary details to the representative of your company for e.g.:
    1. the description of the new policy and any other cover proposed to be purchased.
    2. details of any financing involved and the interest rates quoted.
    3. provide copies of the proposal made to you with the supporting forms.
    4. Provide the name of the agent making the proposal.
    Replacement of a policy is usually not in your best interest for the following reasons:
    1. The new policy is likely to be at a higher premium because you are older
    2. Your new premium must provide for the initial cost of writing the insurance policy a second time and this will be reflected in the slow build-up of cash values.
    3. The two year period of contestibility will begin again.
    4. Existing policies may have more favorable provisions than new policies in such areas as settlement options and disability benefits.
    5. Your present life insurance company can often make the change you want at a lower cost to you.

    BEWARE OF AGENTS who try to convince you to replace your policy by unfairly criticizing your present company or agent.
  1. Make sure your family or dependants are aware of the existence of your policy. Here is some advise about beneficiaries and for beneficiaries:

    1. Let the beneficiary know the kind of insurance policy you have, any change you make, and where you keep the policy.
    2. Keep your policy in a safe place, and have the basic information - company, policy type, policy number, insuredís and beneficiarieís or beneficiariesí names - in a separate place. However, do not use a safe deposit box or any place where the policy might not be readily available.
    3. Have a contingent (secondary) beneficiary in case the primary beneficiary dies before you.
    4. Ensure the company has the beneficiaryís address and it must be informed of any change in that address.

  2. Keep note of the premium due dates.

  3. Have your age admitted by the insurance company at the soonest possible. In the case of death and if there is a mis-statement in the age, the company would pay an amount equal to the amount of insurance which the premium would have been purchased at the correct age. The amount paid could be more or less than the face amount, depending on whether the insuredís age was overstated or understated.

  4. Review your insurance needs regularly to ensure they are adequately covered by the existing policy or policies.

  5. WHEN IN DOUBT of anything relating to your policy, SEEK CLARIFICATION from the insurance company.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN INSURANCE COMPANIES AND THE CONSUMER OR POLICYHOLDERS ?

Insurance Mediation Bureau (IMB) has been established to offer high standards of consumer protection for fair dealing with policyholders. Under this self-regulatory scheme IMB is required to resolve disputes between Insurance companies and the consumer or policyholders in an independent, cost-effective, efficient, informal and fair way. There is no charge for the Mediator's services.

However, you must make sure that your complaint must :
i) first be referred to the Senior Management of the Insurance Company to give them the opportunity to resolve it;

ii) be referred to the Mediator within 6 months of your receiving the final decision of the Senior Management;

iii) concern you personally (for example, your motor insurance or household contents); and

iv) relate to a policy issued in Malaysia.
If your complaint is not one which the Mediator can investigate you will be advised of what other steps are open to you.

The Mediator cannot investigate your complaint if : i) the matter is the subject of legal proceedings or arbitration;

ii) the dispute is between you and someone elseís insurer, i.e. third party claim;

iii) the matter concerns a policy which relates to a commercial risk.
Any policyholder who is not satisfied with the decision of the Senior Management of an insurance company may write to the Mediator at : Insurance Mediation Bureau
4th Floor, Wisma Harwant
106 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
50100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. (6) 03 293 9419 or 293 9623
Fax. (6) 03 293 6816
giving details of the dispute, the name of the insurance company, policy number and copies of correspondence between the policyholder and the company.

When the Mediator makes a decision he will send it to you and to your insurer. You may accept or reject the decision. If you accept the decision, your insurer must pay you any award up to RM100,000.00.

If you reject it, the decision is canceled and you are at liberty to proceed to Arbitration if so provided by the policy or to initiate proceedings in Court. A rejected decision does not affect your right to take subsequent legal action.

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Last Updated : Thursday, 25 August 2011 - 05:30:55 AM EDT©1999-2000
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