Insurance - are you really covered?

Are cheap premiums worth the risk? 
Too often, an insurance company's refusal to pay is not justified. For example, many years ago I gained a reputation as a lawyer for taking on insurance companies because of some successes I had e.g. AAMI refused to pay when a client's car was stolen from his driveway and torched. The reason they gave for not paying? He forgot to tell them that he had lost his licence which was technically a breach of the insurance policy. I got him the full payout because, under the Insurance Contracts Act, the company could not refuse to pay the claim because of a breach which did not cause or contribute to the loss.

Sometimes the refusal to pay is justified and the problem lies in the fact that people do not read insurance policies. They think they are covered but they are not. There should be a standard form for each type of policy to overcome the problem, but that is another issue.

Some insurance companies make it extremely difficult to make a claim which also results in people giving up – it's just not worth the effort. Below is an example of this which involved a claim that I personally made and is one of the reasons I set up BuyersVoice.

What should you watch out for? The most important thing is to take care in choosing your insurance company. Check their reputation before you sign up. There is no point in getting a cheap premium if they're not going to pay you when you make a claim. It is also important to make sure that your policy really does cover what you think it does.
Let's hear your story – either make a comment below or preferably submit a complaint.
Russell Wheeler 
CEO and Consumer Advocate
Complaint Focus
Travel Insurance Direct
Travel Insurance Direct is pretty good at marketing but not so good at paying a genuine claim. The documentary evidence which they required before they would consider paying my claim is more than a court of law would require (in my opinion as a solicitor who has practised law for over 30 years). In other words, they seem to be one of those insurance companies which makes it as difficult as possible for a person to make a claim on an insurance policy which they have paid for. 

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