Taking out insurance is a process that usually involves many complex steps that can be tough to understand, even for those who already have some degree of knowledge about the industry.
Because many terms and conditions are often written in fine print, getting familiar with all of them is another challenge to add to the already long list.
While most insurance providers will be happy to guide you through every element of a policy you’re interested in, some may not be as honest and trustworthy.
In fact, there’s an abundance of life insurance scams and practices that put customers at a disadvantage, waiting for those who aren’t experienced enough to spot them.
That’s why, before you decide to trust any insurance agent, you should familiarize yourself with tips that will make you think twice and help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Let’s get started.
Beware of Email Scams
Contacting people via email is one of the most common ways scammers look for their prey.
They can use a fake email address to introduce themselves as insurance providers or representatives of a company.
Getting fooled by them is easy, as their emails tend to look quite professional and as if they were sent out by a legitimate agent.
They also often include headlines or messages that call you to take action right away.
Scammers are known to offer deals that, on the one hand, seem too good to be true but, on the other, look attractive enough to make you open and read their emails.
For instance, they can offer you a great life insurance plan and provide all the details.
They may ask you to send some personal information back, but if you do so, you’ll never get any other message.
Therefore, if you ever receive an email from an insurance company and deem it suspicious, you shouldn’t hesitate to look for their contact info and ask if they were the ones who sent that email.
In other cases, when you’re not interested in any insurance policy and still receive emails from various agents, delete them.
You won’t be losing on anything because if you ever decide to find an independent Medicare Insurance broker, you can simply google some legitimate companies near you or ask the people you know for referrals.
No email advertising needs to be involved.
Pay Only for Services You Have Received
Keep in mind that if you have health insurance and you receive a medical treatment that’s covered by a health care provider, you should receive an “explanation of benefits.”
This kind of statement will list all the services for which benefits have been paid. Your task is to read them carefully and review everything in order to ensure that you haven’t been billed for treatment you did not receive.
On top of that, you should also double-check the exact prices and confirm that you were not billed for procedures that are more expensive than the ones you were provided.
This practice is known as upcoding and sometimes might be a result of a human error, but in many cases, it can also turn out to be a scam.
If you notice anything that raises your concern, don’t wait to contact your insurers so you can receive an explanation and resolve the problem.
If you suspect fraud, you can also choose to contact the Department of Financial Services and have an actual investigator contact you for details. The matter will be kept confidential.
Watch out for Unreasonably High Premiums for Little Coverage
The premium is the monthly amount of money that you pay for your insurance policy.
It can vary from one insurance provider to another, and the exact amount depends on factors such as your health, age, lifestyle, or even family history.
It’s a common practice for insurance providers to consider your age and the amount of coverage you want to determine your premium.
The older you are, the more you will have to pay because the age increases the chances of you passing away while the policy is still active.
When it comes to scams related to premiums, scammers often convince customers that they should pay an unreasonably high premium for a really small amount of coverage.
If the premium that you’re offered seems inadequate, you should see it as a red flag and take the time to check whether the premium that you’re supposed to pay matches the amount of money your beneficiaries will receive if you pass away.
Additionally, you should remain careful when paying the premium.
It’s better to avoid payment in cash since there is no way to track that money later, which is a perfect outcome for scammers. Instead, you could pay online and use cheques or credit cards.
Moreover, you should confirm the details that are to be mentioned on the cheque to ensure they belong to your insurance company. Remember to always ask for a valid receipt and keep it afterward.
As you can see, getting insurance is a complex process that requires lots of research, effort, and attention.
And when you’re unsure about where to start, it’s best to learn what different companies can offer you.
This way, you’ll be able to see what’s out there, what your possibilities are, and, most importantly, compare different offers to find the most attractive and suitable one.
Keep your eye out for the sneaky scammers by learning how to recognize fraud emails, know how to check whether you have been correctly billed for your benefits, and never trust prices that seem too high or too low to be true.