According to a recent survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), even though most Americans feel they have about the right amount of insurance coverage (72 percent), only 33 percent say they understand the details of those policies “very well.”
Luckily, this unfortunate – and often costly – information gap is completely avoidable. That’s why Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and the NAIC are encouraging consumers to get smart about their coverage during the third annual Get Smart About Insurance Week, Jan. 19-23, 2004.
“The main idea behind Get Smart About Insurance Week is educating consumers, not about selling or buying insurance policies,” said Jorge Gomez, commissioner of Insurance. “Our office is here to give consumers impartial insurance information in order to make sure their families are properly covered.”
During NAIC’s Get Smart About Insurance Week, consumers are encouraged to take several steps to become more educated about their insurance coverage.
“Everyone should look over their policies and make sure they understand the coverage areas and conditions outlined in their policies,” Gomez said. “If you have a question or don’t understand a part of your policy, you should contact your agent to get an explanation.”
OCI recommends the following:
Schedule a routine “check-up” with your insurance providers at least once a year. Inquire about the cost benefit of opting for higher deductibles.
Ask specifically about discounts for good driving records, good health, good grades, special education, or training.
Shop around for identical products and services. Not every company charges the same rate.
Remember an insurance policy is a legal document. Read it carefully.
“If consumers have any questions or complaints, they should feel free to contact us,” Gomez said. “We can provide impartial and accurate answers to your insurance-related questions, and we also understand the unique insurance needs of people living in Wisconsin.”
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