Rodney Times - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

In­sur­ance is sup­posed to be there when you most need it.

It should pay off the mort­gage should you die, cover the bills if you fall crit­i­cally ill, or pay for daily nurs­ing should you be­come per­ma­nently dis­abled.

And yet, each pol­icy is filled with ‘‘ex­clu­sions’’ and ‘‘re­stric­tions’’ on when claims will, and will not be paid.

Don’t get me wrong. I love in­sur­ance. My dad, who took his in­sur­ance se­ri­ously, died young, so I know the value to a fam­ily.

But you have to ap­proach in­sur­ers with your eyes wide open, and that means read­ing the poli­cies you buy to en­sure you know what you are cov­ered for, and the times when in­sur­ers will de­cline your claim.

Read­ing your poli­cies is the only cure for the mag­i­cal think­ing that many peo­ple bring to in­sur­ance, which pretty much amounts to this: If some­thing bad hap­pens, the in­surer will pay.

Well, this top 10 should re­veal that that is not al­ways true. Know, don’t guess

Read your poli­cies

Send in your med­i­cal notes

You do not al­ways need to have been charged for an in­surer to con­sider you were com­mit­ting a crime. Some­times, your crime has to be ‘‘ma­te­ri­ally’’ il­le­gal. Keep those speed and blood-al­co­hol lev­els down while driv­ing.

Some poli­cies, such as travel in­sur­ance, re­quire a level of com­mon sense. Reck­less be­hav­iour, like a self­guided trip around a Manila slum, may not be viewed very favourably at claims time.

‘‘In­sur­ers pre­fer you not to do things with a high chance of death or in­jury.’’

In­sur­ers pre­fer you not to do things with a high chance of death or in­jury. Ri­ot­ing is one, as is head­ing off to war, or get­ting blown up by a ter­ror­ist. And yet, some of the word­ing on some life in­sur­ance poli­cies is very broad. Just be­ing caught in a riot, with­out be­ing an in­sti­ga­tor, can be enough. Should you die, or be hurt us­ing them, your

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