Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Check the Fine Print: Situations That Could Invalidate Your Insurance Coverage

Written by Linda Rey on February 10, 2011 in Insurance  |   3 comments

Check the Fine Print: Situations That Could Invalidate Your Insurance Coverage Even I was frightened when I started writing this blog. Wondering, “Will that claim be covered?” is one of the worst parts of an insurance agent’s job. Sometimes the dreaded claims adjuster informs the…

Check the Fine Print: Situations That Could Invalidate Your Insurance Coverage

Even I was frightened when I started writing this blog. Wondering, “Will that claim be covered?” is one of the worst parts of an insurance agent’s job. Sometimes the dreaded claims adjuster informs the insured (and the agent) that a claim is not covered because the coverage has been invalidated in some way. That’s when the broker’s job gets tough.

You should always check the fine print of your insurance policy to make sure you’re not doing something that could invalidate your insurance coverage. Here are some situations to look out for:

Nonpayment of Premium

The easiest and most common way to invalidate your insurance coverage is by not paying your premium on time.

We had a client who didn’t pay his homeowner’s insurance premium for two years. Unfortunately, his home was damaged in a fire, and when he tried to file a claim, the policy didn’t pay. This client then tried to fight with us, claiming it was our fault he didn’t pay his premium on time.

Your insurance agent will probably send you a bill and maybe a reminder when it’s time for you to renew your policy, but it’s your responsibility to make sure the bills get paid. Don’t let payment due dates slip by and find yourself responsible for large late fees or, like our client, without coverage.

Put a reminder on your calendar for all bill due dates and policy renewal dates. You may be able to set up automatic withdrawal payments for your insurance policies. Making sure your premiums get paid on time will help you avoid late-payment fees and ensure your insurance coverage stays valid.

Material Misrepresentation

With life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and long-term health care insurance policies, you may come across a contestability provision. The contestability provision allows the carrier to investigate to determine if there was any misrepresentation at the time of your insurance application.

On life insurance and disability insurance applications, you have to answer questions about your health. Then you sign an authorization form that is essentially an oath saying you answered the questions accurately, to the best of your knowledge. The answers you provide influence the insurance company’s decision to accept or reject your coverage.

Some people with health concerns might be tempted to twist the truth in order to keep the premium down or guarantee coverage. This happens frequently with smokers. The premium for a smoker could potentially be double that of a nonsmoker. Wanting to pay less, a smoker might claim to be a nonsmoker. If the insurance company finds out that you are a smoker—or if you lied about something else on your application—that’s a quick way to lose your coverage.

Additional Insured

This kind of invalidation usually happens with business policies. Sometimes contract obligations require an insured business to add a client as an additional insured. This most frequently occurs when a business hires subcontractors. The insurance company may require the insured business to add clients as additional insured to protect against any injury during the course of services rendered. If our client doesn’t notify us of additional insured parties, or the agent doesn’t notify the carrier, a claim could potentially be denied.
Change of Use

We had a client who moved out of state and didn’t tell us her house was vacant. While our client was out of state, a pipe burst in her vacant home, flooding the basement.

Since the house was insured as an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, and not a vacant home, the carrier was suspicious and did an extensive investigation. Different coverage is provided for owner-occupied homes and vacant homes, and the carrier was leaning toward denying the claim. In the end, the client ended up dropping the claim.

As a homeowner or property owner, you have an obligation to maintain your property to prevent and mitigate damage. If you have a vacant home or an investment property, the insurance is available, but it will be more expensive because you are not present 100 percent of the time to provide care, custody, and control of the property.

As with most issues of insurance coverage, the best way to avoid these mistakes and other ways of invalidating your insurance coverage is to be honest with your insurance agent about your situation and the type of coverage you need.

Linda Rey is a licensed insurance agent at Rey Insurance with a broad spectrum of expertise in life, accident, health, property and casualty insurance as well as retirement planning and college funding strategies.

Follow Linda on Twitter.

READ MORE:

Is Pet Insurance Right for You and Your Pet?
Renter’s Insurance: Do You Need It, and What Does It Cover?
How to Choose the Best Insurance Agent
Choosing the Right High-Deductible Health Insurance Plan

3 comments

  1. Editor, Equifax Personal Finance Blog says:

    Comment from Jeremy at ActiveRain:

    Unfortunately, I hear about this all the time. It is important to have all the coverage you'll ever need. We recently had a drainage ditch back up and flood a local neighborhood with 3 feet of water. Since it was not in the flood zone and a low income area, not one house had flood insurance.

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/2129202/check-the-fine-print-situations-that-could-invalidate-your-insurance-coverage

  2. Editor, Equifax Personal Finance Blog says:

    Comment from Larry at ActiveRain:

    This is so true and unfortunately people don't find the answer until something bad happens. Roofs collapsing, frozen pipes, etc here in the NE. I just wrote a blog on how a Realtor was blamed by the insuarance company when the pipes froze and are refusing to pay…..

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/2129202/check-the-fine-print-situations-that-could-invalidate-your-insurance-coverage

  3. Editor, Equifax Personal Finance Blog says:

    Comment from Kevin on ActiveRain:

    As a Real Estate agent who handles short sales in Massachusetts, I am running into insurance companies that will not pay a frozen pipe claim on unoccupied houses.

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/2129202/check-the-fine-print-situations-that-could-invalidate-your-insurance-coverage


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Insurance Archive