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I Need To Make A Claim On My Insurance Policy. Do I Need To Look For My Agent?

What happens if the agent I bought the policy from is no longer with my insurer?

Most of us have at least one, if not more, insurance policies. These policies could be health, life and general insurance that we have bought.

Most of the time, we buy these insurance policies hoping never to have to claim from them. However, when an insured event does occur, we will need to submit our claim in order to receive our insurance payout.

For most people, claiming on our insurance policy is not something that we have that much experiences dealing with. As such, it isn’t a surprise that the first person most of us would turn to are the insurance agents who sold us the policies.

But is contacting our agent the only thing we can do? What if the agent whom we bought the policies from is no longer with the company? What then should we do?

When You Buy An Insurance Policy, You Are Buying It From The Insurer, Not The Agent

Some of us may have bought insurance policies from people whom we know as a way to show them our support. The rational is simple; if we need an insurance policy, we may as well give our business to someone we know.

When you think about it, this is actually ideal and goes beyond just friendship. If something unfortunate does happen to us, we would prefer for our dependents to be able to turn to someone that they know who can help them handle their insurance claims, rather than to be further weigh down having to collect information and needing to submit the required paperwork for the claims to be made.

However, we must remember that while it may be convenient for us to buy insurances from someone that we know and trust, we need to remember that ultimately, we are buying a policy from the insurer, rather than the agent.

Your Agent May Not Always Work With The Same Insurer

Agents, just like any other workers in Singapore, are free to move from one insurer to another, or to even leave the industry entirely.

Let’s be clear here. There is no moral obligation on the part of an agent to stay with one single insurer. Like all of us, they can and should make the best decision for their own career.

Buying an insurance policy from an agent expecting that he or she will continue to stay on with the same insurer throughout the entire duration of your policy is unrealistic.

So while you are free to show your support to your friend as much as you like to, you should also understand that any policy(s) that you buy is ultimately with the insurer.

Read Also: Three Lessons I Learned After Leaving the Financial Industry

What Happens When My Agent Switches Insurer?

Some people make the mistake of thinking that their policies are tied to their agents. This makes them worried on what happens to them if their agents were to leaves one insurer for another.

The simple answer to the question is that nothing happens. Policies that you have bought with the insurer continue to remain enforced. It’s your policies and your responsibility to ensure that you continue paying your premiums on time to avoid your policies from lapsing.

Most insurance companies will reassign another agent to you. This may very well be someone that you have no prior relationship with. This reiterates the importance of remembering that any policies that you buy are ultimately with your insurer. So make sure you really need a policy before you buy it, not just because your good friend or relative is selling it to you.

Read Also: The AIA Incident: Valuable Lessons We Can Learn On Why It’s Important To Understand The Purpose Of Insurance

How Do I Make Claims On My Policies? 

It’s a misconception to think that you can only claim on your insurance policies through your assigned agent.

As a policyholder, you or your legal representative (in the case of your death) can submit your claims directly with the insurer. You will need to complete the claim forms, which are mostly available for download on the website of the insurer.

The insurer, upon receiving your claim submission, will process the information and may ask you for additional information that may be required.

What your agent can come in to help you with is to make the entire claim process easier for you. He or she can help you print out the form, advise you (or your legal representative) on the paperwork required for the claim submission and help you file your claim. Your agent is also likely to have prior experience with other clients and can share with you on what to expect.

Do note that the agent helping you do not necessarily need to be the assigned agent to your policy, or even the agent who sold you the policy. Any agent can play the role of helping you with your claim process though it’s probably fair to expect an agent from the insurer you bought the policies from having more experience in this regard. If your agent appears unwilling to help you, you might want to ask yourself why you even bought the policy from him or her in the first place.

To end off, we have to remind ourselves that while it’s good to have one or two trusted agents that we can rely on for insurance matters, we must be mindful that any products from these agents sell us are with the insurer.

So buy what you need, not just because you want to support the person selling you the product.

Read Also: What Happens When Insurance Agents Are Paid Huge Sums Of Money To Join Another Company?