How To Verify Insurance
Insurance is needed for a wide variety of reasons. This means that verifying an insurance policy can take a number of different forms. The first thing that must be determined is what type of insurance needs to be verified and for what reason. A landlord, for example, might require proof of renter's insurance. Once that determination is made, here's how to verify insurance so that the needed information will be on-hand.
1. Ask To Be Added As An Interested Party.
Most insurance companies will add interest parties to an insurance policy when requested by the policy holder. This won't give the interested parties access to personal information about the insurance, but it will give them updates about whether it is still active insurance, what it covers, and more importantly, what it doesn't cover. Consider asking for this first to limit the paperwork, but if your agency won't receive direct benefits from the policy if enforced, the request may be denied.
2. Ask For a Coverage Summary.
Insurance companies provide a coverage summary that completely outlines the benefits of a policy. This can be completed for virtually all types of insurance, including surety bonds. It will let people know what is covered and by what amount. Deductible amounts may or may not be included on this summary sheet as well. Make sure that the policy number and contact information for the insurance company are included on the document.
3. Obtain a Certificate Of Insurance.
This document is used to provide specific details about an insurance policy. It will also name who is insured, what their policy number happens to be, and what the effective period of the insurance happens to be. It also will offer information on the types and limits of coverage in specific categories. Under a renter's insurance plan, for example, it might spell out a $1,200 limit of jewelry or electronic devices.
4. Ask For The Insurance Card.
Some insurance policies are represented by a card or other small token that has the critical information of the policy included on it. A good example of this would be an automobile insurance card that is kept in the glove box of a vehicle. These cards are often issued for other policies as well, so if the other documentation options are available, then consider requesting this small summary item to get the data that you need.
5. Call The Insurance Agency.
Simply seeing the data on the paperwork or cards isn't good enough to actually verify the insurance policy. It's simple enough to create a realistic looking document that makes it look like an individual is adequately covered with modern technology, so contact the insurance agent directly regarding the policy. Don't call the phone number for the agent that is listed on the document or card without checking to see if it is a legitimate number. Then just ask for verification of the policy number and that it is active.
6. Make The Verification In Writing.
If you can't contact the insurance agent that issued the policy being verified for some reason, then you can make this request in writing instead of if you wish. Emails and fax requests are also viable options. Just let the insurance agent know that you're trying to verify the authenticity of the policy by the issuer of the policy. Send it off and then wait for a response.
7. Ask For Tax Documentation.
Sometimes tax payments are deductible, so they'll be claimed on a person's tax returns. If all of the other options have failed and the individual involved is insistent that they really do have the insurance you're attempting to verify, then this might be an option. To claim the deduction, there may be a required to list who the insurance company happens to be. This can be used as a first-contact and then it is just a matter of tracking down the policy that the individual holds.
8. See The Policy Yourself.
Sometimes verifying an insurance policy is as simple as seeing the documentation of the policy and canceled checks to verify payment on it. Ask for a copy of the canceled check from the bank or credit union instead of a carbon copy from the individual. If they paid by a credit or debit card, request a screenshot of the payment with the authorization number and then verify the payment directly with the agency. Knowing how to verify insurance can help to prevent a future headache. Use the options today to get a policy verified and you'll be able to move forward.
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