Is your insurance policy in good standing?

Insurance helps when life throws surprises at you, but managing it can be tricky. One important aspect is making sure that your policy is ‘in good standing’ with the insurance company. This article breaks down what that means, how to keep it that way, and what can happen if it’s not.

What does ‘in good standing’ mean?

The status of your insurance policy, in essence, indicates whether your insurance is active and meeting its requirements. This is essential if your insurance is going to protect you the way it should. If your policy is active and meeting all the necessary conditions, it is said to be in good standing. This means you can count on it to provide the coverage you expect when you need it.

Keeping your policy status in good standing means that you’ve upheld your part of the agreement with your insurance company. This involves paying your premiums on time consistently and fulfilling the necessary policy obligations. If you comply with these terms and conditions, your insurer is obligated to honour their part of the contract and provide coverage for qualifying claims.

Some common policy conditions include:


Who’s driving matters

If you have vehicle insurance, your coverage may depend on who is listed as the regular driver – the person who drives the car most often. Check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully. You may need to notify your insurer if someone else becomes the regular driver.


How you use insured items affects claims

Your insurance might have rules about how you can use what’s insured. For example, if you've insured your car as a private vehicle, you may not be covered if it’s involved in an accident while being used for business – such as making deliveries. Another example is e-hailing services – private vehicle insurance won’t cover a car that is being used for the business of transporting passengers.


Safety measures are a requirement

Some insurance policies only remain active if you take certain safety steps, like using alarms and locking your doors when you leave your house. If you don’t, insurance might not cover things like theft.


Insured events must be reported promptly

You must report any insured events, such as break-ins or flood damage, to your insurance company as soon as possible. The faster you let them know and give them the information they need, the faster your claim can be assessed and paid out.


Effective communication with your insurer goes beyond mere updates

Maintaining your policy in good standing

For a hassle-free claims experience, stay current with your payments. Missing a premium can result in your policy lapsing or being cancelled altogether. Apart from timely payments and adhering to all the terms and conditions of your insurance contract, you also need to refrain from any fraudulent activities or policy violations.

This includes providing accurate and truthful information when you apply for your insurance policy and not submitting false claims, deliberately causing damage to claim, or using your policy for unlawful purposes. Violations of this nature can lead to your insurance policy being declared invalid, resulting in you losing cover.


Life insurance and beneficiary updates

Keeping your life insurance policy in good shape also involves taking care of beneficiary designations. This is the list of beneficiaries who will be paid out by your policy when you pass away. It’s essential to review and update this list from time to time, especially when big life events happen, like getting married, getting divorced, having kids, or if someone in your family passes away.

You want your family members or the organisations you care about, like charities, to receive the financial support they need when you’re no longer around. Update your beneficiary designations as your life changes, and you will have the peace of mind of knowing that the benefits will be paid out as you intended.  


Keep your insurer informed

Effective communication with your insurer goes beyond mere updates. Provide timely, detailed information about critical changes. For instance, notify your insurer of any alterations in your address, contact details, or changes in vehicle usage promptly.

In the case of life insurance, apart from updating your beneficiary information when necessary, you must also notify your insurer about any other relevant changes, like taking up hazardous activities. These updates help ensure that your insurance coverage remains accurate and up to date, so that it can protect you when you need to submit a claim.

Adhere to the policy’s specific reporting timeframes for claims, as outlined in your policy terms. Demonstrating full cooperation throughout the claims process and providing thorough documentation not only speeds up claim assessment and settlement, but also ensures that you remain in good standing with your insurer.