- Category: Application
- Published: Wednesday, 17 October 2012 18:43
- Written by Doug Hartley
- Hits: 1349
Whenever you APPLY for insurance the document that is transmitted to the insurance company is called an APPLICATION. The insurance application contains lots of information about what is being insured (such as a house, car, boat, motorcycle, etc.), who owns it, what limits are desired, what you agree to pay for a premium, other interested parties who have a stake in what is being insured, addresses of the parties, the name of the insurance company and the effective and expiration dates. The application also requires you and your agent to sign certain areas indicating what you have agreed to and that you understand what might happen if you misrepresent important and relevant information required by the company to make a decision.
The application for insurance may also spell out what your rights are as a consumer and since in Oregon the insurance companies have the right to check your credit, by signing the application you are agreeing to let them check your credit. The application should inform you of other consumer reports the insurance company can check to verify the information you gave your agent is true. These reports can include a search for other drivers or cars in the household, claims or accidents you've had with other companies and, of course, in the case of car insurance, your driving record.
The agent or company should give you a copy of the completed and signed application upon your request. The copy of the application together with your identification cards, receipt and binder are all proof that you paid for insurance and what your paid for on a temporary basis until the contract is issued to you and other interested parties. You then need to store the application in a safe place in your home or place of business and await the issuance of the policy. Once you receive the policy you can review it and compare the limits, coverages and descriptions of coverage to your application to be sure it was issued according to what you requested on the application.
Some companies now prepare the application in electronic form and transmit it to you in the form of an email or have you visit a website, giving you a log in user name or policy number and password. You then must review the application for it's completeness and sign it electronically. These electronic applications should give you the option to save and store the application either on the insurance company's server for later retrieval or on your own personal computer or device. You may then, if you decide, print the application in paper form. The most important thing is to have at hand any identification cards to put in land vehicles that may be required to show a law enforcement officer.
It is not a good idea to leave an application laying around for others to steal. An insurance application has all of your personal data or that of your company and is a source for identity theft. Keep it safe and locked away with other important personal documents. Insurance companies are getting better at blanking out sensitive data items like social security numbers and drivers license numbers before the document is printed. That way if you inadvertently lose the form, your personal data isn't completely exposed.
In the old days a copy of the application came in handy in case the original 'got lost in the mail'. That doesn't happen as much any more with electronic transmission of the application. But it can happen if the agent or company has a server or computer crash. Hang on to that application!