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Home insurance quotes and mis-selling

Many insurers continue to reply on their network of agents to complete the selling process. So even if you obtain multiple homeowners insurance quotes online, you may still be forced to complete the purchase through a local agent. If this happens, you may be at risk of mis-selling. Although the vast majority of agents are honest and will never do anything to cause you problems, it is a fact that their income usually depends on the commission they earn when transactions are completed. This opens the door to temptation. Suppose an agent realizes your application for a policy will be rejected. Needing the commission, he or she therefore completes the application form for you, changing the relevant information or omitting critical information. When you sign the application form, you are certifying that all the information is complete and accurate. If the insurer should later discover the form is inaccurate, it can cancel the policy and leave you without any claim. This should give you an incentive to protect yourself.

Never allow anyone else to complete the form for you. You should attempt to answer all questions yourself. If you need help, try to ask someone independent who will not benefit if the insurer is deceived. If there is no one to ask, do not guess. Put in whatever you think is the right answer followed by a note explaining the problem. When the policy is delivered, you usually have fifteen days to go through it to check everything is in order. At the very least check the maximum amount payable if you claim, how much the annual premium is and the installments (if any), how you are to pay, and the details of what is included and excluded from the policy. If you find anything wrong, give the insurer immediate notice in writing. Failure to do so means the entire point of buying home insurance could be defeated. You could be left with your home in ruins and have no right to claim. If the insurer rejects your protests of mis-selling, refer to the local Insurance Commissioner for help.

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