10 Questions that People Ask Us:
1) I forgot to add on an extra driver to my car policy which has only two listed drivers. The unlisted driver had an accident – am I in trouble?
Answer: You are! The policies clearly state that only the drivers listed are covered. You must inform your agent/insurance company before any additional drivers use the car.
2) I was reversing out of my driveway – no cars were near, I checked. Another driver appeared out of nowhere, obviously driving quickly, and we collided. Who’s at fault?
Answer: In general, anyone coming from a side road into the main road has to be especially careful and the courts will usually rule against the reversing car.
The same applies to anyone making a U-turn (that driver is usually at fault) or crashing into a stationary vehicle (the car behind should have kept a distance).
3) I was involved in an accident with a Palestinian car. The driver admitted responsibility. What are my options?
Answer: Not too many! If the damage is small and the other driver is prepared to pay – go for it. However, if there is major damage there is usually no use in suing a Palestinian insurance company. You have to use your own policy – pay the deductible, lose your non-claim bonus and… smile! (What else?)
4) Will my U.S. life insurance policy cover me in Israel?
Answer: Some do and some exclude it. You must check with your U.S. broker. Israeli policies cover war and terror.
5) Can U.S. citizens invest in Israel?
Answer: This has become increasingly difficult. However, there are still a few options. Contact Yona in our office. By the way, if you are not a U.S. citizen and have nevertheless invested in the U.S. ($60,000 or more), you may be liable to U.S. Estate Taxes. Beware!
6) I’m not an Israeli citizen – can I purchase supplementary health insurance?
Answer: Yes – on condition that you also have Kupat Cholim.
7) I have the highest level of Kupat Cholim cover – why do I need private supplementary health insurance?
Answer: Three main reasons: 1) Private health insurance covers rare expensive medications that are not included in the sal briut – this could cost thousands of shekels a month. 2) Option for surgery overseas – the kupa will only agree to this when no one in Israel can do similar surgery or when it’s already life and death. 3) Transplants – you have cover of $1,000,000 and access to a much wider donor base. Just do it!!
8) My house is worth 2,000,000 NIS but my mortgage bank insures it for much less – why?
Answer: In general, Israeli policies are based on the rebuilding value of property; approximately 1,500 NIS per square meter. You can however, “top it up” to the full value by adding coverage for the land value, thereby insuring it for the full value.
9) If I rent out my apartment, is my tenant covered if he/she is hurt due to a fault in the apartment?
Answer: Yes, the tenant is regarded as a third party (like any other visitor) – this is through a clause that we add on to your policy.
10) My bank urges me to take out mortgage insurance for both life and structure, through their affiliate company. Why shouldn’t I do it?
Answer: Two main reasons (and one more just for fun): 1) Often the bank does not include third party liability cover. That means that if your burst pipe causes damage to the apartment below – you’re in hot water! 2) If you ever have a claim on your structure who do you call? The bank? The unknown service company? 3) We are usually very competitive with the bank’s prices – try us!