By Shimon Cohen
It’s that time of year again – a time for introspection and checking in with yourself How about this insurance Cheshbon Ha’Nefesh?
- Have you made a will?
- If something were to happen to you, as parents – have you left clear written instructions regarding your children?
- Do you have life insurance? Have you reviewed it recently? (Have your agent give you a full list of the amounts that you and your spouse carry.)
- Disability – sometimes this is needed even more than life insurance. For example, if you lose the ability to work for next 25 years, who fills that financial gap? Make sure that your life insurance has a rider including this, or for professionals, a separate policy.
- Are you a sachir (salaried employee)? Ask your employer’s insurance agent to give you a break-down of your Bituach Minhalim. Then ask your personal agent if you are getting the best deal.
- Supplementary Health Insurance – A child needs a complicated eye operation and the highest success rate is in the United States; or you need a hernia operation, but prefer to go to someone who is not in your kupa; or someone needs major surgery and you want a second opinion – in all these cases, a private, supplementary health insurance policy would be of great benefit. It is relatively inexpensive and worth checking out.
- Car Insurance – make sure that your car is insured for all drivers who use it (i.e. young/new/temporary/visitors). Always let your agent know even if someone takes it for a short spin.
- Home Insurance – Do you have an assessor’s report for your contents? Have you looked into switching your building insurance (which comes with your mortgage) from the bank to a private insurance company?
CLAIM OF THE YEAR! Our client had a large amount of jewelry. The requirement of the insurance company was a safe and an alarm connected to two cell phones. Our client had a safe, but the alarm was not working! One day, when the family had all left for school/work, burglars broke into the house and simply removed the entire 65 kg safe. The insurance company’s assessor investigated the circumstances and came to the conclusion that the protection requirements had not been met (which was technically true!). They turned down the claim of 180,000 NIS.
We, as the agents, tried to find any way to prove that the insurance company should at least pay some of the money. Our clients did have a heavy safe, even though their alarm was not working. We searched for insurance claims and we found a classic case in Israel (Slutzky v. Chatamei Lloyds). This case, which went to the Supreme Court, laid down the following rule: If the insurance company had insured other clients in the same area with a similar amount of contents they could not require different levels of protection. In other words, even if our client’s particular policy stated clearly that both a safe and an alarm were required, if there were similar clients in the area that required a safe only, the insurance company would have to pay the claim. We frantically began searching for other clients in the same area with similar contents, and we found some who were required to have a safe only and some who needed both the safe and an alarm. It wasn’t 100 percent clear, but it was enough to get an initial payment of 92,000 NIS! (We are still attempting to increase the reimbursement).
Moral: Don’t ever despair – not in insurance and not in life!
Shimon Cohen is the manager of Egert Cohen Insurance. Egert Cohen is a family business that specializes in serving the Anglo and new olim populations. They provide a friendly and professional onestop-shop for all your insurance needs. Egert Cohen can be reached at 02-622-7999 or through website www.egertcohen.co.il.