Illinois residents encouraged to
'get smart' about insurance
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Smart About Insurance Week, Jan. 24-28
[JAN. 26, 2005]
CHICAGO -- Health, auto,
home and life insurance are some of the most expensive items in a
family budget, and most Illinois residents, once they have decided
on the type of coverage they need and bought an insurance policy,
never think about their policies again -- until they have to make a
claim for loss covered by the insurance policy.
By then, many people learn -- too late
-- that their policy is "fake" or doesn't cover the loss recently
suffered. The General Accounting Office reported that 144 fake
health insurers sold bogus policies that affected more than 200,000
policyholders between 2000 and 2002, resulting in $252 million in
unpaid claims. In the same time period, the number of fake insurers
Recent studies by the National
Association of Insurance Commissioners show a definite trend: The
majority of Americans do not know enough about their own policies.
No more than 33 percent of those polled each year since 2001 could
say they understood the details of their insurance policies "very
"We strongly encourage consumers to
shop around before they commit to a policy," said Illinois
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary
Fernando Grillo. "Information is available for Illinois residents to
make smart choices about their insurance. We can't stress enough the
need to confirm the legitimacy of a policy before moving forward. In
today's age of fake insurance policies, this has become a crucial
step in getting educated about insurance."
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"get smart" consumer tips:
yourself from fake insurance by calling the Illinois Division of
Insurance toll-free at (866) 445-5364 or visit
www.idfpr.com to make sure the
company from which you are purchasing insurance is licensed in
a routine "checkup" with your insurance providers at least once a
year. Inquire about the cost benefit of opting for higher
specifically about discounts for good driving records, good
health, good grades, special education or training.
around for identical products and services. Not every company
charges the same rate.
- Remember, an insurance policy is
a legal document. Read it carefully.
[News release from the
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation]