Insurance Coverage Surprises (the Upside)

It seems that most stories related to insurance coverage are ones in which the policy holder is unpleasantly surprised about what’s not covered.  This generally applies to health insurance (pre-existing conditions and insane deductibles), homeowner’s insurance (remember the huge mold scares?), and auto insurance.  I always thought it was an interesting benefit when credit card issuers covered damage to items you have recently bought.  In theory, at least, if you drop an expensive lamp a few days after you purchased it, the credit card company will reimburse you for the price.  Why?  Perhaps it’s such an infrequent occurrence that a better question would be, Why not?  And, it gets people like me to write about it.

In Insurance your didn’t know you had, MSN Money provides examples of some types of events and damage that might be covered.  The introduction:

Your home, auto and medical coverage could be better than you think. Here are 11 scenarios for which you might be pleasantly surprised to learn you can file a claim.

Examples range from damaging your kitchen floor while trying to kill a snake to damage caused by drunken guests and stupid kids. (It’s hard for me not to picture all of this happening in a typical household in a single day).  Other important types of coverage include dorm theft for students that are considered dependents of their parents.

Still, the more important question to me is whether people actually should file these claims.  Even if having one claim might not dramatically increase your insurance rates, what happens with the second one?  Will you end up paying more in the long run for making these claims?  Insurance, at least in the United States, is a profit-driven industry.  Personally, I view most types of insurance as a guaranteed high-interest loan that’s mandated by the government.  Hopefully, I won’t have a need to file a claim anytime soon, and I won’t have to try to guess the repercussions.

Update: A few days ago, I had to cancel a vacation due to health reasons.  I found out that my credit card company will cover the $100 rebooking fee for the flight.  The documentation process is unnecessarily arduous, but it’s still a good deal.  I haven’t received the money yet, but hopefully the check will soon be in the mail.


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