The Importance of Reading your PDS
Have you noticed at the end of an advertisement, an insurance company will advise you to read a copy of the PDS before considering their product?
What is a PDS?
A PDS or Product Disclosure Statement is a legally binding contract which contains information about the financial product you are considering. Product Disclosure Statements set the terms and conditions for what the insurance company will agree to compensate you for after an unforeseen event. Depending on the event and the policy wording, this can also mean less compensation than what was expected or even nothing at all. The PDS includes benefits, risks, conditions, restrictions, exclusions and more.
Product Disclosure Statements
Australian law requires insurers to include all the terms and conditions of the insurance product in a document, known as the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Information provided in a PDS does not take into account your individual needs or financial situation. You should consider whether a policy offers cover that is right for you before making a decision. Insurance industry PDSs may run to dozens of pages, however, reading the PDS will help you compare and make an informed choice about the policy. The PDS should also provide you with all the information that tells you how your insurer will respond if you incur a loss covered by the policy and need to make a claim.
Policy schedules and certificates of insurance do not contain the entire terms and conditions of your policy. Often, these are the only documents which are viewed and sited, leaving purchasers open to potential issues for not having read and understand the terms and conditions within the PDS. When purchasing directly with an insurance company, the responsibility lies with he purchaser to ensure the product is right for them. When sourcing insurance through a Qualified Advisor (Insurance Broker), you are relying on their extensive knowledge, experience and expertise to navigate through these documents. An Insurance Broker is responsible for ensuring that they are sourcing the most suitable product for your needs. This service can prove to be valuable come claim time, especially if there are some ambiguities to how something is defined in the PDS.
This article originally appeared on Hunter Broking Group Media and has been published here with permission.