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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Term Insurance Fraud: How To Avoid It

By Terry Stanfield

We do not live in a perfect world and the risk of fraud exists. It may be a fraud through a company offering you products, or it may be fraud through con artists, but the sad truth is it exists. Long-term care insurance is not exempt from the risk of fraud, and there are those out there who will try and benefit off your misfortune and leave you with nothing. One of the important things you can learn from the mistakes of others is how to avoid being a victim of insurance fraud.

Obviously, the first thing anyone should consider when they are thinking of getting long-term care insurance is research. Researching a company is one of the best ways to prevent long-term insurance fraud. When you look at the record of a company, you will be given a clear indication of how they will treat you and your money.

You should look into the financial rating of a company to determine how legit it is, and how stable it is. Standard & Poor determines the strength of insurance companies, as well as giving detailed financial profiles on thousands of insurance companies. You can also look at Fitch Ratings, which give financial strength ratings for many insurance companies.

When you decide on a long-term care insurance policy, make sure you get the policy when you meet with the insurance broker. Do not fall for the line of 'It is all in the brochure.' Usually, it is not. You should be able to get the policy, in writing, when you meet with the broker and before you sign it, make sure you read it very carefully, even if you have to take it home to do so.

When you get a policy, you are asked for a month's premium up front to process the application. If you choose not to accept the policy or you are declined, you should get your money back in full.

You can also talk to friends of yours to find out what insurance company they go through for their own long-term care insurance policies, if they do. However, do not accept their word because they could be victims of long-term insurance fraud and not even know it yet. Just research the company and if you find out something troubling, let them know. Conclusion Long-term care insurance is one of the best things you can do to make sure you are not a financial burden on your family. However, you do not want to give someone your money and find out later that you were a victim of fraud. Then, with all the money you put in, you come up with nothing and that is a horrible situation to be in. Do your research, ask questions, don't sign anything without reading it and always make clear what you expect up front. If you do this, you should be okay and be able to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of long-term care insurance fraud. You should just ask for help from an insurance representative who specializes in long term care insurance to answer any questions.

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