Why Is Insurance So Secretive?

I think the other thing (apart from this) that I struggled with so much when looking into life insurances was the secrecy level. What other products allow you to not tell the consumer if it’s worth applying to purchase?


Why Is Insurance So Secretive?


Why Is Insurance So Secretive?


The Goal Posts Are Secret

This one REALLY irritated me. As a consumer wanting to purchase a product, I had no idea what the guidelines for acceptance were. My weight is apparently borderline for a number of insurance companies.


One private insurance company told me that below x weight, I wouldn’t have to get a premium loading. Cool. So I put off applying until I’d lose the few kilos to put me under the number I was told. Only when I finally applied and had a medical, I ended up with a loading for the weight anyway. WTAF? 


I flipped strategies and swapped to looking at insurance within a superannuation account. That one rejected me because my bursitis was “too recent” and my weight “slightly too high”. I called them and was asked… what ISN’T too recent? What weight do you think I need to be at to be accepted. Here’s the kicker. They weren’t allowed to tell me. Now, I was apparently very borderline rejected so the staff member did break the rules and tell me the weight part. But come on. This is bullshit. Why can’t a consumer know what the goalposts are? Why didn’t they reject me out of hand instead of wasting their money and my time doing a medical? 


I have no idea why they are all so secretive. I assume it’s because they all consider it commercial in confidence information, as it relates to how they manage risk and profit for their business. But if that’s the case, why do financial planners know these things and why are they allowed to know and not the end consumer? I don’t like using “middlemen” for anything, so I don’t see why I’m not allowed to be fully informed as a consumer. 


Give Me My Bodily Information

As it turns out, one company that (apparently borderline) rejected me from their insurance (for reasons such as “bursitis is too recent” because apparently I’m likely to claim income protection for mild bursitis? I don’t bloody know) also had some info on me that I would have liked to have known. Basically, one of my iron levels (not the last one that dropped) had gone a few points below the recommended range. I only found this out as I called the insurer back after they’d rejected me to ask some questions. You’d think it would be nice if I bloody knew my body had a problem (however minor!). That enraged me a tad.


While I am still glad I’ve gone through the masses of adulting to get this stuff set up, it irritates me how insurances “work” and frankly gives me little hope of how they’d treat me if I ever needed to make a claim.


Do you find secret goal posts annoying? What other consumer product is allow SUCH a level of secrecy? Do you think consumer rights should come before commercial in confidence information? 


10 Replies to “Why Is Insurance So Secretive?”

  1. And the insurance companies wonder why they have a bad name… We’re trying to be proper adults and put this stuff in place too but I suspect we’re going to have no luck either. I really should have done this when I was younger and healthier and fitter!

    1. I’ve finally gotten my life, TPD and trauma fixed up. Income protection I’ve lost all patience with and will give up on for a few months.

  2. Getting insurance and dealing with the companies is so stressful, especially when it’s related to income, life and trauma. The stakes are so high for both parties. Why can’t it be as relatively straightforward as cars and home & contents?

    SSG xxx

    1. Oh it would be so good if it was as simple as car and home!

  3. You’re right. So much bullshit. We’ve been with the same company for years (HCF) because I’m assuming no one would even insure us now since we’ve both had cancer. And we still had considerable out of pocket expenses when I had my treatment.

    1. I thought that in Australia private health couldn’t deny you coverage or charge you higher premiums for conditions/medical history of any kind. I’d ask around – but make sure you aren’t subjected to any wait times again if you do change.

      Disclaimer: I only have extras to pay for dental so I’m fuzzy on how the hospital side works.

  4. I find insurance in general annoying and confusing! I can see how the secretive goal posts would be frustrating too!

    1. The only one I haven’t sorted out yet is income protection and I need a break before doing a final tackle on that!

  5. I have a dislike (almost said hatred) of these companies as they are not out to help you at all. They are taking a bet that you will not claim and they make the money.

    Trying to claim can be, from what I have read and heard, just about as frustrating as getting info out of them.

    Even the Big Super companies go into ‘we wont pay you mode’ when you have a medical reason to access your funds as I found out in 2003. It was only through the intervention of my teachers’ union lawyers that I received my entitled payout because I could no longer perform the role from which I left. School Principal. All the people (and there were many!) said yes I could return to teaching BUT never to the role of Principal again. It was a LONG road that was much harder on me psychologically than it should have been.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 9/52. Next week’s optional prompt is Share Your Snaps 2.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh, it looks like I missed out on giving you a timely reply to this. Sorry!

      I do think the insurers lose sight of anything but their (I assume) ever growing pots of money. It does seem like ever needing to use any of them would be a complete disaster and add stress to what would probably be an already crappy time if you’re eligible to claim!

      Frankly I wish I didn’t buy insurances in some ways as I distrust them a fair amount but with no one else earning and no family who could take me in, I felt left with no choice.

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