You can seek advice on different types of insurance from private insurance companies. Some banks also offer insurance consultancy as part of their financial advice. Be aware that some consultants receive commissions on insurance they sell, so their advice may be biased. There are also several online comparison sites to find you the best deal on insurances. Examples of such sites are www.aseguraonline.com and www.tupoliza.com.ar.
In Argentina, insurance companies are not allowed to raise their prices without notifying their customers and explain why the raise in prices took place, nor are they allowed to renew your policy without prior notification of the changes in the policy. If an insurance company does not comply with this regulation, you can take legal action against them. You should contact the National Supervisory of Insurances ( Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación) www.ssn.gov.ar
Life Insurance (Seguro de Vida)
The need for a life insurance depends on your age, the number of people that are dependent on you and your income. Life insurance foresees in a payment to the beneficiaries of the deceased one. This payment can take place at once, called Capital Asegurado, or as a partial interest bearing payment. The names of the beneficiaries are stated in the insurance policy. Insurance companies calculate the costs of your policy based on three factors. The first one is the mortality table. This table classifies people into groups and their rate of mortality. The higher the risk of the mortality group you belong to, the higher you cost of policy. Next is the interest rate. Insurance companies invest their money in stocks, bonds etc. The higher the interest rate of the investments, the lower the cost of the insurance. Last factor of influence on the price are the operating costs of the insurance company.
Life insurance are classified according to the following:
- Duration: A distinction is made between temporary (term) insurance and life-long insurance. Temporary insurance only covers the insured person for a time-span specified in the policy. Life long insurance provides covers until death.
- Premium: A distinction is made between Fixed Premiums ( Prima Nivelada) and Risk Premiums ( Prima de Riesgo). Fixed premiums mean that the same amount of premium is paid during the insurance. Risk premiums rise in premium as the age of the insured person goes up.
- Persons covered by the insurance: Individual, collective and multiple person insurance ( varias cabezas). The multiple persons insurance covers, just as the collective insurance, several persons with the difference that payment will take place either after the first person passes away or the last person of the group.
- Flexibility of payment of premiums: A distinction is made between traditional life insurances and savings life insurance ( seguros de vida con ahorro). The traditional insurance demands that premiums are paid at set dates. With savings insurances the date and amount of premium payment are more flexible.
Take into account that price is not the only criteria when choosing a company. The reputation and service the insurance company offers should also be considered important. Furthermore, make sure the company is registered at the Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación. If this is not the case, the Superintendencia cannot assist in disputes between the insurance company and clients.
When buying a life insurance, make sure you answer all questions on the policy form correctly ( Solicitud de Seguro). The questions will mainly refer to your health. After you filled out everything, the insurance agent should check all questions once more with you before signing and submitting the forms. If later it turns out any questions where not answered truthfully, the insurance company can decide not to pay.
Further important points when buying a life insurance are:
- Start and end of the policy
- Take into account that once you become over 60 years old it will be difficult to find an insurance company that wants to insure you
- The benefits that might be paid out can become less after a certain age is reached
- Clauses. Be aware of clauses regarding age and payments
- After buying the insurance and handing in all necessary documentation, the insurance company has 15 days to start the running time of your insurance
- After three consecutive years of coverage the insurance company is obligated to cover suicide as well.
By law it is mandatory to have car insurance in Argentina. Car insurance in Argentina covers the driver and/or insured person and third parties from damages suffered from fire, theft and accidents. Premiums paid are calculated based on the following factors:
- brand and model of car
- usage of the car
- geographic location
- marital status
Things to keep in mind when buying a car insurance are:
- Start and end of coverage
- The older a car is, the harder it will be to find an insurance
- If you want to insure parts of the car that were not on it originally (as delivered by the factory) you will have to indicate and value them independently
In case of a car accident:
1. Ask the third party for: name, family name, addresses of owner and driver of car;telephone number; driving license; registration number, category and expiration date; insurance, policy and expiration date; brand of car, model and color; green card (
2. Find independent witnesses (name, family name, identification, address and telephone)
3. Get a copy of the police report. Make sure to read everything before signing.
4. Do not accept responsibility nor make transactions with the third party.
5. Contact your insurance agent immediately
6. File the paperwork with the insurance company within 3 days of the accident. Add a copy of the police report and fill out the insurance papers.
7. Document in writing al conversations you had with persons regarding the reclamation and their names and contact information
8. Keep a file with all your paperwork
Household Insurance (Seguro del Hogar/ Seguro Combinado Familiar)
The household insurance in Argentina is known as seguro del hogar and seguro combinado familiar. This insurance covers both the material as individuals in your household. Examples of what is covered by household insurance are damages due to fire, theft and burglary, water damages, civil responsibility, personal accidents, accidents of domestic employees. Wear and tear of property, damages due to war or natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornados is not covered.
Things to keep in mind when buying Household insurance:
- start and end date of insurance
- check if the insurance value of your property corresponds with its value
In case of an accident of event:
- contact the responsible authorities immediately
- find independent witnesses (name, family name, identification, address and telephone)
- fill out the police report. Explain exactly what happened and make sure to read everything over before signing. Ask for a copy of the report.
- In case of fire, acquire information from firemen
- Make photographs of the incurred damage
- Inform the insurance company within three days after the event
- In case of a civil responsibility case, do not assume responsibility nor sign any declarations. Do not engage in any transactions.
- Document in writing all conversations you had regarding the occurred including names.
- Keep a file of all your paperwork
- In case of doubt contact your insurance agent.
It is important to file all information within the set time-frames. If this is not done the insured might loose all rights on receiving indemnities.
Make sure before deciding with which company to buy an insurance that you know what the financial situation of the company is. Besides the price of the policy the service and reputation of the company should also be considered important factors when deciding. If you decide to buy directly with an insurance company or through an agent, check if they are registered with the Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación. If the company or agent is, the Superintendencia can help you out in case of disputes.
In case of disputes with your insurance company, you can contact the Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación. The following information will be required:
- Name of the insurance company and the agent
- Policy number
- Details of the dispute
- Copies of correspondence or other relevant paperwork
The paperwork should be presented to:
Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación,
Av. Julio A. Roca 721