If you’re looking into insurance, then you might have come across the term “PDS” or Product Disclosure Statement. If you don’t know what it is or why it is of particular significance, then continue reading! Here we go in depth into its relevance and benefits without confusing you, like many PDS may have in the past.

What is a PDS?

A PDS examines the specific terms and conditions of your policy, and is meant to give proper protection to you and to your insurance provider.

It usually is a single document that insurance firms in Australia are required by law to give to their clients before a policy is purchased. If you purchase your insurance on the Internet, you will be able to locate the PDS on the insurance company’s website. Or it may be provided in an email link to you.

Why should you carefully read it?

If you are purchasing any type of new insurance, its important to not just skim through the PDS. Rather, you should make it a point to go through it thoroughly as soon as it is issued to you.

Reading through a PDS will help you know all about the details, minute or otherwise, of what kinds of things a prospective policy will cover. This will also indicate what is not covered and under what kinds of situations a claim will be denied.

Without knowledge of these matters, it’s possible you may buy an insurance policy that isn’t suited to your needs. Therefore it does not cover the kinds of things that actually drive you to purchase an insurance policy in the first place. Which simply means you are wasting your money and your time.

Are there things that I should be looking for in particular in a PDS?

Again, it should be emphasized that you should thoroughly review a PDS, keeping an eye out for these things:

Coverage — this not only includes what things are and aren’t covered, but also under what circumstances you are and aren’t covered

Limits and exclusions — this would include any financial limitations on items that are covered, as well as things that your policy doesn’t give any coverage for

Cooling-off period — this is the amount of time you have to cancel your policy if you are not satisfied with it or if you change your mind.

Claims — the PDS will tell you how to go about making a claim and what sorts of documentation and evidence will be needed as part of the claim process.

Definitions — the PDS will define all of the relevant technical terms related to a policy to help you better understand your policy, as well as clear up any confusion about terms that may have multiple definitions.

Terms and conditions — this will indicate the types of things that will render your policy invalid, as well as what information you need to be transparent with your insurer about.

Complaints process — the PDS will include information on how to make an informal or formal complaint in the event you are unhappy with the insurance product or service.

Cancellation — the PDS will detail how to go about cancelling your policy beyond the cooling-off period and the implications of any such cancellation.

What should I do if I don’t really understand the contents of a PDS?

Some PDS will be far more complex than others. If you don’t really understand everything that is written on it, then it is best you consult your insurance agent about it.

Doing so will help make sure that you have a crystal clear picture of what you are covered for and which situations aren’t covered by your potential policy. Following up on things that you are unsure about will also help keep any surprises at bay in the event you need to make a claim. And trust us, when it comes to an insurance policy, a surprise is the last thing you would want.