In the past week, we have seen one client and one prospective client make choices about how they choose to insure their cars and homes that will likely lead to negative consequences for them in the future. The consequences may be that they will be paying higher premiums than they need to or they could be much more severe if a major claim is denied because they don’t have the right coverage. Insurance is a different language to most people. While it makes sense to educate yourself on the basics, it’s just as important to know what you don’t know. Here are quick summaries of both situations…
After weeks of reviewing a current client’s policy and renewal options with other carriers that we have available, they sent us an email requesting to cancel their home and auto policies immediately. The only explanation was that it was related to their rates. They had made a decision to switch to an inferior insurance policy that has plenty of gaps in coverage that can’t be seen on a proposal. They didn’t ask us to do a comparison nor did they ask our opinion of their new policy. The reality is that we can always beat other insurance carriers’ rates if we want to. What’s more important is making sure that our clients have solid coverage. One day, this client will call us back after they have a claim denied with their new carrier and they’ll ask us to issue a “correct” policy for them. If the client trusted us, they should have been honest and sent us a copy of the proposal that they were considering with the other carrier. We could have reviewed it, educated them on the differences, and then they could have made their decision. They are very smart people but they don’t know what they don’t know. How can you ask a question to your insurance agent if you don’t know what to ask? You don’t need to if you trust your agent.
The other situation relates to a prospective client that won’t give us the information that we need to do our job. When we asked for details about their current coverage, he said, “I don’t want to give it to you because you are just going to come up with something that is one dollar less expensive.” Guess what…Capitol Benefits doesn’t decide what your rates are going to be. The insurance carriers have their own rates that are regulated by the State that you live in. The reason that we want to review your prior coverage is that we may be able to obtain you additional discounts based on your current coverage limits. It can also save a lot of time because we can pull the VIN#’s from your cars, deductibles, and other important information from the current policy details. When we ran our reports, this same prospective client had many other drivers that use his same address. They all had the same last name as him but according to him, they are his “tenants.” He would not provide any additional details. What is going to happen when one of the additional drivers takes a car out to pick up something from the store and gets into an accident? The claim will be denied. What if they injure someone in an accident? You could lose your home, have your wages garnished, and have your savings wiped out. Just tell us the entire story so we can do our job and properly protect you at the lowest cost.
Insurance provides peace of mind. It should help you to sleep better at night because you don’t have to worry about the “what ifs.” Find an agent that you trust, that has a good reputation, and give them whatever they need to do their job. You’ll feel better!