7 Things Your Insurance Company or Agent Won’t Tell You
February 5, 2009
Here’s a list of things your insurance company and agent may fail to explain to you unless you probe them for information.
1) When they say everything is covered, everything isn’t covered. What they mean is everything is covered unless specifically excluded or limited in the policy.
2) If you have any type of large claim loss or a frequency of claims in a short period of time, they may try and drop your policy.
3) A lot of people think a claim only counts aginst your history if they have to pay you for it. However, filing a claim that ends with a value less than your deductible still gets counted as a claim against your claim history. Remember that when considering #2.
4) Many claims adjusters look for ways to reduce the amount of the overall value of the claim.
5) Many insurance agents and their customer service representatives do not fully understand policy coverages. I used to get many phone calls from agents asking me questions about policy coverage, because their client was in their office asking a question they couldn’t answer.
6) You can file a claim directly with the insurance company instead of filing it through your agent.
7) They will cancel your policy for things like trampolines, certain dog breeds, pool slides, and unrepaired damage on your home. When you buy a new policy the insurance company’s inspector will come out and take a look around your house. They won’t come inside, but they will take take exterior photos. They are looking for things like vicious dogs, pool slides, trampolines, and tree branches touching or hanging over your roof line.
The Dark Side of Insurance
I am not trying to say that every claims adjuster and agent are out to get their customers. There are definitely many agents and adjusters that truly help their customers and look out for their best interest, but I was once in the industry, and I know how some of the companies work.
The insurance companies I worked for put a lot of pressure on you to save them money, and their company policies always favored the best interest of the company rather than the customer. I was put in numerous positions where the coverage in the policy was a gray area and it could be interpreted either way. But, the insurance company forced me to deny coverage.
Many customers did not fight back. They backed down and paid for the damages out of their pockets. A lot of the time, insurance companies get it right, but I think their lack of commitment to putting their customer’s interests ahead of their own in the cases where they don’t is what gets them bad publicity in the media.
Be an informed consumer; do research and ask questions to your agent and adjuster. Do not let them call the shots. You are the one paying for their salary and commission.
If you have any questions about your policy or a current claim open, feel free to contact Erik or check out some of the other questions in the recent insurance series like insurance tips for filing an insurance claim, understanding insurance policies, lowering insurance rates, all about insurance policy riders.
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All posts by Ben Edwards