Let’s Set The Record Straight About – Customizing Your Insurance

Today’s clever insurance commercials are a necessary evil. They provide more information about bundling and saving and less about the coverages you, your family, and your business really need.

We can change that by simply asking the right questions.

Customizing Your Insurance

No insurance company owns a monopoly on helping you customize your insurance.


Commercials, Commercials, Commercials

Commercials are designed to increase brand awareness using gimmicks, including celebrity spokespersons, animals, car crashes and chases, and, well, anything they think you will remember when it is time to buy insurance.

Does Every Company Allow You To Customize Your Insurance?

You can customize your home, life, auto, renters, co-op, condo, disability, long-term care, personal umbrella, and, yes, even your flood insurance with any company licensed to do business in the State of New York and every other state in the Union.

Every company gives you the ability to customize your insurance.

Every single one.

The problem is that most consumers aren’t served by most of the television commercials aired today.

They are goaded into a perpetual state of dissatisfaction with their current career, even when their current career is doing a good job for them.

It’s What Consumers Don’t Know About Their Insurance Which Hurts Them

Each year, I make at least 25 insurance-based presentations for HUD-approved housing agencies and organizations such as Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Harlem Churches for Community Improvement, and Impacct. I always ask those in attendance to tell me their automobile insurance coverages. Inevitably, 14 out of 15 give the same answer, “Full Coverage.”

Not 25/50/10.

Not 250/500/100.

Full coverage.

When I ask them how much their policies cover in an accident, they usually reply that they’re not sure, but they did save money by bundling their home and auto.


Buying What You Need Is A Two-Edged Sword

As long as the policy or policies quoted for you meet your state’s required minimum coverage limits, buying the cheapest policy or bundle possible is actually all you need.

What if, though, you just struck and killed a pedestrian or lost control of your vehicle and totaled a house? Will your policy provide you with the actual amount of money you will need when the jury hands down some obscenely massive award against you?

Imagine coming home to find;

  • Your home is on fire.
  • Two (2) feet of toxic sewage water sloshing about your finished basement.
  • Burglars paid you an expensive visit while you are at work or the market.
  • Your good dog had a bad day.
  • There are three feet of floodwater in your home, and you don’t own a flood insurance policy.

What Questions Should I Ask?

  • What, if any, hoops must I jump through in case of a claim?
  • Are policy coverages or exceptions more important to know?
  • Why do I have duties after a loss?
  • In case of a covered cause of loss, how easily will my claim be settled?
  • Is your claim service fair?

What Should My Insurance Company and/or Independent Agent and Broker Teach Me?

  • Why buying home insurance based on your home’s replacement cost is essential.
  • How to determine your condominium and cooperative apartment “walls in” insurance coverage based on what a licensed contractor would charge to completely repair fire or water-damaged walls, ceilings, and floors.
  • It is important for renters to complete a personal home inventory down to the last sweat sock.
  • How owning Life and Disability insurance will prevent financial disaster should death or disability destroy the earning power of a family breadwinner.
  • Reasons why every property policy should include Water and Sewer Backup coverage. And why every cooperative and condominium apartment owner should add the Loss Assessment endorsement to their coverage.
  • Why buying flood insurance, even when their home is not in a high-risk flood zone, is a smart financial move.

And, of course, what coverages do I actually need to protect my family and home from most disasters?

The other day a woman asked me for my honest opinion of who I felt was the best insurance company out there.

My answer?

The one with whom you secured the proper policies, with sufficient coverages, which is in force at the time of your claim.

A company that won’t make you jump through hoops to settle a  claim fairly. An independent insurance agent and broker willing and able to service your policies. With premiums accurately reflecting the coverages your policies provide.

Nothing else matters.

As for the commercials, well, give my regards to Broadway.

At least until we can enjoy live theater again. Until then, stay healthy and safe.


Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF is an independent insurance agent and broker, licensed to conduct business in New York State. Contact Eustace at 718-783-2722, 718-489-2218, by email at [email protected] or by completing the contact form on this page, or  one of the many contact forms on his website, https://greavesinsurance.com.



Need More Chalk, Debbie?

… not only did Robert E Leach​ meet and marry a wonderful woman, they now are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl.

Happy 62nd Birthday in Heaven, Debbie!

Debbie Brinson, a true Teacher

Just in case you’ve been extra busy teaching everyone in your heavenly classroom, let me bring you up to date:

Ashley, yes our little Ashley Greaves​, is a Rising College Senior. And, to top it off, the one who, when she did something absolutely wacky, would give rise to our saying, “That’s your child”, “No that’s your child”, “What a little bunko artist”, and “What a little actress!”, is an actual paid actress! She’s actually received her first paychecks as an actress for her role as “Girl with Afro, Number 2” on an upcoming Netflix series, “The Get Down”, which is set in a high school in the ’70’s. When she sent me a picture of her hair, (thank God for her wanting natural hair!), all picked out in a ‘fro, I got really choked up for a moment, because she looked just like you did back then. I continually give thanks to Poly Prep Country Day School, for helping her grow into one of her passions, and especially to Sonya Baehr, Monica Flory, Jill Bolstridge, Cynthia Babak, Josina Reaves, Lori Redell, Susan Beiles, Whitney Davidson, Dr. Gini, Caesar Fabella, and Liane Dougherty, just to name a few of the wonderful crew who also helped Little Bit become an outstanding young woman.

Must give the top props to Dana Catherine, though. We met Ms. Catherine when Ashley was still in Prep for Prep, (“What, my child is going to learn Latin? Wait, they still teach that?”), and I knew that even though boys attended the school, any school smart enough to employ this wonderful educator and classy lady was good enough for my child.

And Beverly Ffolkes-Bryant, your last boss? Wow, did she step up in a big way after you died. In fact, even though I take credit for it, she made me give her money and our child, and she’s the one who took her shopping for her fifth-grade prom outfit. Ashley was even able to wear the same outfit to the Prep For Prep Lilac Ball when our reality movie, “The Journey Begins.”

Just knew I shouldn’t have signed away those rights.

Virginia Cintron Heyward​, and your favorite “Bay Bay” Jacob are doing well. Their babies, Peanut and Orpheus , (sorry, I still see the little man in diapers drinking from his bottle) are all grown up with families of their own. I guess you’ve Orpheus leading services at his mega-church.

Martha Leach​, just became a new Grandma again, because, not only did Robert E. Leach​ meet and marry a wonderful woman, they now are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. David DjDollar Bill Leach​, your other favorite Godson, is engaged to a wonderful woman, and his daughters are reaching milestones in their own lives. Martha is so happy nowadays, she just doesn’t know how to behave.

Everyone else is just fine. We miss you, share memories, and talk about you all of the time.

Yes, I know you know all of this, and even things we hope you didn’t know from your new vantage point.

You were so Blessed to realize your purpose while alive, I know God has you working overtime in heaven.

Again, from Ashley and I, we will always love you, we will always miss you, and we’ll never forget you.

No regrets. We shared a life. Love always,

Ashley, and Eustace

Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., born and raised and educated in Brooklyn, NY, is the Owner and Principal Broker of The Bridge Insurance Agency, and the Owner and Principal Tax Preparer of Greaves Financial Services. Call him at 718-783-2722, or drop him an email to [email protected] to address your insurance and personal income needs.

While this post has nothing to do with insurance, taxes, or even defensive driving workshops, it does deal with life during life, and the lives of friends and loved ones after a mother, lover, partner, friend and confidant pass to the other side.
So, take time today to hug someone who loves you, I mean really hug them. Tell them you love them, kiss them the way you used to when you were pursuing them, and hold them real tight.

You just never know when it will be the last chance you will get.


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