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
There is no insurance company that 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 as well as every other state in the Union.
Every company gives you the ability to customize your insurance.
Every single one.
Problem is, most consumers aren’t served by most of the television commercials aired today.
They are simply goaded into a perpetual state of dissatisfaction with their current carrier, even when their current carrier 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 what their automobile insurance coverages are. Inevitably, 14 out of 15 give the same answer, “Full Coverage.”
And when I ask them how much their policies cover in the event of an accident, they usually reply that they’re not really 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 coverages 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 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 the event 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.
- The importance 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.
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.