Do I really have full coverage?
OK, we have all been here at some point, or know someone who has. We pay for insurance on a consistent basis, heck, we are even told it’s the law for auto insurance. Inevitably something happens, a fender bender, hailstorm, or you are rear-ended. Now its time for your insurance to do the paying for a change, right? In theory you pick a body shop, drop off your vehicle, and a week or so later you pick up your prized ride and it’s as good as new. The body shop collects your deductible, and you drive away happy hoping to never see that place again.
But we all know someone, or have been through it personally, that it didn’t go so well. Maybe there was a struggle to get the proper payment from your carrier. Maybe your agent just wasn’t as helpful as you needed. Maybe you were only paid for part of the damage as a result of some loophole in the fine print. Everyone of us can relate to some type of bad insurance experience.
As an agent that truly takes pride in what I do, the role I play in making peoples lives whole again…. I hate hearing these stories. Frankly, I hear them all to often. Now, I’m not saying that all of the stories I hear is the company to blame. Sometimes, we the customer, can get a touch out of line with expectations. And sometimes it’s just a lack of communication from the agent as to what is and isn’t covered. But I feel part of my role as your agent is to help manage those expectations. To set the stage for what will or won’t happen during your claim.
Not all insurance policies are created equal. Just because you are sold a “full coverage” policy, does not always mean you have the “full package”. The number one complaint I have heard is “I thought I had full coverage”. That is something I never want to hear from my clients. That statement is typically an indication of my wrongdoing. After-all, you trusted me with your policy. You trusted that I understood your needs and gave you the best policy for your budget. Times today dictate that insurance is largely price driven. The majority of consumers today have been pushed in the direction of “we can save you money”. We all know the commercials, the catchy characters, humorous skits, the theatrics that promise unicorns and rainbows for half the cost. But that’s false. It is a very rare scenario when you are able to switch carriers, gain coverage, and still save hundreds. Truth is, all carriers want the top tier clients and once we land them, we work hard to keep them by offering the best rates possible.
But for the top tier carriers, those commercials should instead say something along the lines of we can save you thousands during your next claim. The true comparison of policies comes not in the face values on the quote sheet, but in the fine print of that policy. The language that tells you what is covered, how its covered, and what it is protected against. Such things as will you get aftermarket parts on your vehicle, or does your carrier offer OEM parts replacement? Will you be paid to have new parts of some sort or used parts put back on? Will they pay for the full replacement value of your vehicle, or will you be given some sort of value that’s between scrap and market value? Does your carrier offer a brand-new vehicle if your 1 yr old new purchase is totaled? What about rental car coverage? Do you have it? How much will they pay for a rental if you need it? How long? Will you have to prove you actually paid for a rental? Will they pay up front, or will they reimburse you? Do you see what I mean?
Full coverage doesn’t always mean what consumers think. What about if you get in that accident and it is your fault, will your rates go up now? Glass coverage, how much out of pocket do you have if you get a rock chip or need a full replacement? Did you know that some new vehicles today require calibration of that new windshield that can cost upwards of $1,000? Even further, if you total that vehicle, you just hit and it cost $32,000 to replace how much will your policy pay? $25,000? $50,000? $100,000? What about medical expenses for the folks you just hit? Do you think $25,000 will go very far these days? These are just a few of the questions you need to be asking when you get new insurance quotes. Heck ask them about your current policy. It is very easy to get stuck on the words full coverage, and think you have the best policy. Reality, however, says that you may be shocked by how little will be paid out when you need it most.
Ask yourself this, if you were given the option to only have $500 out of pocket in an accident or $20,000 out of pocket what would you choose? …WAIT! Before you answer that here’s the kicker. Both of these were quoted at full coverage. Both policies are being applied to the same accident. The policy that is $500 out of pocket will cost you $100 per month. The policy that is $20,000 out of pocket will cost you $85 per month. Now, what would you pick? That seems easy right? But you will be surprised at how many times the $85 policy wins. Simply because its cheaper and was not fully explained why it was cheaper.
When is the last time you actually talked to your agent and had a policy review? Do you know what would happen if you caused an accident? This is what we do, this is what I train my staff to look for. We may not always be the cheapest policy per month…. but I can promise you will be offered a policy that is cheaper in the claim. If you want to learn more or would like to have your current policy reviewed, please reach out. I will personally reach out to you and find out if there is anything we can do to put your family in a better place. - Cody
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I spend a lot of time fishing Table Rock Lake. It gives me time to think.... and here is where I record those thoughts.