Think about this, how much time and effort do you spend researching different vehicles when you’re in the market for a new car? If you’re like me, it’s probably quite a few hours over the course of several days or even weeks. After all, a new car is a major decision and not just financially, but also from a safety perspective.
Now consider how much time and attention you devote to reviewing your insurance protection. It’s probably not a process that lasts for weeks… or days… or if we’re being honest, it might not even take a few hours of your time, right? It’s scary when you think about how much time we spend considering all the various options on a vehicle we’re looking to purchase, but we don’t even spend a fraction of that amount of time to ensure we’re protected from a financial catastrophe such as a lawsuit.
Why, you ask? There are numerous reasons we’ve heard over the years, but in my opinion, it’s because insurance is just plain confusing. The fact is, insurance policies are legal contracts. They’re drafted by teams of lawyers and are often left to the lawyers to interpret when a questionable claim occurs. So who wants to dive head first into this world of technical, legal language? Answer: WE DO! Because we care, deeply, about our clients and protecting all that’s important to them.
In addition to helping clients understand why certain policies and coverage options might be vitally important to their family, we also want to help clients understand the "why" behind our recommendations. To that end, we’ve identified four of the most common insurance myths:
Myth #1: All insurance policies and companies are basically the same.
Truth: While many insurance policies contain similar coverages, each company provides unique coverages and limitations. Policies that look alike can be changed by a single exclusion or endorsement.
Insurance companies also vary in the financial strength that backs your policy, which is a rating on their ability to meet their obligations – essentially, it represents their ability to pay claims for which they’ve promised in their contract. This is precisely why you need to look for an insurance company that is financially strong.
Myth #2: No one cares if I understand my insurance or if I get value from it.
Don’t feel forced to choose large, impersonal or unresponsive companies simply because they are spending billions (yes, I said billions) on their advertising campaigns. Independent insurance agents make a living by knowing which companies act responsibly and which policies are best for your needs.
Being an independent agency, we feel that each client is unique, and has individual needs and desires. We believe it’s our responsibility to structure a policy that meets your specific needs and desires, versus requiring you to accept the limitations of the standard policy offered by a huge, heavily advertised national insurance company.
Myth #3: I’m just going to have to jump through hoops and fight when I have a claim.
The State Department of Insurance can tell you which companies have the fewest complaints, and which companies resolve those complaints effectively. Some companies specialize in excellent claim service. They might not be the companies you see constantly advertising because they’re more focused on providing this excellent claim service to their policyholders. Again, another reason to work with an independent agent because we can help you choose the company that offers the right mix of a fair premium, quality products and excellent claim service.
Myth #4: I have no control over my premiums.
In today’s insurance world, nearly all companies have hundreds of factors used to determine the premium you pay. Some of these factors you can control (deductible, packaging your policies, eliminating duplicate coverage), some you can’t (your age, gender, the number of claims in your geographic area).
When you work with an independent agent, we can help you pinpoint these areas where you have control and advise you on how minor changes to your policies or even your lifestyle can help you better control your insurance costs.
Hopefully dispelling these common myths will help you with your future insurance decisions. The licensed advisors at Hill & Hamilton stand ready to help you with these important decisions to protect yourself, your family and your business.