Manage to the result

When deciding what to do with your insurance, it helps if you think down the road to the day in the future when you have a loss and need a claim adjusted.  Having that end-result in mind should help you decide what to do.

There are some objective criteria you’ll want to touch on, namely:

  • Do you want to manage a home loss within a finite window of policy limits, or do you want to be worry-free with a guarantee of full replacement?
  • Do you want to leave the calculation of your car’s value for after the loss, or do you want to know ahead of time exactly how much you’ll be paid if it’s totaled?
  • Are you fine with insuring some valuables for only certain losses, or do you want your special property covered for almost any damage or loss?
  • Do you want to be forced to rebuild your home in order to get full benefits, or might you like to take the cash and either do it yourself, or move elsewhere?

And then there are some more qualitative results you’ll want to consider, namely:

  • How quickly will you want to be called back, given answers, have estimates completed, bills paid, etc.?
  • Are you willing to “work” and apply your own efforts to get your claim resolved, or do you just want things handled and resolved and leave you out of it?
  • Will you cooperate and understand claim cost-cutting initiatives, or will that upset you and leave you feeling “nickeled and dimed”?

It’s unfortunate that our industry doesn’t do a good job of convincing people that insurance isn’t a commodity.  That’s probably because the ones that do the most advertising/convincing wouldn’t attract many customers if they tried to compete on quality.  But we see everyday that entry-level insurance usually gets entry-level claims results, either because the design was no good in the first place, or because the adage that you get what you pay for is actually often true.  So don’t believe the hype – be clear in your expectations and then seek the design and execution of your insurance to answer to them.

Photo:  Amber McGraw – Flathead Lake, MT

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