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Insurance_Policies___Are_You_Covered___Really_Covered_

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					Insurance Policies:   Are You Covered?   Really Covered?

Word Count:
1097

Summary:
For many people buying insurance is a no-brainer. What I mean is most
people tend to think in limited terms about what insurance they really
need. 98% of people who purchase insurance purchase whatever policy is
recommended by the agent or by the policy seller.

And a good 90% of those people have no idea if it is truly the coverage
they need. We as an insurance buying society have become complacent about
how we buy insurance. Only when disaster strikes and that insurance i...


Keywords:
Life Insurance, Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Long Term Care
Insurance, Health Insurance


Article Body:
For many people buying insurance is a no-brainer. What I mean is most
people tend to think in limited terms about what insurance they really
need. 98% of people who purchase insurance purchase whatever policy is
recommended by the agent or by the policy seller.

And a good 90% of those people have no idea if it is truly the coverage
they need. We as an insurance buying society have become complacent about
how we buy insurance. Only when disaster strikes and that insurance is
needed, do most of us find out we were faulty in getting the proper
policy to cover our needs sufficiently.

Here’s the deal, insurance companies are in the business of making money,
not giving it away. They gamble that when you buy insurance, they will
collect premiums for a very long time and never ever have to pay you a
dime in claims, that’s the dream scenario at least for the insurance
company. In the real world, disaster does strike, and accidents do
happen, and your insurance company knows that especially well. And just
like the big Las Vegas casinos they manipulate the game rules so the odds
are in their favor. If you think that’s not true, you need to read
carefully the fine print exclusions on any number of insurance policies
you might now carry.

Companies don’t make it easy for you to understand what the terms of a
given policy are, by design. They make note of key points early on in the
policy, then the language of the policy becomes very legalistic in its
grammar. Outlining many situations and circumstances where by being met,
your policy will not cover your peril.

For example, some auto insurance policies will cover your auto for hit
and run damage provided that damage was committed in public access areas
such as city streets or parking areas. But they will not cover such
damage if it occurred in a private parking lot or garage.

Here’s a big one we ran into not long ago. A homeowner ran a small
internet business from her home, selling nick-knacks out of an office she
set up in her basement. A computer she purchased to keep track of the
business with, caught fire and caused moderate damage to the home. When
the insurance company found out she was running a small business, (by
their terms a commercial enterprise) from her home, they refused to pay
any and all claims related to the damage the computer had caused which
was in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Here is the real kicker to this story. Six months prior to the damage,
the woman and her husband had gone into see the local insurance agent, to
increase their coverage, so the office furniture and computer equipment
they had purchased would be covered. They even had to put a special rider
on the policy to cover the computer and laser printer she would be using
in her business. All the information was out in the open, not hidden, the
agent was totally aware of the intended use of the equipment he was
insuring and where it would be used. Yet the insurance company was
vindicated in refusing to pay the claim because there was a commercial
use exclusion clause in the original policy, which took precedent over
any rider that did not explicitly insure the property for commercial use.

So you see it is very important for you to know what is and is not
covered in the policies you purchase. Unfortunately most times we never
get to see the actual policy until after we have purchased it, often not
for many weeks after when we get the actual policy in the mail from the
company. Sadly few of us ever actually take the time to read completely
the policy we do get. Generally because the language used is too
complicated to understand, so we rely on the trust that we have in the
agent or company who sold us the policy.

Something that might help and is perfectly legal is to have the agent
agree to and sign as part of the policy a statement of policy
understanding. That is, you as the purchaser of the policy outline what
you believe is covered by the policy as stated to you by the agent.
Adding the statement of understanding does not in any way limit or add
exclusion to an agreed upon policy. What it does is target specific areas
of coverage that are supposedly defined in the policy. And by this
statement the agent and or the insurance company is agreeing with you
that these specific items are covered within the policy to be issued.

Ok, let’s say you tell the agent that you will be running a small
internet based business from your home. Put that on the paper. You tell
him your kids have a trampoline in the back yard (trampolines are a big
issue, make no mistake) and you believe by what you have been told that
these perils are covered under the insurance policy you are purchasing.
Include any and all items you can think of that might be obscure in your
insurance needs, and add them to the list.

Include a statement that your agent acknowledges these items and areas of
coverage, and then have him sign and date it, and you do the same. Have
it attached to the policy; make a copy for your records. If the agent
tells you there is no need for the statement, that everything is covered,
be cautious. If everything you listed is covered, there should be no
reason that the agent would refuse to sign it. If the home company feels
the items you listed were not covered by policy design or exclusion they
will make note of it and add riders (adding cost as well) to your policy
or they will simply deny the policy when it is reviewed. But you are
still bound legally for coverage until official notice is received one
way or the other about your coverage. In any event you will know where
you stand.

Insurance companies don’t like these types of tactics, but if more of us
did things like that, it would become increasingly difficult for
companies to hide exclusions that exonerate them from having to pay
claims.

It’s difficult to cover every peril we will face in life, but with a
little common sense we can learn to spot those things in our own lives
that might require some special insurance attention.