Monday, August 5, 2013

Insure it!

     Today I want to talk about insurance. We've all seen the nasty weather and the bad things that come out of storms. Don't be caught lacking when it happens to you. Odds are no matter where you live the increasing frequency of bad weather events will one day catch up to you. This is why we have insurance. Now I will come right out and say something most people already know and that is insurance companies work for insurance companies and not for you. I don't care how touchy-feely the commercials are or how nice the guy that sold you the policy is. The fact is that the nice guy/gal that sold you the policy will not be the one coming out to determine how much if any recovery is made after a claim. Insurance companies make their money by collecting as much in premiums as they can while paying as little in claims as they can get away with.
      Protect yourself and put together a paper trail that is indisputable. If you are insuring a home then make sure the level of insurance covers EVERYTHING you will need to replace should disaster strike. Here in Florida windstorm coverage is typical but it only covers structures and dwellings. If a flood come along with that hurricane (They usually do) and you didn't get flood insurance all the insurance company will do is put a new roof on a ruined home. What about your stuff? Is the personal property provision adequate to replace it? Can you prove it? Did you take pictures, Did you save receipts and serial numbers? Do you have them stored in a waterproof fireproof lockbox with copies on file with your agent? How about clothes? All the stuff you don't think about until you need it needs to be inventoried and covered. Do you have mature specimen trees in your yard? They have value, insure them. If you can't live in your home who pays for your living arrangements? There is insurance for that. Even if you are renting you can't count on the landlord. If disaster strikes you can be out of a home and have no stuff left and no recourse to get it replaced. Make sure you are insured and make sure the lease that nobody ever reads doesn't legally obligate you to continue payments if the home becomes uninhabitable. Sure a judge would probably toss any demand for payment in court but you don't want it to get there.