Truelies posted a question that may be best asked in a new thread....so here goes.I agree there is a lot of mininformation, but I don't blame the company's or broker's. I think a lack of comprehension of insurance topics is a collaborative effort between the supplier and the consumer......For example, most of the "rant's," (complaints) surrounding insurance revolve around rates, and "bad," claims experiences. We hear less about coverage purchased. That's been the nature of the business since I started as an agent 26 years ago. Insurance, be it life, home, auto, business, is a complex affair, and some consumers don't spend enough effort to really know what they are paying for. Some agents don't take the time to explain their product properly. It's a business that's highly regulated, but a complex one nonetheless. As consumer's, we need to take a little more time and effort in the transaction. I'm no accountant, and math is not a strong point, but when it comes to doing my taxes every year, I'm very diligent with the numbers I put in front of my accountant. Should be the same with insurance, and not just insurance on our bikes. We should get very, very diligent at purchase/renewal time.Michael, don't you agree a lot of bad information is coming from the insurance companies and insurance brokers? I am including both ICBC and private insurance companies.I don't know anyone with a Katrina claim, but I do know of other "cat," (catastrophic) claims adjusters, and I'm familiar with a family who lost their home in the Kelowna fires.I know that is a huge topic. So I'll just throw a couple of examples out there.
1) When it comes to big claims like during the fires 2 summers ago and the Katrina disaster, the insurance companies bend all the small print to suit them. In fact, when it comes to State Farm and the Katrina thing, it boiled down to <if the government force us to pay what we are supposed to pay, we will no longer sell insurance from this point on, in Mississippi>.
I'll give you a couple of interesting anecdotes.
In Kelowna, a lot of claimants were forced to issue Writs against their insurance company's. Why? Not because the insurers were not paying out claims, it's the claims were not concluded/settled in the time frame stipulated in the policy. A full year after the fire, the "limitation period," *had* to be extended by issuing a Writ in order to continue dealing with the claim. Proceeding with litigation was required, due to the wording of the policy.
Insurers have to deal with other things as well. Fraud.
Let's face it, insurers need to take in premiums, and need to pay out claims in order to be in business. Regulators would soon topple an insurer that refused to pay claims.
So, I'm speaking with a "Cat," adjuster, and he tells me about an experience he had observed. An adjuster, and a contractor were up on a roof, and the contractor quotes a price that's outrageously high, adding, "that includes $1000 for me, and $1000 for you." They make the deal, effectively screwing the insurer. The adjuster gets down off the roof, and up come the FBI to charge the contractor with fraud.
Insurance is a business that revolves solely around one commodity, and that's money. We don't blink or question when we see the tray at Safeway being counted, audited. We don't question that the cashier at Wal-Mart hands her till tray and till tapes to someone else who counts the money. Same thing happens in insurance.
The adjuster's file is audited.
The broker's files are audited.
Regulators audit the insurance company.
Back when I was a rookie, my boss/mentor related to me that insurance claims are good. That's why insurer's exist. It's good for the business to pay claims. I don't know of any insurer, in any line of business, who relies on "we just won't pay claims." That premise is as ridiculous as a movie producer released 90 minutes of blank tape, and calling the move "Blizzard." It's simply not a way of being in business.On the contrary, it's more likely the auto book of business the broker sells, will result in a claim, than any other form of insurance. In BC, we crash a lot, a lot of vehicles are stolen, vandalised, and the difference between customer satisfaction, and dissatisfaction, is placing the proper product in the hands of the consumer. I've run across young and/or inexperienced counter people in my time, but if you talk to anyone who owns a brokerage, or has been in the business more than a few years, I think you'll find there's greater satisfaction in selling the right product, than grabbing the premium, and leaving your customer high and dry. I don't think any of the sponsors of this board take the position, "let me take your money, and I think I can get away without doing a good job for you."2) ICBC brokers are perfectly happy to oversell coverage, collecting the extra premium revenue, knowing full well that there won't be the payout; as far as the insured is concerned.
(uh, okay, maybe there *were* but they don't last in the business.)That may be your experience, and I feel bad for you. I've been dealing with the same broker for over 25 years now, and what kept me going back was their personal interest in my situation.It isn't until I had a friend to deal with, for ICBC insurance, that I started getting "real" information. I mean information with my best interest in mind. Most other brokers just talk from a script. Package A for a guy who look like he belongs in bin A. Package B for a gal who must fit in box B. There's no time to educate the customer. Just order from the menu!!Again, if that's your experience, it is regrettable. Insurance, whatever the coverage, is governed by a contract. Small print nothwithstanding, the courts have determined if the small print is ambiguous, the favour goes to the insured, not the insurer. Can't recall the leading court case at the moment, as I have that in a file deep in my desk.We will interpret the small print in your favour when we sell the coverage. We will re-interpret the small print in the companies favour when it comes time to pay out the loss.
If I can share anything about insurance, it's to look at the premiums last, and the coverage first. Ask a lot of questions about the coverage you are buying, what it covers, what it excludes. *Then* look at the premiums, and start shopping from there, adjusting the coverage to fit your budget.
I can't change premiums, but what I can do is adjust my coverage to the risk I'm prepared to take. A quality agent is your ally in this transaction.