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Factors You Should Consider When Buying or Reviewing Your Insurance
Factors You Should Consider When Buying or Reviewing Your Insurance

 Looking for A Quality Agency With Experience, In Providing Insurance Programs For Our Complex And Litigious Culture?*


As a pastor's son of over 52 years and with over 30 years of experience working with clients and having completed pivitial continual education concerning the many changing aspects of insurance, risk management, and disaster recovery plans for our many cleint types,  individuals, churches, church schools, colleges, and other types or church related risks, we believe we offer understanding and care about your concerns, needs, and constraints which you individually have or a ministry you may be involved with faces today in a way that is quite unique and different then what most other agencies can and do offer.   We believe our assistance will enable you to miss most of the mindfields of litigation and the possible financial abysses of today's culture without having to compermise your personal convictions and beliefs nor your goals or convictions you feel are God's direction.  We therefore, believe as you allow us to work with you we can offer value that is unique and necessary for today's culture.


Our Concern For out clients  in Today's culture


Many hard working and good intentional indivuduals today are still under false assumptions concerning litigation aspects that and property loss that are a very part of our culture today. Few also do not understand the charitable immunity laws that have protected churches they may worship at or server at  can easily be involved with litigation which down through the years were exempt from. In today's litigious hostile culture these laws provide little if any protection forming a vast void where there was once a CHURCH, that stood for and offered security and peace of mind, a haven of rest. For many of today's ministries this out of control litiigation too often results in staff and ministry complications and at times their demise. For your personal aspects of life this risk is just as real in our litigious hostil culture. Therefore, risk management and disaster recovery plans have become more critical then ever before. Far to often however, today the aspects of insurance, risk management, and disaster recovery are viewed as an excerise to get it done, so as to move on to more important  business.  Some even view of these critical elements of protection with such low esteem so as to be looked at as the purchase of  bubblegum from a bubblegum machine, thus giving little thought as to what their true value or true purpose are, that is the services, benefits, and people behind them.  This error usually is the result of having ideas of what insurance is and does, developed with erred assumptions, misunderstood terms and concepts that have changed tremendously in the last few years.  The value of risk management and disaster recovery is even placed in a position of even less value then insurance, because for most they see them as yielding no value for their bottomline, except lost valueable time and money. These errors can be costly and result in the possible disaster and the demise for them.  An incorrect premise always results in an incorrect conclusion and thus erred decisions with possible disastrous results.  We offer timely and up to date information that is designed to assist you with correct conclusions.  Right decisions should thus result, offering protection for the on going aspects of your life.   Proactive people that are working with us on these elements of life have shared with us they have less trouble with proper insurance to risk application.


 What You Can Expect From Your On Going Relationship With Our Agency 

To develop your specific plan to secure life aspects, we began with a comprehensive study with you of your community of  life; this allows us to then work with you for proper applications to meet your specific needs. We feel this is the most critical  step you can take to have a  life that offers the necessary security and peace of mind today.  Without this study your purchase of insurance will be a contract to fund what, that is what is its purpose?  Without a proper study how do you know what you purchased, will do what you think it should do?   Is the insurance purchase just  to have a policy as some auto owners mindlessly purchase minimum coverage that is requored by their resident  state so as to be considered "legally covered". for what ever that may or may not mean,. Today many purchase insurance, a contact for a future possible financial need of funds that often does not cover what they thought it should, becuase the risks and the insurance is not adquately matched. The result is often a wast of money for something that is not needed or more often a lack of insurance coverage, that is "funds" when a thought need arrises.  Specifically, our study involves the following for you which we believe should be broken down into the following distinct areas: (1) Risk Management review of your specific risks, (2) Disaster Recovery Plans for your specific possible disasters, as such we focus on reviewing issues that involve the review of (3) Property, (4) Liability, (5) Crime, (6) Vehicles, (7) Excess Liability (Umbrella) needs,  (8) Other possible risk factors (9) How should you view the process, and (10) Our Agency information.  Insurance, is a contract for funding risk and disaster you feel is beyond your abilities to handle yourself. Without the solid foundation of risk management and disaster recovery plans the insurance program becomes a funding for what! It is like building a house with no specific plans. As the storms of the culture move in as they surely will, disasters can follow leaving possible ruin and confusion. (Remember the Titanic, which had no risk management plan or disaster plans because it was thought they were invincible) It is critical today, that these three elements work in harmony or they will not offer the proper security necessary for an on going life aspects. Products and services sold and offered to fulfill your specific needs can vary tremendously from agency to agency as do the agency background, experience, education, a business philosophy of operation. The value and choice today is more critical then ever before for the safety and on going aspects of your life.

The Relationships Position

Your relationship with a quality agency that has a heart that cares for it clients is a critical element for today's culture.  Today insurance is more then a nice binder to file or place on a shelf. The agent should be willing to continually work with you to review your risks, then to assist you in understanding what is necessary to manage the possible risks for application of  the proper risk techniques.  It is then important for the agent to assist you with appropriate disaster recovery plans for possible disasters. Finally, the agent should assist you with the proper understanding of specific insurance coverage that will properly fund possible recovery for their risks and the resulting possible disasters.   The following will explain the basic insurance types of coverage and procedures you should have in place to meet the challenges of today's culture. We feel the information presented below, to be coverage minimums that agents quoting your insurance should be required to offer. This information should assure that you are purchasing what you need for at least  your minimum risks and the possible resulting disasters. You also need to know the important factors that can position yourself to qualify for the best premiums and necessary products for today.

 A  defination of terms and procedures we believe are critical to understand for communication and proper application, as we assist you with these three elements of your ministry.  Our assistance is as near as your email or phone as needed.* 

I.  RISK MANAGEMENT: The process of making and implementing decisions that can minimize the effect of loss.

A.     It is critical that you review all the possible risk that they could possibly be presented with, noting possible frequency and severity. Please note, this is an on going process.

B.     It is then possible to review which risk management technique should be applied to each possible risk. The techniques include retention, avoidance, modification, shared, and insurance "risk transfer".

C.     Insurance without the foundation of a quality risk management program today, is like building a fine building on quicksand.  The critical factor is that the seeming smallest risk could destroy the entire organization. Insurance can assist with replacement or rebuilding because it is only contracted funding. Often it is not be able to replace that which is lost or destroyed. It can never replace the loss of life, sight, or limbs that may be lost.

D.  The risk management process.

      1.   Review all possible risk factors note frequency and severity factors for each.

      2.   Determine the correct risk technique for each as listed below.

      3.   Implement the proper techniques

      4.   Review and modify as necessary. 

      5.   The possible techniques for use.  

             ·      Avoid the risk

             ·      Reduce the risk

             ·      Retain the risk

             ·      Share the risk

             ·      Transfer the risk "insurance".



       A.  A quality agent will review with you all known possible risks that could present themselves, and then review with you those risks that could develop

              into possible disasters assisting you with the appropriate disaster recovery plan for each.                                                                                       

        B.  It is critical that your disaster recovery plans are practiced from time to time so that you can consider their efficiency and modify them if necessary.

        C.  It is also important that your disaster recovery plans are continually reviewed against your risk factors,  since risk factors seem to change from time to time.

        D.  Remember the Titanic; there were over 1,500 lives lost because it was thought disaster was impossible, thus a disaster plan was thought to be unnecessary.  Far too many

              today believe the same, as they trust concepts that no longer offer valid protection. Some justify their lack of risk  management and disaster recovery plans because they

              feel they will cost money and time they do not have.  Others believe they do not fit their schedules as they are further lauded into believing possible disaster to be rare and

               will only happen to others, just as those involved with the Titanic.

         E. A quality agent will supply timely information and assistance to help you with these errors of thought before your possible demise. 


III. THE PROPERTY STUDY AND ITS INSURANCE  (the contracted funds can assist with the following):


            A. Building & Contents coverage

    1. Special form including theft for building & contents - This form is the broadest type of coverage available and covers perils that cause possible causes of loss which are not excluded from the policy. The two other forms, basic & broad, cover only the perils listed in the policy. All property which qualifies should carry the special form to be sure they are covered properly. It is not uncommon for many companies to offer special form for the building but only basic or broad "named peril" coverage for the personal property. This little error can leave you many gaps in coverage.  
    2. Replacement cost for building & personal property - This means the insurance policy will replace all or parts of the building or personal property destroyed with new parts of like kind and quality, if the insured value meets the policy co-insurance requirements. There is no deduction for depreciation to either the building or personal property should a loss occur. ***Functional replacement cost - Some organizations are in buildings that are far too large or more ornate and expensive than they may feel they need. In these cases, if the building were to be destroyed, it is most likely that a more suitable and often smaller or less expensive structure would be built. If this is the case with your organization, you would want to have the functional replacement cost of the larger, more ornate structure.
    3. The building & personal property "contents" description  - it is important to understand that certain items you may consider personal property are actually a part of the building, and do not need to be included in the value of the personal property. Your building value should include any “built-in” items such as your organ, altar accouterments, sound system and pews. Personal Property "Contents", would include any item that is not attached to the building in any way.  Today it is critical to have a complete up to date inventory of your personal property, otherwise your coverage will only be an average or guess that could leave you with a large gap in coverage should a loss occur. A quality agent will give you guidance with this important process to assure proper coverage.

Buying Insurance Today Is a Little Like Picking A Brain Surgeon

Using a little humor to provoke your thinking, we are, as our title suggests, trying to show that the purchase of your insurance is far more important and complex than most people treat the decisions and resulting action. Insurance has become very complex, and it changes continually as it attempts to meet the rapidly changing and complex risks that our society continually presents us with today. Some people treat the purchase of insurance like they were buying a commodity like bread or milk, and fooling themselves into believing there is little at risk. This would never happen if they were selecting a skilled surgeon to perform a difficult procedure on themselves. Yet today many call around to find the cheapest price in order to "get it done".

The problems with looking at price only as the main basis for decision: a policyholder may drop into that agent's office with no knowledge of the agent's skills or the product, and buy something "insurance" to protect their most valuable assets and financial plans. They then mindlessly put the policy into a drawer or on a pile. At some time in the future, when they are unfortunately presented with a claim, they call the agent and expect everything to be covered. When, to their horror, they find their claim is not covered to their expectations, they feel insurance is just a terrible concept. Sometimes they are tempted, and many times because of its ease, to make a similiar decision with the click of a mouse over the internet, not realizing they are purchasing an insurance policy as if it were bubblegum which can be mindlessly bought from a vending machine. They do not realize they are totally on their own until they are in the middle of a serious claim, and lack coverage, without the assistance of an agent who knows them and their specific risks. The person on the other end of a phone call may be a different person each time they call. The CSR unknown by the policyholder is just moving activity along; they seldom know policyholders, nor have the time to on their busy schedules, or care to know them or their risks at all. The CSR is usually presented with very little data, on a computer screen before them, to use to answer questions hurriedly, but not necessarily properly nor correctly. In both cases, the person's mind justifies their actions very proudly as they attempt to convince themselves they have completed a decision and action they know they should do, and that it was done as painlessly as possible. In their rejoicing, they totally overlook the possible consequences of their careless decision. It could be as serious, for some, as trying to attempt surgery on themselves, as presented in a recent TV ad by an insurance company. We believe an ongoing, interactive relationship with your agent has great value and should be a major factor in providing the necessary security for the risks you face today. You need to have someone who can analyze all your possible risks, and who takes the time to understand the need for reviews with you from time to time as things change with your risks. Today's society presents changes continually; policy changes require adjustments for proper application to meet your risks, so as to provide the necessary security and peace of mind.

Other reasons why the justified practice of commodity buying as the choosen method for buying an insurance policy is dangerous: As presented above, insurance is not a commodity like something you take down off the shelf and carry to the checkout clerk. An insurance policy is a 20-30 page (more or less) contract, full of complicated and confusing language that can be challenging even to those who work with those policies every day. Example: many times a person, when purchasing insurance, will compare the insurance value on a structure, the liability limit, and check if medical is provided, but never ask when the component parts of the policy provide coverage for the different areas, or much less, look at the internal limits provided by the contract--things that can really make the difference from policy to policy. How, then, is it possible for you to just walk up, take down a policy from a shelf, and be confident of what you bought?

The services of a qualified insurance professional are really what you pay for when buying insurance from an agent. Anything less underestimates the value of your decision--which could be shown to be a painful error too late if you have an uncovered claim. A quality agent will attempt to get to know you and build an ongoing relationship with you; they will ask you many qualifying questions and offer reviews with you from time to time. Quality agents are also available for you when you need them, and they can discuss issues with you because they know you and understand your risks. Based upon these facts, only a quality agent can be in the best position, after reviewing your risks with you in an ongoing relationship, to assist you with the proper coverage for your specific risks. This is not to say an agent is not sensitive to the price you have to pay, but much like the old saying, "you get what you pay for," you can be left holding the short end of the stick if you have commodity shopped and not paid attention to the quality of your coverage, or to your agent's level of knowledge or care in their relationship with you.

From the Professional Insurance Agent Newsletter Oct 2004

To review our background, experience and education note: www.phelpsfinancial.com/node/view/30  then click on your review choice from the provided list. We present you with over 30 years of experience and continual education in our attempt to present our clients the quality and up-to-date, advice, products, and service for their security and peace of mind.

Our Phone : 614-899-6000 toll free: 877-471-7997 for CO, OH, MI, KY, IN, WV, and WI.

Email : dphelps@phelpsfinancial.com

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Last updated on Mon, 10/25/2004 - 20:31.
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