Buying Insurance Today Is a Little Like Checking For The Right Brain Surgeon For Your Brain Surgery
Just what do you mean by the term insurance?
Insurance, without the foundation of a quality comprehensive risk and disaster study which deals with each realized risk factor, is really a disaster in waiting for your staff and those of your community of faith. Would you think it a wise choice to never take the time to timely check your auto brakes feeling justified with this decision because you have auto insurance? Healthy life choices, as are checking your auto brakes, are the risk mangement safeguards you choose to put in place in your life, to lesson the risk of the premature loss of your life. Ministry insurance is like life insurance, which can not stop you from dying, but can assist with the possible financial aftermath of your death.
Using a little humor to provoke your thinking. As our title suggests we are trying to help you understand that the purchase of your insurance is far more important and complex than most people treat the decisions and resulting acts. Insurance has become very complex, 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, as if they were buying a commodity like bread, milk or gas while 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 bases for decision: A person may drop into an agent's office or call an agent with no knowledge of the agent's skills or the product, just to buy something "insurance" to protect their most valuable assets and financial plans. They then mindlessly put the "policy" they purchased into a draw or in 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 expectation, 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 that knows them and their specific risks. This purchase can produce a person on the other end of a phone that is different person each time they call. The person unknown by the policyholder is just moving activity along, and seldom knows them nor has the time on their timed schedules, or much worse cares to know them or their risks at all. The person is usually presented with very little data on a computer screen before them to answer questions hurriedly, but not necessaryly properly nor correctly. In the policholder's mind they justify their actions very proudly as they attempt to convenience themselves they have completed a decision and action they know they should do, and rejoice 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 commercial by an insurance company.
You need an ongoing active relationship with your agent which 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 that can analyze all your possible risks and 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, policies changes require adjustments for proper application to meet your risks so as to provided the neccessary security and peace of mind.
Other reasons why the justified practice of commodity buying as the choosen method for an insurance policy is dangerous? As presented above insurance is not a commodity like something your 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 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 found to a painful error to 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, they are able to discuss issues with you because they know you and understand your risks. Based up 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 of their relationship with you.
Reprinted From the Professional Insurance Agent Newsletter Oct 2004 with permission.
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