By Beth Holland
Most people research major purchases such as houses, cars or electronics to assure they receive the best value for their money. It’s equally important to know what you’re getting when you buy insurance to protect your family and financial well-being.
The purpose of insurance is to decrease financial uncertainty and make an accidental loss manageable. Insurance does this by accepting insurance premium to assume specific losses, and a promise to pay in the event a covered loss occurs.
As you complete your research, feel more confident knowing these facts about insurance:
NOT ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE ALIKE.
Insurance companies vary in the financial strength that backs your policy, assuring they can meet their financial obligations to pay claims. Look for an insurance carrier that is financially strong and consistently qualifies for high financial strength ratings from A.M. Best Co., an independent provider of insurer ratings.
A local independent agent who lives in your community has a long-term interest in protecting you by following through to your satisfaction.
INSURANCE POLICIES PROVIDE DIFFERENT COVERAGES.
While many insurance policies contain similar coverages, each company provides unique policy conditions and limitations. Policies that look alike can be changed by a single exclusion or endorsement. It’s vital to read your policy carefully to understand what you’re getting. It might be tempting to move to a different carrier for a premium savings, but if they are offering less coverage, it may not be worth it.
INSURANCE COMPANIES PROVIDE VARYING LEVELS OF CUSTOMER OR CLAIMS SERVICE.
Sometimes the age-old adage is true: “you get what you pay for.” Your state department of insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can tell you which companies have the fewest complaints and resolve them effectively. Look for a company that provides personal treatment, prompt contact and fair settlement.
YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THE COST OF YOUR INSURANCE.
An independent agent can pinpoint exactly how changes in your deductible or your lifestyle can lower your insurance costs. They can propose safety measures that earn you discounts or tell you how to package one policy with another to save money and improve coverage.
Independent insurance agents make a living by knowing which companies act responsibly and which policies are best for a specific client’s need. Your local agent can help you make an informed insurance purchase to provide the security, quality, and convenience your family deserves.
Coverages described here are in the most general terms and are subject to actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact Landmark Risk Management & Insurance.