I got a new computer about a week ago. With that comes nitty-gritty tasks of setting up all of the favorite pages, upgrading programs to a current version, and finally, my personal favorite, giving up on all of these tasks to watch Netflix. Before my binge of House of Cards began I did make some headway. I was able to update a few items, one being iTunes. Now, like any responsible American, when the box pops up to read and accept the user agreement, I read every single line. Sometimes I even print it out and highlight the items I’d like to make an addendum to and send it back to Apple just so they know where I stand… All of this is of course false. I don’t read a word, scroll to the bottom and click the agree button that will send me on my way. Insurance policies often get the same treatment, but did you know that whether it be your home policy or a million dollar general liability policy, they are all legal contracts that you should probably read. If you don’t read your policy there’s probably a couple of items you don’t know.
In Case You Didn’t You Know: Insurance policies have exclusions. It’s a crazy concept, but insurance companies actually don’t want to cover everything and anything. Just because your neighbor had full coverage on his roof doesn’t mean that your policy will provide the same coverage. It’s up to you to read the policy and look at those exclusions. You may be surprised what you find or don’t find on there.
In Case You Didn’t You Know: Insurance companies will deny claims if you haven’t done your part of the bargain. A lot of time it’s unclear what your part entails. On property, it might be making sure that your property is in good condition, that you haven’t abandoned it, and doesn’t have hazards. If you have a 15-year-old roof that’s been leaking for 5 years they may consider that prior damage that the insurance company probably won’t pay for. On liability, it might be making sure that your operations are ethical and the environment is safe.
In Case You Didn’t You Know: You can’t just insure your property to whatever you want. Companies have stipulations in the policy that require certain types of building to be insured at a percentage of the replacement value, usually that percentage is 80%, 90% or 100%. Replacement value is NOT the same as what the market value is. Insurance companies want to know how much it will cost to rebuild the structure (that’s what do after all), not what you can sell the building for. If you fail to insure it to the percentage, then they’ll penalize you if there is a claim.
In Case You Didn’t You Know: You can’t use your rental car coverage for your family vacation, or just because. A lot of policies offer rental car reimbursement, but it’s not to use because your sedan is too small to haul that couch and need an SUV for the day. To use that coverage, it has to be triggered by other coverage. The trigger of coverage is usually when your primary vehicle is being repaired for a covered loss and you need a replacement for that vehicle.
These are just a few items that we sometimes find people are unfamiliar with. There are numerous of others we could go through, but this is where an experienced, knowledgeable agent can help. If you have questions regarding your insurance, ECI is always here.