BPI Insurance Agency Blog
When you've been in this industry, as long as I have, you see a lot. The good so good, it's beautiful, and the bad so bad, I'd consider it nefarious, and everything in between. Long before I was an insurance professional, I was a consumer of insurance and obviously still am. Remembering that, I would say, is one of my greatest strengths and a differentiator to be sure. I am very good at viewing things through both my professional and consumer lens.
As a professional, I truly believe my job, to put it simply, is to provide the consumer with information. Not to sell or convince you of anything, but to simply tell you the truth. I think lots of us, as insurance purchasers, don't know the truth. I believe some of us think we do, some of us just don't care, but I can assure you it is better to know.
There are many truths when it comes to insurance. In my humble opinion, one of the most important is that you should always LEAD WITH LIABILITY! Please allow me to share a story with you:
I recently worked for Allstate in a local agency, and we had a customer we'll call Steve. Steve was coming up on his first renewal with us, which meant he had only been with us for about six months. When he initially called into the office, he requested the minimum Liability limits, "only what I need to be legal," which in Texas is only 30/60/25. This means you only have $30K for injuries per person, $60K for injuries total, and $25K for property damage. Our best practice in that office was to suggest 100/300/100, which I agree with as a good starting place. Steve said no, "only what was requested."
We were generally pretty good about doing a review at renewal to make sure nothing had changed. Upon the review, we again broached the subject of better coverage. This time, Steve agreed to see what the cost difference was. Turns out only about $15/month, he still said no.
About three months into his renewal, Steve was involved in a car accident, for which he was at fault, and severely injured a young lady in the other car. Of course, a claim was filed and paid. The problem Steve ran into is that the young ladies injuries were upwards of $100K, but he only had $30k of coverage for injuries and $25k for property damage.
Unfortunately, that difference between the $100K and $30K doesn't just go away. In fact, Steve is now personally responsible for that difference. So, what does that mean in Texas? Well, it could mean several things, none of them good. While they can't technically garnish your wages, once that money hits a bank account, it's fair game. In Texas, they can't take your house, but they can take other assets, or at least forcibly remove/sell them. They could also suspend your license and/or require something called an SR-22, all of which costs you more money!
So, let's get back to speaking truth. The truth is, that $15/month Steve thought he was saving ended up costing him nearly $70K. Believe me, few people understand the "love/hate" relationship most people have with insurance better than I do. This is just one of the reasons there should be a little more LOVE and a lot more TRUTH for insurance.