Is this a claim?

So about an hour ago this tree came down and I am sure many more have come down and will come down up and down the east coast.  So now what?

  1. Make sure everyone is ok.  In this case no people were near by
  2. Take a photo ALWAYS document damage BEFORE you clean up **It is ok to wait till the storm is over but do your best to limit damage***
  3. Get an estimate or do the work yourself    ***BE CAREFUL*** When storms occur unscrupulous gougers and amateurs come with them.

Hurricane of claims coming? Get prepared..

So as this is typed a hurricane is affecting North Caroline up to Northern New Jersey.  With this storm as in any other there will likely be lots of claims filed. So what can you do?  Well take a deep breath and realize that ALL companies have done everything they can to mobilize their claim units and it still may not be enough.  Please try and be patient and instead try doing some of the following things, these are some ideas I have developed and used over the last ten years that work.

Want to improve your world, start with reading this…

I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of The Impact Equation and loved it.  Was honestly on the fence about Chris Brogan but since his Sunday Conversations and now this book I know why he is worth my time; because his ideas along with those of very few others will advance this economy to a new wonderful place.  If you subscribe to new economy thinking of people like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuck this should go right up there with what they have  written.  Here is the catch this book is worth way more if you actually use the book then just read it and enjoy it.

Why hire someone for free?

Because you can! That’s right you do not pay your insurance agent the insurance company does.  For those of you that think your rate will go down if there were no agents WRONG.  Honestly do you think the insurance companies will just willingly give back premium NO.  Now that we are past that, you still need to think of this as your money.

Beyond insurance, do you willingly pay companies you do not like?  Do you willingly go back somewhere where you were dissatisfied with your experience? Ok so why do you keep accepting your rate increase?  Why are you not asking for more from the agent who has been making money off of you for 5, 10 or even 20 years or more?

The debates and insurance advertising

No I did not invest two hours of my life in watching the debates.  Nor do I pay particular attention to anything that cannot bring actual value(by my definition) to my life.  For those that do, great.  I am happy you enjoy the entertainment that they provide.  So what do the debates remind you of?

1. Two fairly rude men who like to hear themselves talk

2. Two people that if they had any sort of actual, measurable, factual results over the last four years would not not to fight for time

Get a free quote…

Seriously has anyone ever paid for an insurance quote?  I mean would you actually call a  1-800 number and pay for an auto insurance quote NO.  Why the heck would you, you are in control.  Without you these companies have no chance of survival so I cannot even imagine a day when you will have to pay for an auto insurance quote.

But despite this I would love to hear from anyone that can go a week without hearing an ad touting “get a free quote.”  Where might you see this offer;

Did you know….

That by taking minimum coverage, $25,000/$50,000 in New York you are actually setting yourself up for higher rates.

That I tend to see this coverage more often from the company that does the most advertising.

That your low rate actual makes you pay higher coverage and in the event of an accident could hinder you financial for years to come.

The difference between minimum coverage($25,000) and better coverage($100,000) many times is about $5 a month.

That I cannot think of a circumstance that I would ever do this disservice to anyone.  But then again I don’t provide quotes or promise you cheap insurance.  Who wants to buy cheap things anyhow.

Oh I have plenty of coverage…

REALLY?

How do you know? How do you know that the liability coverage you took because your agent said it is plenty really is plenty?  YOU DO NOT neither do I.  There are some silly sayings out there “rule of thumb”  , “it’s what most people take” , “You don’t need more”  REALLY?

When you hear this please hand your agent a dollar and ask them to buy you a lotto ticket. Because they can apparently predict the future.  Most agents cannot predict the future, I am one of them.  Instead I try and make some logical decisions and use your dollars to purchase as much coverage as we can.  An example;

If you do what you promise do you need to pay to get re-elected?

I cannot help but wonder how much money is spent by politicians to get re-elected.  Now I understand when you are getting elected, like starting a business, you need to let people know who you are, your plan, etc.  Your past and reputation can only get you so far.  But getting re-elected is a completely different scenario, or should it be?

Want lower rates take higher coverage

That’s right you can get more coverage for less money.  Now the problem with this is most of the companies push low rates mostly give you low coverage.  Then when you shop you are actually not able to get better rates because you got duped into a low rate by taking low coverage.

A solidly caffeinated(made up word) drink from your local coffee shop is sometimes the same price as one month’s worth of much better coverage.  That’s right for $3-$6 you can purchase $100,000 or more in coverage.  So is the company that brings you in on lower rates even interested in protecting you and your family or just providing you a low rate for insurance.