It’s said quite often: “I’m not interested,” (in insurance). And the fact is that a significant number of people genuinely are NOT interested in insurance per sé. People are not really interested in insurance in very much the same way that many people are not really interested in exercise.
What people ARE interested in is what exercise can do for them, in other words, the benefits of doing exercise. So they make it a priority; they make time for it in their daily plan several days a week; they make it a point to check it off once it is completed each day. They get an exercise buddy to hold them accountable to their goals and commitments in the area of exercise, and quite often, they quantify and measure their progress. Would they do all this, expend so much effort, and commit so much time to something that was not really important? If I had to take a guess, I’d say, “Probably not.”
People make commitments to run, or jog, or walk, or go to the gym so many days each week, for a certain number of minutes (or hours!) because they know that, in time, they will reap the benefits of the running/jogging/walking/ working out. Their blood pressure will get better, their stress level will go down, their blood sugar numbers will fall, their “love handles” will shrink, they’ll lose 20 pounds, and their doctor will finally “get off their back”. They will likely start to feel better, and be able to keep up with their kids without getting winded. When you look at all the good that can come from doing something that may not be much fun (at least in the beginning), it tends to become substantially more appealing.
So it is with insurance. Too often, we focus on the fact that getting insurance means money going out, and we lose sight of what we and our families (or our company) are getting in exchange for those dollars. So what do we get? The specifics vary, depending on the type of insurance but there are several benefits that convey regardless of the type.
Though in many cases a deductible is the responsibility of the insured, insurance protects the insured from having to foot the entire bill whether it is for personal injury, replacing stolen property, repairing/replacing a vehicle (yours or someone else’s) after an accident, or repairing a home or business after a serious weather event or other catastrophe.
Gap insurances (there are several types) help the insured pay expenses not covered by their primary insurance for the particular situation. One example is Medicare gap insurance, which helps seniors (who often are on a fixed income) meet deductibles and copays that their Medicare plan does not cover.
Supplemental insurances (many of these are health-related) are similar to gap insurance, but many pay the insured directly, rather than paying the service provider. This can be a big advantage to the insured, as they may have substantial control over how this money is spent, and it may help them keep their homes and other goods, despite being unable to work for a time because of illness or injury.
Life insurance can make a huge difference for a family that loses their main breadwinner. It can mean the difference between constant struggle and worry over how the bills are going to get paid, versus the blessing of financial support during the period of grieving and transition into a position of increasing self-sufficiency.
In all of these situations, the insured gained peace of mind, knowing that the insurance they chose to purchase would be a safety net for them in their time of need. The insured was able to maintain their dignity, in spite of the troubling situation in which they found themselves. While it is true that money cannot solve every problem, financial support can certainly help ease the stress that is a normal part of these life-impacting situations.
Is there anything you can do to ensure that you are making good choices regarding insurance for yourself, your family, or your business? Yes, there is (I’m glad you asked).
Educate yourself about the insurance you are considering. Talk to other business owners or people that are in a similar situation to yours, and humbly ask for their help. Ask them what they have done, and what their reasons were for doing so. Describe your situation and ask for their recommendation. Do this with several who are apparently doing well and are where you want to be. Take notes. Study it. Discuss it with your business partner or significant other.
When you do purchase insurance, resist the temptation to file away your paperwork immediately. Instead, read the materials that you receive in your policy package with a highlighter and a pen by your side. Use them to highlight anything you don’t understand, and write your questions in the margin (or on a separate sheet, but note the page number and paragraph that sparked the question).
After you have completed step 2, call your representative and set an appointment to review your policy. Remember that there are no dumb questions. Your representative’s job is to help you gain confidence in your understanding of how the policy works, and to provide you with outstanding customer service. If your representative makes you feel dumb, maybe you should consider getting a new one.
One of the best ways to know if you are getting the right coverage is by knowing what you already have. If you have policies in your folder that you don’t understand or know how they work, do steps 2 and 3 for those policies as well. There should be no problem with a representative coming out to see you and helping you understand your policies.
Don’t be afraid to politely assert your rights as a policyholder. You are the customer. And while the customer may not always be right (if you don’t understand your policy), the customer is ALWAYS the customer. And every customer deserves outstanding customer service. Your representative is your customer service delivery system; your resource. Use your resources. Remember, they can’t say “yes” if you don’t ask. So go ahead, ASK.
8000 IH W STE 600
San Antonio, TX 78230