I think stories are very powerful tool when it comes to grasping NY insurance concepts and understanding insurance functional application. Stories allow New York insurance professionals to explain the insurance claims process in terms clients can understand.
You will never remember what your un-insured auto insurance limit is, but you always remember the horrible insurance story I tell you about why its important to max-out this NY auto insurance coverage.
Stories Make Insurance Real! Otherwise you are just buying a piece of paper and a promise…
Stories make New York insurance issues tangible.
A NY Insurance Story
I am an NY insurance geek. When I begin working with a new commercial prospect the very first thing I do after our initial meeting is break out their current policy forms and read them all the way through.
See the insurance policy forms tell the story. The insurance policy forms create suspense, drama, comedy, action, adventure (well maybe not adventure, the adventure is probably obtaining the policy forms).
The policy forms are where the NY insurance coverage you have purchased is derived from. More often then I’d like to admit people buy policies thinking they have coverage for something that is specifically excluded in the policy forms.
Unfortunately unlike trees falling in the woods, if you don’t see or hear an insurance exclusion, its still excluded.
Most people are going to look at the NY insurance coverages page (or Declarations page) and think they know the whole story… that’s like reading the back cover War & Peace and then giving your final exam book report. Its reasonable to think you may have missed a few details.
And the Insurance Plot Thickens
I know what your saying, “Enough Ryan, we get it, you’re wicked awesome at your job and you like to use metaphors and italics…” I hear you loud and clear and trust me I do have a story that ties this whole “Story Theme” together.
I was recently working with a then prospect now client on their organization’s NY insurance program. This organization is a small local not-for-profit with a fantastic mission. When the president handed me their liability insurance policy she said, “It’s so cheap, I don’t know what you’ll be able to do…”
The premium for this organization’s liability policy was under $200 a year. Not exactly a career changer. I have a feeling that most independent insurance agents would consider this account a waste of time. To be honest, you can’t buy yourself lunch on the commission.
I don’t roll that way though, I have built my book of business on certain business ideals and giving every single account the time it deserves no matter the size, shape, location is one of those Ideals. Just because this organization isn’t the United Way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a proper policy.
Needless to say I began reading the policy forms and was not completely shocked to find an endorsement added by the company after binding that essentially excluded liability from the primary function of the organization. So in essence this group had been operated WITHOUT coverage for the last three years…
I am in no way saying that a situation this severe is common. Usually the exclusion or missing coverage is far less dire. But in this case no one had ever taken the time to review the policy forms and I know that because anyone with an NY insurance license would have picked up on this exclusion.
The Moral of the Story
The point of all this rambling is to highlight the importance of actually reading the insurance policy forms that accompany your New York insurance policy. NY insurance carriers do not include them with your declarations page just to practice printing words on paper. In this case there was no way to tell that the endorsement creating the exclusion had been added from the Declaration page alone.
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