Does the thought of Insurance leave a bad taste in your mouth?
We get it, but not all insurance is created equal
Insurance have you frustrated?
We sell insurance for a living, so we are no strangers to the frustration that a lot of people feel towards owning insurance.
Insurance companies have a hard job to do. They have to remain profitable while selling a single policy that could benefit you over a million times more in value than the premiums you have paid them.
The public tends to categorizes the many different types of insurance policies into one Category - INSURANCE - and the truth is that not all insurance is the same:
Long Term Care Insurance
Nearly everyone owns or feels they are "forced" to own Health Insurance, Car Insurance, and Homeowners insurance. You can't drive a car on a public road without owning insurance, you can't have a mortgage on your house without maintaining a Homeowners's insurance policy, and our government tells us that we have to own Health Insurance.
Whenever you are forced to own something there has to be a market for you to purchase what is mandated that you own. So Insurance companies, in order to do business in your state are forced to write certain high risk - low reward policies in order to be allowed to offer some of their more profitable products. This means that some carriers depending on the line of business are forced into finding a way to remain profitable which contributes to everyone's bad taste for insurance.
The insurance carriers are never looked at as being the good guys when it comes to health insurance and understandably so. The reason is that your policy isn't underwritten by an underwriter until a claim is filed.
This means the carrier wrote your policy with little or no underwriting on the front end. They just gave you a policy in the hope that as part of the law of large numbers your group's collective claims wouldn't outweigh the premiums they collected in your demographic. So when the claims start to come in, the carrier is forced to underwrite the claim essentially looking for reasons to delay or limit the benefit in order to remain profitable.
Why wouldn't you have a bad taste in your mouth about Insurance, nobody wants their personal medical situation to be looked at under a microscope when it comes time to pay up. We feel that the premiums we pay are a lot and we think you should pay - after all, we bought the policy to cover us if we got sick, well we got sick - now pay up!
Now in most cases, they do, but if you've ever filed a claim or had to deal with EOB's you've probably witnessed first hand how difficult it was for your carrier to release the money. Carriers often request extra documentation from you, where one can easily assume that they are simply hoping that at least a few of you will ignore it or not bother, saving them money. And for those of you that do comply, well it's a lot of work for something that we feel should be cut and dry.
I don't care who you are, nobody likes to buy car insurance. That's evident in the fact that we constantly shop our car insurance looking for the cheapest rate every six months. If we truly cared about car insurance we'd spend the time to really review the coverages, the carriers, and we'd be certain that we worked with an agent who can package it together for us and help us with all of the above as well as to help us when a claim arises. Instead, car insurance is becoming direct to consumer and the insured is left alone online to figure out policy features while the insurance carrier knows you are likely just shopping for the cheapest price. When left alone to understand complex car insurance policies, you are more likely to leave out important riders that make a difference should you ever really need to file a claim.
While the carrier runs a motor vehicle check to determine the risk associated with insuring you, someone has to insure you even if your motor vehicle report shows that you aren't the most responsible driver. In addition, the insurance carrier knows that they can't control the road and as a result, the costs associated with an auto claim of any sort make it nearly impossible for the carrier to ever turn a profit from you once you've filed a claim. If you've ever filed a claim on your car insurance, you've probably noticed that the insurance carrier does some pretty heavy investigative work surrounding any claim you make on your policy. You'll also notice that your carrier has either increased your rates or non-renewed your policy. This leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Why are they raising my rates or canceling my coverage for filing a claim? That's what you are paying premiums for, right?
Homeowners and Flood Insurance
Homeowners and Flood Insurance are very similar to Car Insurance. Nobody wants to own it, we buy it because our mortgage companies won't give us the money to buy our house unless we have it. That's why so many of us simply rate shop looking for the cheapest insurance to get the job done. After all how likely is it that our house is going to burn down or a flood is going to occur and if those things do happen it would be so obvious so filing a claim should be simple, right?
Well, you can imagine that when a claim does occur, the insurance carrier just lost on you. No matter what happens moving forward they are unlikely to ever recoup their expenses from your claim through your insurance premiums.
If you've ever filed a Homeowners or Flood Insurance claim you may have noticed that the insurance carrier did a lot of research surrounding your claim. You might have also experienced what some consider to be a negotiation with an onsite adjuster who's opinion of the cost associated with fixing your damage seems far lower than any estimate you've been given for the work.
The adjuster's opinion on the costs associated with repairing your damage can create a delay which in a lot of cases leaves you with no other choice but to come out of pocket to get the property fixed yourself while you wait for them to determine what they feel you are entitled to. You might have also been denied your claim or been what feels like intentionally low balled forcing you to hire an attorney out of your own pocket. For those of us who have been through this process, we often wonder how many people even bother going to this extent and simply give up. People often speculate that the insurance company banks on the hope that the majority of people will just give up - saving them millions. This would leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth.
I personally witnessed a situation in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey. My parents owned a home in Ortley Beach NJ that was completely and totally destroyed by the storm.
The insurance carriers paid, but only small portions of what they should have paid, and many people including my parents were forced to sue the insurance carriers just to recoup the remaining portion of what they were entitled to. I know my parents did not receive their total flood and homeowner's coverage until the end of 2017 for a storm that occurred in 2012. Many New Jerssians dealing with a similar situation either ran out of steam or money and were forced to just take what the carrier gave them even though it didn't represent what they truly deserved from their policy. Leaving a permanent bad taste in the mouths of those affected.
Group Long Term Disability Benefits
My agency works mostly with Physicians and Dentists and in today's day and age, the majority of physicians work for large institutions where Group Insurance Benefits are part of their employment package.
Group Long Term Disability Benefits are designed to provide Long Term Income Protection should a sickness or injury prevent you from working recognizing that your ability to works means your ability to work in your medical specialty.
Physicians know through a 50 Year peer system that they are supposed to get a specific type of Disability Insurance referred to as Specialty Specific or Own Occupation coverage.
When physicians are left with relying on their medical institution to deliver their long term disability insurance they are disappointed to learn that the coverage provided through their employer is not truly Specialty Specific Disability Insurance.
Group Long Term Disability Insurance provides usually a taxable monthly benefit (taxable because your employer is usually paying the premiums) so long as you suffer a disability that prevents you from working in your medical specialty AND you are not gainfully employed.
Most physicians are left with a bad taste in their mouth when filing a claim and learning in order to be considered totally disabled their employer-sponsored plan limits their ability to earn an income in any other capacity for the rest of their career.
Individual Disability Insurance
I'm a consumer too, and I've had the same negative experiences described above, the same as you. But working in the insurance industry has taught me that not all insurance is created equal.
in 2004, I decided to work with insurance policies that were fully underwritten on the front end this way when a claim arises the carrier has nothing left to underwrite and only focuses on your claim in order to pay your benefit as it should be.
As it relates to physicians, I only sell "True" Specialty Specific Disability Insurance allowing you to file a claim for any sickness or injury that may prevent you from working in your medical specialty without reducing your disability benefit if you elect to work in a different capacity. Leaving the future of your career in your hands.
Individual Life and Disability Insurance are completely elective and the carriers fully underwrite the risk prior to offering you a policy. It's up to you if you want to own it and because the risk is fully underwritten before you buy, the carriers have more accurate actuarially tables that make offering you a policy and paying out a claim much more profitable to them. This helps to ensure that you are much less likely to walk away with the same bad taste in your mouth as some of the other insurance products we are forced to own or that are given to us for free, where the carrier is not fully underwriting the risk until you file a claim.
To learn more or if you have questions please feel to contact me. You can also schedule a call to speak with me by clicking the link below.