1. Why is our insurance company so much more demanding than our local Fire
Department regarding building codes?
Insurers have to pay, the city doesn't.
When the FD puts out a fire that should never have started, they're heros, but the
insurer has to pay to repair damages that were preventable. Insurers want to cover
safety conscious people. They expect to pay for accidents, and things beyond
your control, not for neglect or losses contributed to by a lack of proper
2. How do we know we'll have enough insurance to replace everything we
Great question. It's hard to know, because so many variables impact
the cost of reapirs. It's also difficult to tell how much personal property is worth
if it has not been recently purchased, inventoried, or appraised. The most
common mistake many people make is assuming that they will not lose
everything. Next, is that "our things aren't worth anything." And last, never
telling their agent what they have. Someday it may all be different, but for now,
there is no master checklist that will assist you to know all you need to know.
Instead there are Agents and Brokers. Just like policies, agents are different,
and don't all agree on everything. A little research goes a long way. We can
help. And some policies conditionally promise to pay in excess of the stated
limits, ask us how.
3. How about our collection of Whats Its?
People collect everything imaginable. And some of those collections are
extremely valuable. Insurance policies are not set up to provide a "blank check"
without proof of loss, so you have to be prepared to demonstrate ownership,
authenticity, and value. One thing all policies have in common is: limitations,
conditions, and exclusions that ultimately control what's covered, and how much
you can collect in a given situation. Few people read policies thoroughly before
purchasing, and if they mean to read it later, that day may not come until after a
claim has been denied. VIA is here to help, but you need to call us in advance.
4. Why can't I just get everything I want just the way I want it?
Though considered a "financial services" business, insurance is nothing like retail
where sales are based on instant gratification, bragging rights, a need to be
trendy, or an intense dislike for the table service etc. Insurance as a whole does
provide a key service across a broad spectrum that touches just about everything,
and everyone at some point, but the interactions with customers are far different
as it's a product that no one ever wants to use, but some of us use much more
often than others do (such as with medical and auto insurance). Life insurance is
really death insurance (but nobody wants to talk about dying), and while new
plans may allow pre death advance payments for end stage, and long term care,
the appeal is knowing you've provided for your family unselfishly, unlike a great
new car, a vacation home, or dream vacation etc. There are about 2300 Life
insurers doing business in CA, and hundreds of Property & Casualty companies
for a reason. And even though many brag that they are the best at everything
under the sun, it's too big of a business for that boasting to be true.
Insurance is one of a few multi billion dollar businesses that touches every
part of our life. It's the grease that keeps economic gears turning, and it's also
the means to repair and replace everything that we depend on for food, shelter,
communications, and transportation. It's a great big business that some people
love to hate, and most just think is deadly B-O-R-I-N-G. It's imperfect as are
all businesses, but it's full of caring people who take their community service
very seriously. Insurers provide extremely critical financial support for our
families and our businesses that allow us to live our normal life, get loans so we
can buy things, pursue our dreams, start and expand business, and of course fix
what's been broken.
If your only connection with your insurance is paying the bills, maybe the multi
million dollar advertisements comfort you? If you've had a bad claims
experience, maybe those commercials upset you? Is any giant corporation
really your good neighbor, good hands, or any of the other things they spend so
much policyholder cash trying t convince you they are?
Our experience is that if you expect to be PAID, that only happens where the
required coverage is part of your policy. Claims people may feel really bad for
your loss, but they won't offer to pay for things your policy does not cover!