It Never Hurts to Get a Second Opinion
By: Nathaniel Johnson, Business Risk Consultant at Granite Insurance Agency.
You’re sitting in the doctor’s office because you have had some back pain, a slight fever, and noticed you were more tired than usual. You take this as a sign that you have been working too much or maybe exercising a little harder than you should. You think to yourself “It’s nothing to be worried about but I wanted to be checked just in case”. As the doctor walks in he sits down with you and says the words “kidney cancer”. How can this be happening to you? Things like this only happen to other people. You immediately shut down, hear half of what they have to say, and automatically think “second opinion”.
So, what in the world do second opinions have to do with insurance?
Often when we are speaking to a potential client, we hear the words “my agent is my best friend”, “I have been with my agent for 30 years”, “my current agent shoots me straight”, or any other combination of words to try and explain loyalty. I admire loyalty, and in no way, shape, or form are we here to break up happy relationships. Quite frankly, I hope that my clients are saying the same things! With that being said let’s paint a more insurance-related picture.
You’re driving down the road Friday morning and glance at your phone to see who is calling. It’s mom, just checking in on your week as you are on your way to work. You hear the screeching of tires, look up, and bang……………you collided head-on with another car. In that car is a family of four going to the beach for vacation in their brand-new Tahoe. The dad is a surgeon with a broken arm and wrist, the mom is a successful entrepreneur that has a broken leg, sweet Sarah in the back seat is unharmed, but little Jimmy can’t feel anything below the waist. Do you expect your insurance policy to respond? If so, how much is it going to pay? What do you think a claim like this is going to cost?
The problem that arises is 90% of the insurance policies we review have gaps in coverage that would cause you to lose your business, your house, your cars, and everything else you have worked for your whole life. In NC the state requirements, and most common limits of insurance are $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for other people’s property. How far are these limits going to go for the above scenario? Your agent was your best friend, he took care of you, right? How will your next party be as you are looking across the room at your friend who unfortunately cost you and your family’s life to change drastically due to not being covered correctly? The truth is you don’t have anywhere near the limits you need to cover a claim like this. You don’t expect this family of four, with all their medical bills, future surgeries, loss of income, and mental anguish to just pat you on the back and say it’s alright, do you? If the roles were reversed and someone caused damage like this to your family, what would you expect in return? $500,000? $750,000? $3,000,000?
Our point is, having close family friends, relatives, or long-lasting relationships with your current agents is not a bad thing. I want to reiterate that, having a close relationship with your agent or even a relationship with an agent that is a relative is not a bad thing. But getting a second opinion can only either provide you peace of mind that you are adequately taken care of, or it can advise you that there is room for improvement. Insurance is like a parachute: It’s not often you have to jump out of a plane, but when you do and you pull that ripcord, you want to ensure the parachute works properly! No holes, no deficiency, and no failures. Competent insurance agents are here to show you these gaps, paint these worst-case scenarios, and educate you so that at least you are prepared for the things that “only happen to other people.”