Insurance Lawyers And Insureds Need To Know The Myths

An Insurance Attorney in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Fort Worth, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, or anywhere else in Tarrant County need to know the myths about insurance coverage in their policies.
Most people who buy an insurance policy think they are covered. If they buy a homeowners policy, they assume that if anything gets damaged or destroyed in their home is covered by the policy. Well, that is just not reality.
The consumer protection group, Texas Watch, ran an article recently that points out the myths related to insurance. Part of that article is titled, “Insurance Myth #1: “You’re Covered.”
You can read the article and learn a little bit. Or you can read your policy and learn a lot. That of course assumes you can stay awake reading your policy. It also assumes you have legal knowledge that most people do not have. After all, even experienced Insurance Law Attorneys will disagree with what all the words, phrases, and paragraphs mean in an insurance policy.
Here is what the article tells us:
Home and auto insurers bombard us with slick ads telling us that we’re in good hands and that they’ll be there for us in our time of need — just like a good neighbor. When we are forced to buy insurance to drive legally on the road or to own a home, we think that we’re paying out hard-earned dollars for peace of mind. But the ugly truth is that deregulation has allowed insurance companies to carve up their policies over the last decade. We are paying way-too-high rates for what amounts to “junk policies” that do not cover many of the perils an insured would expect.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has found that the overwhelming number of homeowners policies provide less coverage for continuous or repeated leakage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning; backup of sewers and drains; and damage to foundations and slabs. Other coverage that has been slashed includes damage caused by theft, freezing pipes, falling trees, sudden discharge from heating or air conditioning systems, mold, and vehicles. Overall, reductions in coverage range up to 45%.
Guess what makes matters worse?! Insurance companies are forcing policyholders to shoulder more and more of the burden by switching from set dollar based deductibles to percentage based deductibles. Most every homeowner now knows they can have deductibles of 1%, 2%, 3%, or even 4 and 5%. On a $100,000 home, that can be as much as a $5,000 deductible. Or how about a $10,000 deductible on a $200,000 home?! Unlike heath insurance deductibles, which are based on a percentage of the claim, these deductibles are based on the value of the insured property. So, the insurance company has your premium and when you suffer that $9,000 loss on your $200,000 home, it is all out of pocket for the homeowner.
The Texas insurance market has become overwhelmingly complex, leaving many policyholders frustrated and feeling as though it’s better to stick with the devil you know. Texas insurance consumers need to have a standard policy option so that they can easily shop multiple carriers and make comparisons on the basis of price, service, and claims handling history. In other words, so that the consumer knows they are comparing apples with apples.
Texas Watch is an organization that is helpful to insurance consumers and this writer recommends that their web-site be checked out at least as often as you are renewing any particular policy you have. A few minutes will go a long way to helping you become a better informed consumer.
Here is a partial list of suggestions recently published:
1) Check out TDI’s HelpInsure: You can compare rates and policies and learn more about the Texas insurance market.
2) Compare coverage: The Office of Public Insurance Counsel has developed a Comparing Insurance Coverage tool that allows consumers to make side-by-side comparisons on policies.
3) Call your agent: Tell your insurance agent that you want a complete copy of your policy and all endorsements. Be sure to have them explain all exclusions (you will be surprised how many there are). Talk with an independent insurance agent. He can provide you with more options.