After the news report the other night I called my neighbor…
After the news report the other night I called my neighbor, who is also my insurance agent. I asked him if I stopped paying the premiums on my house, would they continue to insure me and pay me if my house burned down.
I think he thought I had been drinking, (I hadn’t) but he was kind enough to tell me that of course they would not. Then he asked why I would ask such a question. I then told him about the lawsuit filed by the attorney general of the state of Mississippi to force the insurance companies to pay for homes without flood insurance, which were ruined by hurricane Katrina. I could hear his breath suck in and then he told me that I had to be kidding. I assured him that I was not.
In case you missed it last week, that’s what they did in Mississippi. The attorney general decided that homeowners who had a homeowners policy but had not purchased a separate flood policy had been cheated and defrauded and should be reimbursed. How was a homeowner to know that they wouldn’t receive any money if their house floated away under the policy they owned’
I don’t know about you, but this kind of stuff makes me sick to my stomach. What the wonderful state of Mississippi is trying to do is to get the insurance companies to pay out millions and perhaps billions of dollars for losses they had not contracted to insure, nor were they paid for. Anyone who has had a home for any length of time should be adult enough to know that normal homeowner’s policies do not cover rising water as you might encounter in a flood. For this coverage you will need a separate policy called a ‘ pay attention now.FLOOD INSURANCE policy. Flood insurance, got it’
So, since the state of Mississippi is taking the position that the homeowners of Mississippi just never knew what their coverage actually entailed and that they were cheated, then I think it’s only reasonable to assume that if I stop paying on my policy then if I have a loss, it would be covered as well. Don’t you think that’s fair’ I could always say I didn’t realize I wouldn’t have any coverage if I stopped paying for it. Or I thought the policy that covered my house also allowed me to go to the hospital for treatment. How was I to know’ I’ m not an insurance professional; nobody told me that my car insurance policy wouldn’t cover new glasses, or a root canal. I mean why have one of those old long, detailed things called a contract when all you need to do is send in a check ever so often and the insurance companies will cover you for any losses out of the goodness of their heart. Don’t hold your breath.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the people who lost their homes and businesses due to the storm. But, listen to me, if the insurance companies go back and decide to remove their exclusion for flood and rising water damage in order to pay for the damage, where do you think those losses will show up’ You got insurance’ You hide and watch. You and I will start to see those increases in our premiums. Those insurance companies don’t build those big buildings because they are stupid or because they like losing money.
So whose responsibility is it to know about what you are covered for or not’ May I be so bold as to suggest it is you and I.
We have become a nation of whiners. We point the finger at everyone other than at ourselves. If you don’t know what your insurance covers, why do you own a house’ If you drink and drive and have an accident, why is the bartender or waitress that served you at fault’ If you get angry over paying child support then why did you have the child’ If you don’t like the way the nation is run, then why didn’t you vote’
In the thirty-five years or so that I’ve been in business I have never met a man or woman who didn’t know how to cash a check. I use this example to show that most of our population can do things when it is beneficial to them. I only wish they could do other things when it is beneficial to the rest of us.