Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

Language Barrier

Clarity is key no matter what language is spoken.

"I hate to ask this," she began.

"Maybe I’ll hate to answer," I replied, "but let’s give it a shot."

Let’s look at the evidence gathered so far. What have we learned?

  1. Louise has no clue what she is reading.
  2. Neither do John and Mary.
  3. These are not proposals, they are quote sheets: lists of numbers that are assumed to have clear meaning to the reader. Reality? See Nos. 1 and 2.
  4. I have no doubt the dwelling coverage for C is the same as B. The $155,000 is evidently what she may receive if the carrier’s proprietary "guaranteed replacement cost" endorsement kicks in. That endorsement will clearly pay up to 125 percent of Coverage A (do the math).
  5. Because there is no copy nor mention of that endorsement or policy provision on the "proposal," no one knows exactly when or how it will be triggered, so for now the $155,000 falls under the heading of "vaporware."
  6. Although C listed multiple deductibles, it is likely (but not certain) there is only one standard deductible per loss, and not a separate one per coverage.
  7. The $300,000 is her liability coverage limit.
  8. Her garage, if detached, is an "Other Building."
  9. Each company includes some additional coverages that the others do not—or maybe they just did not put them on the quote sheet.
  10. If price is all that matters, A looks like a slam dunk. Because she is still trying to decide which to buy, price is clearly not all that matters.

What don’t we know?

Only you’d be dead wrong. All quotes came from local agents. Note the reality: She reached for her phone to make inquiry;  no one insisted she come to their offices prior to sending a quote sheet; each furnished quotes with no explanations of the obvious limitations and shortcomings, and each sent similar materials to others.

Louise clearly understood she was facing an important decision. When she became confused and uncertain, she called her trusted aunt and uncle. They, just like Louise, realized they were lost and turned to their trusted friend.

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