Q: Is there really that much difference from company to company and policy to policy? Are they “boilerplate,” or is there really a great deal of variety from policy to policy?
The answer is both. A lot of these companies use boilerplate language which varies very little from company to company. They base it off of a commercial policy or have the same kind of language.
But you also run into where an insurance company will define something differently for some reason.
You never really know until you start to delve deeper into the policy whether it’s going to be your stock language, or whether the insurance company has amended it. It is very typical for an insurance company to take what I call a stock language policy, but then add their own language to it.
Is the agent selling me the policy required to hidden provisions that may work to my detriment later?
They may be required to, but often they sell it to you without you reading the actual language of the policy, offering it to you as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. You agree to it, and then they send you the language of the policy you’re on, so you don’t really know what’s in it until you read the language of the contract.
Unfortunately, often a person will not know the limitations of their coverage until they meet with me.
Is there ever an instance where you’re called upon to look at a policy before the person is in an accident?
I’ve looked at policies for people who were not in immediate need of it. The insurance policies are not written in an understandable manner.
Most people I’ve dealt with have never read their policy. Most people say “I’m fully covered,” and I say, “What does that mean?” And, they say “I’ve been told I’m fully covered.” Then ten times out of ten, the people who believe that they are fully covered have the minimum $15,000/$30,000 and are not fully covered as a result.
You have to purchase enough insurance to protect yourself because you can’t rely on the person who hit you to have enough to cover you, so the most important insurance you purchase is that uninsured motorists coverage.