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Five Deadly Insurance Mistakes

Insurance is your protection. Yet when it comes to purchasing Virginia insurance, many people make huge mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars. Here are the five deadly insurance mistakes that are made by consumers over and over:

1. They don’t use the insurance shopping checklist. Many agents will provide you with a free checklist that will evaluate what coverage you need and don’t need. This will also outline any questions you need to ask as you “interview” your agent. Many people are underinsured or over insured because they don’t take the time to truly consider their needs.

2. They mistake “cheap” for “value.” You may get a low premium, but you sacrifice with a higher deductible. If you have a claim, you may end up paying thousands of dollars that would have been covered if you had increased your premium by just a few dollars. Make sure your coverage really protects your assets-even if it costs a few dollars more. And most insurance agents offer discounts. You can find value in these discounts without sacrificing coverage.

3. They don’t thoroughly read the Virginia insurance policy. Your agent will explain the policy to you, but it is your responsibility to know what is covered and not covered. Once you have signed the policy, you can’t claim you didn’t know what the policy entails.

4. They trust their family’s protection to a $5 an hour temp operator. Many of the larger companies advertise great service but that service comes from customer service operators, not claims specialists or agents. Is this who you want when you are in a crisis? You want a professional agent who will handle your claim promptly and personally. Better yet, find an agent that offers a 24-hour response guarantee.

5. They have their policies with different agencies. Combining all polices (home, auto, life, boat, etc…) can save you up to 40 percent. If you haven’t asked your agent about combing policies, you are cheating yourself out of hundreds of dollars.

These mistakes may not seem so bad to you but consider this example. You are involved in a car wreck at 2 a.m. You call the 800 number provided by the agency. The overnight “customer service specialist” says no one is available to help you at the time. You are stranded, injured and upset. You are not exactly sure what type of coverage you have. Three days later, someone comes to inspect your car and assess your injures. With a home auto specialist, you will have someone respond within 24 hours and begin processing your claim immediately. Which type of service do you prefer?