Pissed off can’t adequately describe it. We, all of us, unless there is a high ranking politician or 1%er (not the biker kind) in the crowd, are impotent in the most helpless incarnation of the word.
We live in a culture that promotes timid terror. I don’t know about you, but everything I have is insured- except my life because there’s not that much left, so why bother? I’ve insured what I can’t risk losing, in the hope that I am protecting the people I love from a colossal calamity.
This is the low down dirty of it. It doesn’t mean shit. For a long while we (that’s you and me, not the royal we) have been aware that coverage isn’t what it used to be. We’ve been paying for full coverage while gritting our teeth and accepting three-quarters coverage. We’re exposed.
We (my husband and me, as close as I want to get to royalty) work in an industry that sometimes peers in at the machinations behind insurance policies. Be afraid. Homeowners’ policies are especially inadequate. Insurance companies do not care if their insured are protected. Policies are written exclusively for risk minimization.
It used to be that property was returned to pre-loss condition, whatever the level of craftsmanship in the property was. If you had mahogany doors with gilded gold door knobs; those same doors and doorknobs would be paid for by your insurance policy. Now everything is depreciated. You’ll get what they give you and be happy to have it.
The absolute worst quality work will satisfy an insurance company in achieving depreciated pre-loss condition; scurrilous thieves preying on poor people, who do not have the guts and gumption to defend themselves.
Recently, a woman was faced with a bill for repairs to her home that she obviously could not afford to pay. She had faith that her insurance company would make her whole. Wrong. They told her she should have had her repairs completed by the fly-by-night outfit they’d tried to foist upon her. She was left with 48% of the bill and no money to pay it. She was lucky. Her contractor took the hit. But he can write it off you say. Is a write off going to pay his bills and buy his family groceries?
Next time you renew your insurance policies ask for a depreciation discount. Let your agent know that you understand the risk you’re taking and you realize that insurance will not likely pay the full replacement value of your home and its contents. Tell your agent you’d like a discount to balance the risk of your potential losses.