Beware the Ides of Insurance

Similar to the fortune-teller warning Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March” in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, we want to forewarn you to “Beware the Ides of Insurance.”  This hard insurance market trudges on, and insurance companies are scrutinizing their portfolios more than ever.  

Below is a list of 15 areas that could cause issues with your insurance company if left to chance and ways to possibly avoid that!

Beware of filing low dollar insurance claims. 

    Just because you have insurance does not mean you need to file claims that you can pay out of pocket.  Filing claims, regardless of cause or amount, will make your insurance rates increase.

    Beware of your insurance score. 

    An insurance score is different than a credit score but it does use information from your credit report (payment history, number of mortgages/lines of credit, length of time accounts has been established, being sent to collections, etc.) to generate your score.  Similar to your credit score, the higher the score the better.  This score helps predict the likelihood of an accident or future claim and is factored into your insurance pricing.

    Beware of not paying you bills on time and the repercussions on of that. 

    If you cancel for nonpay, do not assume the insurance carrier will reinstate you as they may have done in the past.  They are becoming stricter with late payments (those actually affect your insurance score- see #2 above- and rates.) and policies that cancel for nonpay.  Do not rely on your insurance agent to remind you if you are past due.  Instead, set them up on auto pay with your credit/debit card or bank account.

    Beware of the tree/tree limbs on your property. 

    Be proactive!  Trim tree limbs back, cut down trees that are damaging your property (growing in the foundation, under the driveway, etc.).  The insurance carriers are now using aerial imagery viewers to see if tree limbs are overhanging homes and may not offer quotes if they are.

    Beware of hiring uninsured subcontractors. 

    You assume their liability risk and are charged by the insurance carriers during your general liability and/or workers compensation audits, if they have no insurance. 

    Beware of insurance audits if you are a commercial client. 

    You must comply with these audits.  No matter how frustrating, annoying, or taxing as they are, you can’t run from them.  They will follow you.

    Beware of where your new drivers are and what they are doing. 

    Use the Life360 app or one like it to tract your new drivers and make sure they are obeying the rules of the road.  Their negligence can cost you your auto insurance.  Install dash cameras in your work vehicles for when employees are driving them.  This can help with defense in a disputed claim scenario.  We have seen it help tremendously!

    Beware of purchasing new vehicles. 

    Do not rely on the dealership contacting your insurance company and letting them know about your new vehicle.  Please call or email to make sure we know and have you properly covered.

    Beware of purchasing Kias or Hyundais. 

    Depending on your insurance carrier, they may no longer insure Kias or Hyundais.  Contact our agency first to find out if this vehicle will cause issues with your insurance carrier.

    Beware of neglecting to read your insurance policies. 

    Do not assume your coverages.  Read and ask questions as certain conditions, limits, and exclusions apply.

    Beware of your property and its condition. 

    Insurance carriers are inspecting their new and old business so this is a good time to start your spring cleaning and repairs!  If you have a loose board, fix it, dry rot on your fascia, fix it, peeling paint, fix it.  Get the idea?

    Beware of storms in your area and be prepared. 

    In 2023, the U.S. had 28 weather and climate disasters.  The combined total cost of these disasters was $92.9 billion according to The Big I with the insurance industry paying $65 billion in CAT (catastrophe) losses.

    Beware that if you file a claim with the insurance carrier, you will need to submit receipts, paid invoices, or pictures to show the repairs have been made. 

    Unfortunately, not everyone makes the repairs after they file a claim with the insurance carrier and further damage is caused, which is why you must provide proof it is done.  In some claims, the insurance carriers hold recoverable depreciation until the work is complete.  If you do not turn in your claim repair information, you will not get the recoverable depreciation.

    Beware of not communicating with your insurance agent. 

    If you add on to your home, let us know.  If you add a pool, let us know.  If you change your business operations, let us know.  If you hire new drivers, let us know.  We want to make sure you are covered.

    Beware that we are your partners. 

    We are here Get Coverageto educate on how insurance works, keep you updated on changed in the insurance industry, and be your advocate to the insurance carriers.  We do not make the insurance rates.  That is between the insurance companies and the SC Department of Insurance.  We do try to save you money while getting you the best coverage available.