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Lori’s Story

May 2, 2011

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

We pontificate at often on the importance of carrying the proper amount of coverage and on a group of insurance carriers that knowingly sell coverage amounts that have been trimmed in order to give the appearance of cheap rates.

Like the police officer that hopes to take drunk drivers off the road because he (or she) has arrived at too many bad car accidents that could have been avoided, I find myself playing the role of “insurance cop” for similar reasons.

I have known Lori for some time, but never had the opportunity to handle her insurance. She is a well educated professional with everything going for her personally and career wise. I hadn’t spoken to Lori for several months when I received a call from her following a terrible car accident. Fortunately, after major surgery and a lengthy recovery process, she has returned to work. Her medical bills exceeded more than $150,000 and she will live with some permanent discomfort for the rest of her life.

Lori had made the decision to purchase her auto insurance on line because as she described “I didn’t want to have to deal with anyone.” Many companies that sell on line are careful not to make any specific recommendations and Lori didn’t receive any. As the victim of a hit and run accident, she was forced to rely on the “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” coverage portion of her policy. This is one of the area’s that is often cut by carriers that sell directly. We often find clients that have been told that this coverage in not needed. In Lori’s case, she carried the Connecticut state minimum of $20,000. This coverage is designed to do two things: The first is to cover your medical bills and secondly and often more importantly, to help cover for a “pain and suffering” loss, meaning a person is compensated for some sort of permanent loss. Connecticut law states that the auto insurer is “primary” before the health insurance coverage pays a benefit.

The medical bills added to her permanent suffering will easily total more than $300,000. Her savings for cutting this coverage was most likely less than $100 per year, less than $9 per month! The Founders Insurance Group stepped in and helped her file a claim as she didn’t even understand that she could claim something from her own company. The company quickly settled for the $20,000 limit, but the rest is now her responsibility.

I try to never sell insurance based on fear. However, my anger over these insurance carriers that continuously tout price continues to rise. Our rates are competitive and often better than these carriers, but we firmly believe that it’s not how much the “promise” costs but rather how is that “promise” kept.

Everyone feels that these terrible things happen to the “other guy” and sadly we meet the “other guy” all too often. In a difficult economy, everyone, including me, needs to be careful with their budget, but there are some basics that shouldn’t be sacrificed.

Think about it.

Chris Garlasco

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