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A False Sense of Security

May 27, 2014
Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

Recently, I was away overnight to visit my daughter and her husband. After a wonderful evening, where fun was had by all, I returned to my hotel located in a wealthy town on the east coast. Due to strict anti-smoking laws, I retreated to the hotel’s parking lot to our car for an after dinner pipe while I read the evening news on my iPad. When finished, I closed up the windows and stepped out of the car to find a man leaning against the car in the blind spot away from the view of the cars mirrors. He was clearly looking to assault or rob me or both! I had no idea how long he had been lurking in there. As he stepped toward me, I stepped back out of reach and maneuvered around the car beside mine, effectively keeping him out of reach. The car was parked close to the rear entrance of the hotel and I was able to get away into the hotel before he could grab me, all the while he was sneering inflammatory comments at me. The hotel security responded quickly, he was caught and removed from the property.

As I mentioned, this was in a well to do area where the crime rate was very low. After returning to my room, I was pleased that the situation had not turned into something far more dangerous. As the next hour passed by, my thoughts centered on my disbelief that this took place in a “safe” area on the heels of a wonderful evening. The thought of something like this happening to me was the farthest thing from my mind while I happily sat at the dinner table that evening. While not very shaken up, I was in a state of disbelief. Things like that don’t happen there and things like that happen to the other guy.

In the days since this happened, and with the benefit of hindsight, I was reminded how often in our dealing with clients or potential clients that the “other guy” attitude tends to prevail over the concept that “sometimes bad things do happen to good people.” The number of people that purchase low auto insurance limits or ask for lower home or business insurance limits out of a false sense of security is staggering. Sometimes, these requests are done for economic reasons, but more often, they are done because people build a false wall security around some of life’s potential hazards. Unfortunately, there are companies and agents in the Funny nerd peeking from behind the desk isolated on white backgrmarketplace that are all too happy to sell the price without talking about the pitfalls.

As a matter of principle, we do not sell insurance coverage by using fear as a sales tool. We believe an informed consumer is a safer consumer when it comes to selecting coverage. Sadly, we are in a marketplace where there are actually companies that battle over who can get their potential customers sold a policy in the shortest number of minutes! If you take a moment and think about it, the public will sometimes spend more time selecting a menu choice in a nice restaurant than the amount of time taken when selecting a coverage amount that will financially protect everything that they have ever worked or saved for from a financial perspective. It is true that some just don’t want to be bothered because let’s face it; insurance isn’t a very interesting subject for most people. But interesting or not, it is a vital component of long term financial security. However, I believe that most often people make bad insurance choices because of a false sense of security. The law suit happens to the other guy. The fire happens to the other family. A major illness happens to old people, and so on. Often times this is even true when a client initially claims that the cost of the coverage is what is driving their choice for less coverage. This is especially true with folks that have never had a loss and have been lulled into a false sense of security.

I believe that we all need a bit of a false sense of security or we would spend our lives worrying about everything! But there needs to be balance, as with me in the parking lot that night, our world can change very quickly and often times when we least expect it. Insurance would not have protected me in that parking lot, but it was a strong reminder that when we get up in the morning, no one plans on having a life altering accident that day. Yet it happens hundreds of times each day around the country and in many cases to people that thought it would always happen to the “other guy.”

Have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

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