GREEN:  Don’t be clueless about your insurance policy

By Bill Green, special to Charleston Currents  |  If you’re anything like me, then you have a box or a drawer somewhere that you store your important papers. You shove them in there; stuff you need but never actually read. The deed to your house, for example, or the lease on your car. Stuff that’s important to keep, but not what you think about on a daily basis… until something bad happens.

When the rubber meets the road? It’s usually fast. And dramatic. And it often results in your scrambling  through that same box, frantically trying to read something you never paid attention to in the first place.


Do you have any idea what’s in your homeowner’s insurance policy? Do you know what your car insurance REALLY covers? These sound like rhetorical questions (“Yes, of course I know, my coverage is blah blah blah!”) but the reality is that most people don’t. In fact, a recent poll from Nationwide Insurance reported that 57 percent of people know more about their favorite television show than they do their insurance policy.

Let’s repeat that. More than half the people surveyed know more about Game of Thrones (or whatever show they watch) than they do what’s in actual document that can legally make, or break, the safety and security of their family in the event of an accident at someone else’s hands.

If you are one of these people, you’re not to blame.  Insurance policies are tricky, hard to read, and, at times, designed to be ambiguous.  That same group poll from Nationwide stated that 53 percent of folks admit their policy is “too long” to read, and 43 percent said it was too complex. Thirty-one percent said the document as overwhelming and just about the same number of people noted that insurance policies are confusing.

This is a big problem. First, it means that over half of everyday, regular people (like you or me) are walking around uninformed about some serious stuff. Second, it means that this same group of people is counting on big insurance companies to have our back — when we don’t read the fine print in the documents that detail our policy, we assume that it says certain things, and therefore protects us in certain ways.  And when we assume, we make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Or something like that.

So how does someone fix this? It’s a lot less complex than it sounds.

First, know that you are your best asset when it comes to pro-actively protecting yourself against lawsuits, claims, and unexpected risks are your own ability to GET PROACTIVE and BE IN THE KNOW.

This means get help. If you are one of those 43 percent of folks who think their policy is too complex, talk someone who knows what to look for to explain things to you. And it doesn’t have to cost you anything. For example, the folks at my firm will review your insurance policy totally free for you.  We’ve created the Insurance Detective evaluation where we’ll check out your home, auto and renters insurance policy to explain things to you.  We don’t make money from it; we do it because we feel really strongly that INFORMED people are PROTECTED people. And, when it comes to keeping your family safe, protection is a pretty important thing.

The point in all of this? Find the loopholes. Either you or someone experienced (like our guys at Green Law Firm) will suss out the risks and make sure you know where you are left vulnerable.  Do you have full protection? Up to how much will your insurance pay you? And what about floods or damages from severe weather?

Here’s a fact. You are too busy to look at all the papers you shove in that drawer. Companies know this. How many warranties for products do you keep? Do you follow assembly instructions or go to town on your own with that Allen wrench? Did you check the boxes when you applied for renters insurance without reading the fine print?

Here’s another fact. Big insurance companies are counting on you being clueless. The more clueless you are, the less fuss you make when something goes wrong.

Except that’s where they’ve underestimated you. Because YOU are one protective son-of-a-gun. Think Harrison Ford, in Air Force One. Or Sarah Connor, Terminator 2-style. And now that you know this? I’m betting you’ll step up and do something to protect yourself.  Because nothing is more valuable than some peace of mind.

Attorney Bill Green, who has an office in North Charleston, will schedule a free Insurance Detective review online at or by phone, (843) 747-2455.


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