>I received a lot of e-mail expressing a contrary opinion,
>and this morning contacted the agent again. She checked
>with the company, and determined that the tower and
>antennas _are_ covered under the Personal Property section.
With pre-emptive apologies to all the perfect, capable, caring, and moral
insurance agents reading this...
Remember, the person answering your questions at an insurance agency gets
paid the same amount of money per hour regardless of whether they answer
your questions accurately or not. Increasing their knowledge of your policy
does not increase their pay. So, in fact, they have no motivation to learn
anything about what is or is not covered. And, after all, it's your loss,
I called my local agency (Liberty Mutual in Brattleboro, VT) and asked a
simple question about my auto policy: If I rent a 24' U-haul van, is it
covered under my policy as a rental vehicle? Here's how it went.
Agent: "Sure, rentals are covered."
Me: "Trucks? Are you sure?"
Agent: "I'm pretty sure. I think so. It should be."
Me: "Could you find out for certain, please?"
Agent: "I guess I could call the main office."
Me: "Good idea. If the answer you get is that I am covered, I want you to
write me a letter on company letterhead stating that I am covered for use of
this rental van."
Agent: "You want it in writing? You want a written letter?" [Incredulity in
Me: "Yes, please."
Agent: "You want me to send you a letter saying that you're covered?"
[Resentment that I would ask her to perform a service]
Me: "You betcha."
I got a call back later saying that vehicles over xxx pounds GVW (of which
the van was over) are NOT covered.
Moral of the story: No one has ever been unpleasantly surprised by assuming
their insurance agent (or some other service employee) was an idiot. Read
and understand every aspect of every contract you sign. And when you buy a
service, you're the only one looking out for your interest -- no matter how
personable the seller.
Rob Hummel (WS1A) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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