By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Financial Services | Issue: August 2012
Amber Helmuth, personal lines risk manager for RCI Insurance.
Some might find it interesting that the phrase “one size fits all” has become so commonplace in our marketplace, since there is rarely any truth to it. Whether one is talking about shoes or clothing or cars or homes, most people have their own unique needs and preferences to consider when making purchases that will affect their everyday lives and comfort.
Insurance is no different. Many companies might present insurance within a series of easy choices, available with a few clicks of a button and an online payment. But Mick Cottom of RCI Insurance in Claremore warns about the pitfalls of making a hasty decision when buying insurance. “Trying to compare apples to apples will get you smashed when you hit the road,” he says. “You want coverage that protects your personal situation.”
Cottom uses this example to illustrate his point: A man has purchased the most basic coverage, 25-50-25, on his vehicle. This means that the coverage caps at $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for the entire accident, and $25,000 for property damage. One day, he collides with a Mercedes Benz, driven by a doctor who is transporting his wife and two children. Not only are two people in the other vehicle killed, but the man himself is badly injured and is in the hospital for six months. “Will that 25-50-25 insurance cover the devastating costs of this accident?” Cottom asks. “Who will pay the man’s salary while he is off work?”
Protection against the worst that could happen is the reason for procuring insurance in the first place, but ironically people often don’t consider the very worst that can happen when they actually make the purchase. “We all think we are invincible,” Cottom states. “A lot of consumers are uninformed when it comes to insurance and will gravitate toward the lowest price.”
Basing a decision on the lowest price, however, will often leave huge holes in the safety net that insurance was designed to provide. That’s why Cottom encourages current and potential clients to call or visit Amber Helmuth, personal lines risk manager at RCI Insurance, to review and discuss an individualized plan. Amber specializes in personal service, helping to set RCI Insurance apart from the “one size fits all” discount companies whose one-on-one service ends once the policy has been sold.
“Sometimes we actually can provide a person a great deal more insurance for the same price they were paying just through these discussions,” Cottom adds. He cites the example of a local businessman whose assets were worth around $2.5 million, but who was only carrying the basic 25-50-25 insurance. After discussion and review, RCI Insurance was able to provide the man over 10 times the coverage of his previous plan, combine his auto, home and other insurance policies, plus add a $1 million umbrella over all his assets – for about the same price he’d been paying for the basic insurance.
How much insurance do you need? The only way to know for sure is to talk it over with an agent such as Amber Helmuth. “Come sit down or have a meaningful conversation over the phone,” Cottom says. “In order to maximize discounts, we will review your whole situation, give you total protection, and bring you into our circle of safety.”