If I had A Crystal Ball – one person’s opinion
If I had a crystal ball and could have seen into the future to learn that a pandemic was approaching, would I have even been able to find or afford insurance to cover my economic losses? No, the coverage simply wasn’t available, at any cost, and as of today, it still isn’t.
My family and I are suffering economic hardship in similar ways to many Americans today. Last week, as my wife and I walked through a desolate and sparsely populated Seattle-Tacoma Airport, we turned toward one another and realized at that moment that every airport around the globe looked essentially the same. The experience was surreal, and it’s one that is as indelible as was 911 for me.
I don’t think our lives will ever be quite the same, but we will work to rebuild.
Insurance policies are legal contracts, like a lease agreement for a car, or rental property. In leases, the wording explains what you, the lessor is responsible for, and what your tenant is responsible for.
If you’ve leased a car to someone, you will expect them to cover damage to the car from a fire, theft or an accident. Likewise, if the person driving the car injures someone while operating it, you wouldn’t expect to be responsible for the injuries the driver caused to the injured people, would you? Of course not.
There are standard conditions that all of us brace for, a fire, a theft, an injury we accidentally cause to someone.
In these modern days, fires and car accidents are predictable by using computer modeling. But what about an earthquake or a flood? Earthquakes and floods are hard to predict, even with sophisticated computer modeling, and because of that, insuring these kinds of unpredictable things are expensive and not every insurance carrier has the stomach for it.
Most people make a conscious decision to save money on insurance by not buying earthquake or flood coverage. For those that do, the cost is quite high.
In more than 95% of the cases, insurance policies are designed to cover everything that’s not excluded in writing. The things that most of us buy insurance to cover are fire, theft, and liability for when we injure someone. There’s never a dispute if you buy a fire insurance policy, and you have a fire. You’re going to get paid. Not all loss causes are as cut and dried.
What if there is a war and huge sections of our country are destroyed? No Coverage
What if you go on a rampage and injure your fellow citizens? No Coverage
What if you make and distribute a product that is determined to be unsafe to the public, and you are ordered to recall the product and reimburse everyone the price they paid for it? No Coverage – but in some cases, coverage might be available for an additional cost. These kinds of claims are rare and hard to predict, so the cost can be quite expensive.
What about Pandemic Insurance?
Pandemic Insurance just doesn’t exist in today’s marketplace. Just like after 911, an act of war that rocked our country and decimated vast sections of our infrastructure, coverage didn’t exist, Within a year, legislation had been passed to help protect Americans on a go forward basis and the cost to purchase Terrorism Insurance has since been spread across every policyholder in America.
We Americans will find our way out of these challenging times. Through the process of digging out we will become a stronger Nation, so long as we don’t turn on each other by placing undue blame on our Government or our Business Community.
Dana Coates is a semi-retired Risk Manager with an effective team to back him. Dana founded the company in 1996 and was mentored by some of the industry’s history makers. United Western Insurance Brokers, Inc., also known as UWIB, serves successful businesses and families, primarily in the Western US. With offices in Los Angeles and Seattle, UWIB is a fully digital agency which enables them to serve clients from anywhere, even when infrastructure has been disrupted. For a coverage evaluation on your business or your personal insurance portfolio, reach out to [email protected] . You’ll be contacted quickly by a real person who is seasoned and ready to work. Visit the company’s digital presence at UWIB.com.