Don’t assume anything

I just talked with a client who has an unoccupied building that he is currently trying to sell. With the recent cold snap, his pipes froze and burst. He previously had insurance coverage which covered a similar claim (even though the premises was closed and was not being used at the time). He changed insurance to save money on his premium, for what he understood was identical coverage. Turns out that was an incorrect assumption. The same claim is not covered under his new policy and to make it worse, he was specifically notified, in writing, that the specific coverage was not included. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. It is an example of a busy small business owner who is focused on providing the service that brings in his income and not so much on details like reading a new policy to see if there is a change in coverage and making the informed decision that I will or will not save money on the premium and accept the risk of not having coverage. He “assumed” he had the same coverage and didn’t have time or the desire to wade through the policy and compare coverages. He received a notice but considered it nothing he really needed to take the time to read or question.

If you don’t have time to read the policy or you don’t understand what it says, ask your agent or consult an attorney. If you already have the policy, read it now. If there is something in it that causes a problem, change it or cancel it now and get what you need, before your “pipes burst.” Your unearned premiums will usually be refunded. Don’t assume anything.