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From time to time, I get to talk to old insurance agents. These are people who usually tell me somewhere along the line that they know everything about auto insurance and I think they come off as they seem to believe they know more than I do about coverage. The reality is that they may, but I can clearly tell you we have a difference of opinion on what is important as to coverage.

A number of them do not believe in stacking. This means they pay for insurance on multiple cars and do not pay the little extra expense to make sure they have double, triple or even four times the protection. They are not buying it; how could they ever have been selling it to people who would have been helped tremendously by just a simple little addition in coverage?

The person will tell me how they adjusted claims for their “clients” and they were shocked that I believe that the claim should have been paid at 100% “because everybody knows everyone’s at least 5 or 10% at fault.” The reality is that that is not the law. Being on the road, minding your own business and doing everything you possibly can to avoid an accident does not give you liability. If you see a car coming 100 miles an hour through a red light, that does not somehow mean you could have done anything about it. Getting out of bed does not create fault, but I can see how they were probably able to convince hardworking individuals over the years who were paying them to do their job that “there has to be something you could have done.”

I probably get more riled up about these people than I should, but it amazes me how poorly they did their jobs. Sure, they may have gotten property damage taken care of right away or even gotten people partial benefits quicker than if I was involved, but if they did not get the person what they deserved, is that really that great of a deal? When it is all said and done, you probably have better odds of getting more protection by dealing with a direct agent versus buying cheap, out of state auto insurance over the internet from a woman in a white coat or a lizard. Again, it comes down to making sure you do protect yourself.

My advice has always been: I hope you are never injured in an accident, but if you are, please remember, do not sign anything until you have talked to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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