December 9th, 2014 by Jan

Years ago, I lived in Oklahoma and one dark and stormy night a tornado rushed through the small town I was living in and the wind from the storm blew the tree in our front yard down. This giant tree happen to fall square on my car.

My wonderful, blue Pacer wagon was squished like a pancake. The window were blown out, the tires were flatten — the car was flat — a tree fell on it!

It was my first go round with an insurance company. I learned a valuable lesson.

During the first call to make a claim, I was told that the damage to my car (it was totaled) would not, could not be covered, because, the tornado’s wind that made the tree come down was, “an act of god.” Nothing they could do. Sorry.

“Uhm… excuse me,” I said, to the fine agent at Liberty Mutual, “but I am an atheist and my car insurance premiums are paid in full. So make the check out to me!”

Then she said, uhm….oh….Well, we can only offer you X amount. I said Y would be better, and it wasn’t long before we settled on Z.

I had no idea before that first claim, that you could and must negotiate with the companies who insure you.

Now, knock wood, over the many years of being very dutiful in having proper home and car insurance we’ve rarely had the need to put in a claim. But, still my negotiating skills come into play once a year when what ever policy I am dealing with is up for renewal.

It never fails. They say we owe X, I ask for Y and we settle on Z. Seriously, every time I ask, they lower the premium. They magically seem to find another discount that I am eligible for.

I don’t know why the price for the coverage we ask for isn’t on some chart. Maybe it is, but in case you didn’t know this, the price on the chart for insurance is always negotiable.

Right now, I am spending a lot of time dealing with the details and business of finishing up the sale of this house and the buying of the other. I’m not sure why we hire a relator, it seems it is up to us to finish the deal. So I am dealing with lawyers and insurance people.

Thanks to that first lesson in Oklahoma so many years ago, the question that makes the most difference in all this is…. Can you give us a better price?

Funny, how they all seem to be able to give us a better deal when all is said and done.

Well, not the lawyers. Their price is set. 🙂

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