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The Basics of Buying Good Insurance
Each year individuals and business owners across the country are faced with the daunting task of purchasing and/or renewing some type of insurance coverage. In most cases, the biggest concern is, "How Much Will It Cost Me This Year"? While this is probably the first and foremost thought on everyone's mind, consideration should be given to the question of "Why Am I Purchasing Insurance"? In most cases the answer would be that it is a "required" purchase instead of something we "choose" to purchase. Yes, insurance is a requirement in many cases, however, it is also a means to protect ones assets. Individuals and business owners alike have worked hard for their assets and should choose to adequately protect them.

Purchasing insurance coverage is an excellent tool in protecting your assets. Identifying and assessing your exposure to risk are the first steps to maximizing the benefit of an insurance policy. This process is commonly known as Risk Management and should be utilized by, both, commercial and personal insurance buyers. For the business owner, it may be risks assumed through their contractual agreements, from the use of borrowed equipment at a jobsite or the pollution exposure they were not aware they had. For an individual, it could be the swimming pool in the back yard, the golf cart their teenager drives around the neighborhood or the fact they have a company furnished auto. The fact is, risks are risks regardless of where they originate from and you, as an insurance buyer, should be aware of them.

Once you have identified and assessed your risk, the next step is to find an insurance carrier who offers coverage's best suited for your needs. There are many different insurance companies available, however, their financial strength should be considered top priority. You certainly don't want to be insured by a company who doesn't have the money to write you a check after a claim occurs.

Making sure the policy forms, terms and conditions meet your needs should be another area of concern for an insurance buyer. A word being changed or omitted from the policy or endorsement can create costly gaps in coverage and, potentially, the denial of a claim. Even the standard forms utilized by most carriers should be reviewed and their net effect relayed to the person purchasing coverage.

A knowledgeable insurance agent is a valuable asset and should be able to assist you in making your risk management decisions. Their consultative services will give you the knowledge to make choices with a good understanding of their outcome. After all, the decisions you make can have a direct impact on your bottom-line whether it is personal or business.

Sharon L. Gossage, owner of Strategic Insurance Solutions, Inc., is a licensed Independent Insurance Agent and Certified Insurance Counselor with over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. She and her associate, Derek Pierce, specialize in managing insurance needs for their clients. For more information, please visit our website at or contact us at (281) 570-2000.

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