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In which of these products and services would you choose the lowest cost option over all other considerations?

  • Legal services
  • Fast food
  • Motor vehicle maintenance
  • Carpeting
  • Wine
  • Computer printers
  • Office furniture


I would guess most people will answer ‘none of the above’. We value our safety, working environment and enjoyment to highly to compromise.

A scenario

Now picture this all-too-frequent scenario: you are called out in the early hours of the morning to your business. There has been a break in. With a sinking heart you see the smashed security door, notice that your delivery vehicle is missing (it is subsequently found abandoned and burnt out) and the premises are a shambles. All the computer screens are missing and so are the servers – a terrifying thought strikes; are the backups up to date? Will they work?

There is more bad news; the big order, packed and ready for delivery later today is missing. With a sick feeling you remember who the customer is. He will be totally unsympathetic and cancel your order to buy from your competitor. Just the mess of smashed furniture, torn documents and stained carpets will take days to clear up.

What price now?

At that moment, if you could do so, would you rethink the decision to buy the insurance with the lowest premiums?

What has happened to ordinarily effective decision makers when it comes to insurance, whether it is in their business or private capacity? Yes there are massive advertising campaigns highlighting lower premiums. Billboards line the highways and newspapers and radio are full of assurances of the lowest premiums.  But have we suspended our judgement? Do we really think that all insurance benefits are alike? That this is the only industry where a lower price would never indicate a less benefits to us?

Sadly many otherwise effective businesspeople appear to have been seduced by the deluge of price based promotions. Nobody wants to pay more than they should for any service, let alone a grudge purchase like insurance. But should that purchase decision really be more price dependent than office chairs or legal advice?

The very reason for paying for insurance is to recover quickly and as completely as possible should disaster strike.  Is it not then odd that the focus is not on what will and may not be paid out in the event of a claim? How quickly? With what degree of certainty? And yet who can honestly say those where the primary considerations when the supplier of short term insurance was chosen?

Maybe it is time to look again at those policies, and ask the broker, or the insurer some ‘what if?’ questions.  It’s a bit like your car’s brakes. You really want to find out if they perform badly by checking them in advance, not when you are heading at a terrifying pace towards a solid object.

©copyright  Ed Hatton. All rights reserved. You may republish this article or extracts from it provided you acknowledge me as the author and acknowledge my copyright.

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