Let’s Make Insurance Simple!

How many pages does your insurance contract comprise? When you read it, do you understand it? Does your insurance company advertise a “plain language” policy that is not so plain?

The photo above depicts a valuable asset (~$500k or more). Not only is the asset itself valuable, but its sole function is to produce revenue. If it is damaged, business income is affected. Does your farm insurance policy cover this eventuality? Anyone would want the answer to be yes and would want to be able to quickly determine what the coverage consists of and what they will receive if that eventuality occurs. Few people would embrace pouring over pages and pages of contract wordings to determine what they are entitled to.

Why can’t the insurance contract be simpler? Well there are Regulations and Statutes that govern these contracts and the insurance products, and many years of insurance claims litigation has resulted in the need to include or exclude certain language in the contract.

What do you end up with? Pages and pages of verbiage that is neither clear nor understandable.

I have been in the business for over 30 years, and it has always baffled me that the industry struggles with policy interpretation. We have the chance to make it clear, but for some reason we don’t.

Not long ago I was at a presentation by International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) CEO Shawn Tarbuck. He stated in some countries in Europe the insurance contract has been reduced to one page. ONE PAGE! The industry in Canada could do that, despite the Regulators. It might actually save a lot of litigation if the contract was clear and understandable and the consumer knew up front what they had purchased.

In my last Blog ( I talked about the “fine print” of the insurance contract, and consumer expectations. It is this fine print that gives the industry its bad image.

At Trillium Mutual Insurance of Listowel, Ontario we have begun our mission to make the contract of insurance clearer, simpler, and filled with certainty for our Members. To make it abundantly understandable, therefore easier for our Broker Partners to sell, and easier for our Members to understand what they have purchased.

Our recent step to fulfill this mission was to revamp our Master Farm Product. Click on this link to learn how simple it can be. We still have a long way to go, but we are determined to get there.

Certainty and clarity of what you have purchased is provided at the time of purchase, not when the claim occurs.

These are a few small steps we have taken towards re-engineering farm insurance;

  • The Master Loss Limit – one all-inclusive limit for buildings/equipment/livestock/produce
  •  Blanket Machinery coverage with 5 year replacement cost
  •  If the farm building is destroyed and you choose not to rebuild, settlement is based upon a depreciation schedule built into the policy, not a negotiation after the loss based upon vague language

Our journey has just begun. It is a journey with our Members’ needs in mind, to provide complete insurance solutions for farms and farmers today, and into the future, with certainty for peace of mind, and clarity of understanding.

Mike Virley

VP Member Services

Trillium Mutual Insurance

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