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Protection: Play A Scrimmage Game Before The Season Starts


You and your agent needed to play a scrimmage game before the season started.
Every summer in the heat of August, football teams all over America endure the hellish ritual of August practice. The smell of fresh cut grass in 99 degree heat still makes me sick at my stomach due to the memories of endless football drills, running in full pads, hitting head to head and getting yelled while a coach yanked on my face mask (back in the day, we didn’t have all those rules about coaches having to treat players like human beings).

During August, before the season starts, most of these football teams will play at least one scrimmage game. A scrimmage game pits one team against the other, simulating most of the circumstances of a real game. Coaches arrange scrimmage games not so they can see how great their teams are, but to spot weaknesses that need attention.

The beauty of a scrimmage game is that it has most of the qualities of a real game, but few of the liabilities. If you lose, it doesn’t go on your record. Your team gets the experience of playing through the tension of a live game where you don’t know your opponents well. It is a simulation of real life.

So how does all this apply to your money?

Before you buy any kind of insurance policy, ask your agent to participate with you in a scrimmage game. You’re buying the insurance for a reason, right? It is to protect you – but against what? And how much protection does it offer?

So, if you were buying a homeowners insurance policy (or a renter’s policy), you would want to ask, “What does this policy protect me against? And if that circumstance happens, how much protection do I have?”

Generally speaking, when it comes to insuring your stuff (your assets – home, furnishings, auto, etc.), the word to keep in mind is “replacement.”

If the thing you own (in your case, it was the contents of the house you were renting) is damaged, how close does your insurance policy come to replacing that item?

It is unrealistic to expect an insurance company to pay to replace 100% of any item lost. Otherwise you have no incentive to exercise your own common sense and avoid either circumstances or behavior that could destroy your property. So, most policies have some level of deductible (the first dollar paid to replace the item) and perhaps some other cost-sharing mechanism. Be sure you understand all of these.

Rather than search for “first dollar coverage,” make sure you are covered in the event your loss is very large. Easier to pay for the first $1,000 of a loss, than to have your $300,000 house burn and learn it was covered for $200,000.

I suspect there are some renter’s policies that cover, for example, flood damage and others that do not. A scrimmage game would help you consider the various “what if” scenarios that might come up. It might seem a bit tedious, until you have to pay the price today for having not gone through such a process.

Scrimmage games aren’t usually as much fun as the real thing, but hopefully they help you avoid the experience of small annoyances becoming major catastrophes that can impact you financially for years to come.

Call your agent and get your scrimmage game scheduled soon.

Byron is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of the Planning Group at Argent Advisors, Inc.
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