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Insurance policies: “Apples to Apples” or more like Wine Tasting?

By September 17, 2020September 22nd, 2020No Comments
A mother and daughter eat apples; comparing insurance policies isn't like apples to apples

People always talk about “apples to apples” comparisons, and you may think comparing insurance policies should be like comparing apples, right? After all, it’s not like you’re comparing your insurance contract with the Terms & Conditions on your iPhone. Unfortunately, comparing insurance policies is a lot trickier than comparing apples.

Or, to be fair, comparing insurance policies could be a lot like comparing apples, if you routinely compare your apples by:

  • Where the apple was harvested
  • The length of time before each apple was harvested
  • The climate in the various regions where the apples were harvested
  • How the apples were transported to their respective destinations 
  • How each apple was stored prior to being displayed
  • How long they were each displayed before being eaten
  • The differences in taste: texture, crispness, flavor, etc


You get our point? When we’re talking about insurance, it makes more sense to think of it a little bit more like wine tasting.  Compare one policy to another policy is more like the way you compare one wine to another wine (or one craft beer to another craft beer, if you’re more into hops than grapes). 

 Think of your insurance agent as your wine tasting guide.

There is a lot to it.  Insurance contracts are long, and admittedly not super fun to read, which makes working with an insurance advisor who cares quite a bit more important.  You’re signing a contract.  You should know what you’re paying for!

For instance, who is a “permissive user” of a vehicle?  To what extent can you let friends and family borrow your vehicle without risking any potential losses not being covered?  Are yard fences covered by your homeowner’s policy?  Does your business liability policy cover losses that your employee incurs while driving their own vehicle while performing a business activity for you?

 There is good news: we can actually see any differences in policies because they are in writing.  We don’t have to track policies like we would have to track apples—from farm to table—to truly compare them.  Many of the differences are spelled out right there in the insurance policy, if you have the experience to understand what you’re reading.

This means that our example questions (and many more) can all be answered in advance, which is a better time to answer them than after an event has occurred (thanks, Captain Obvious!).  And a good reason to pick up the phone and call your agent (or us) if you don’t know what the answers are! 

Think of us as the sommelier at a fancy restaurant: we’ll tell you all the important things you should be tasting in that bottle of wine…

Erwin Insurance Agency® is an independent insurance agency offering a comprehensive suite of business and personal insurance solutions to cover the things that matter to you most. Serving Florida, New York, and beyond, with offices in Jacksonville, Fleming Island, and New York City, and licensed in 17 states.