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Over the summer time I acquired a letter from our residence insurance coverage supplier. It was titled “Residence Inspection Request.” We have been right here greater than a decade, and out of the blue, for causes not specified, an inspection was desired.

I rigorously learn the letter. It included this data: “We’re requiring a digital inspection of your house throughout the subsequent 30 days. For the digital inspection, we are going to contact you in your sensible telephone and stroll you thru the inspection of your house. You will need to allow such inspections and cooperate with us in the course of the inspection course of.”

Hey, I am comfortable to permit an inspector to tour the home. In individual. However a “digital” inspection? Sounds silly. First, how would the insurance coverage firm know I used to be exhibiting them the suitable home and never a home cheaper to insure?

I’ve a digicam and might take snapshots. However this “digital tour” means a live-movie presentation. That is past my technological abilities.

At one level the letter referred to as the inspection a “requirement.” It additionally included this beautiful sentence: “If an inspection of your residence shouldn’t be accomplished, we could also be unable to proceed your insurance coverage protection sooner or later.” That is a warning no home-owner ought to ignore. For an insurer can all the time select to not renew a coverage.

So I phoned them up. On our completely good phone that’s plugged into the telephone jack within the wall.

The insurance coverage rep I used to be related to, Maria, tried to be useful. Once I requested if they may ship somebody in individual, she verified they can not. In-person inspections in our space have been halted when Covid began, and it isn’t identified if in-person inspections will resume.

I defined my not possessing a sensible telephone.

“Do you’ve got any kin close by who can movie the home for you?”

“No kin inside 250 miles,” I answered.

“Are you able to borrow a neighbor’s telephone?”

“Even in case you mailed me a smartphone, I would not know methods to use it. Have by no means touched one.”

I remained courteous and well mannered. However I wasn’t about to bend over backward by shopping for or borrowing or begging for a chunk of know-how solely so the insurance coverage firm can do its job. Particularly once I would not know methods to use the darned machine (which for some purpose customers really feel the necessity to exchange each few years).

Maria was equally courteous and well mannered. She by no means threatened to drop our insurance coverage protection. In the long run, she waived the inspection.

I thanked her and requested what would have occurred if I hadn’t referred to as.

She replied it is attainable our charges would have skyrocketed or our coverage canceled. However the waiver meant there could be no penalties for my incapacity to conduct a “digital” inspection.

I do not know if she was pulling my leg. If an insurer drops a shopper for not proudly owning a sensible telephone, they’re dropping out on enterprise they’d most likely quite maintain.

Final week we acquired the annual residence insurance coverage invoice. Sure, it is gone up. Greater than I would like. By 11%. I attribute that to price will increase over the previous yr for lumber and different homebuilding and home-repairing provides. I do not assume it has something to do with our not proudly owning a sensible telephone.

Lesson for all: Once you obtain a letter out of your insurer, learn it in full. Then determine whether or not and methods to act.

And no, you need not exit and buy (and discover ways to use) an digital gizmo solely to make life simpler in your insurance coverage firm.

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