The concept of mitigating potential damages to property seems like it's about as old as time. There is evidence that dating as far back as 3000 BC risks of the loss of ship borne cargo were mitigated – not by a policy – but by splitting up shipments through several different vessels so that if one was damaged, the property on the others might still make it to its destination. 2500 years later, societies banded together to support widows and children who had lost providers in much the same way that a life insurance policy death benefit might provide support today.
Our more modern and professional approach to mitigating risk through insurance policies began in the 1600s after the Great Fire of London damaged over 14,000 buildings. And while insurance policies, underwriting, and premiums have become much more sophisticated since then, there is still an underlying necessity for good faith on the part of both the buyer of the insurance policy and the insurer.
Insurers act in good faith when they have the right approach to valuations of loss, they pay attention to the claims that their insurers are bringing to them, and they pay claims as agreed in the insurance policy contracts they issue.
But insurers aren't the only party to the contracts who must act in good faith. As a policyholder, one is expected to be honest with their insurance company when applying for coverage, disclose any relevant information, be honest when submitting information about a claim or property value, and not attempt to hide any facts relevant to the issuance of a policy or the evaluation of the claim.
In an age when the gentleman's agreement has all but jumped the shark, it's amazing that we have a fully functional insurance system that still requires some measure of good faith from both parties. And while insurance companies have set up a system to vet that their clients are being good and faithful through underwriting and claims adjusting, policyholders have that outlet as well by checking A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau and talking to friends and family members about various insurance companies.
When you're ready to look for new Maryland business insurance coverage or have your annual policy review, give us a call at McFarlin Insurance Agency. We can help ensure that you have an upstanding insurance company and that you have the best premium out there.