A blasted curse of being an insurance agent is that when I attend movies featuring colossal destruction I can’t help but wonder: who will pay for all that damage? Cars are flung, buildings are crunched, and Earthlings are maimed. While everyone else is enjoying popcorn and on the edge of their seats, I’m gripping mine thinking about insurance coverage and the resulting certainty of litigation. Perhaps the only thing happier than a tornado in a trailer park would be...Godzilla! A cold sweat ensues.
I stare off into the distance in the theater imagining how one fine morning at the park, Billy Bob, my maintenance man, is in the tool shed when Godzilla whacked it with his tail 407.5 yards into the lake! From the look of the shed’s flight trajectory, Billy Bob won’t be doing any mowing for me in the future, nor will he be taking care of his family. Well, presuming he’s an employee and I have Workers Compensation insurance coverage, my park, my family and I are in luck. Billy Bob was working at the time and he was mortally injured. Thus, workers compensation will pay for any medical expenses he incurred plus income to his wife until she remarries. It will also pay income to his four kids, Burnelle, Waynette, and the twins, Daryl and Darrell, until they turn 18, or 25 if they are full time college students.
But, my knuckles whiten, what if Godzilla was in the lake next to my park and his body shoved a 30’ wall of water washing away 20 park owned homes and 50 tenant-owned homes!? Sure enough, like almost every insurance policy written today, my policy excludes flood coverage. But wait, this isn’t rising water or a tidal flow that fits the policy’s definition of a flood. This damage was caused by an out of control animal, albeit other worldly. There’s no exclusion for damage done by animals in my Special Form property policy. So, woo-hoo! My park-owned homes would be covered. And the loss of income associated with my former park tenants’ homes (God rest their souls) will continue to pour into my investment account! Bring it, Godzilla...BRING IT ON! I love insurance.
Uh oh, my left eye twitches and my right eyebrow raises to a peak: what if the 400’ tall Monster walks into the middle of my park and is standing over my clubhouse when all the cars, military vehicles and seawater he’s ingested suddenly trigger massive gastrointestinal upset? The resulting epic sh…., I mean poop, from 100’ above my building obliterates the roof?! Oh, crap! Am I covered (by my insurance)? I take a deep breath and remember that damage due to fallen objects is covered under most policies. But this is poop and poop is a pollutant. Pollution damage is excluded under almost every policy. Nevertheless, my guess is that because the “pollution” didn’t cause damage due to actually polluting something but rather by smashing it, it’s covered. Popcorn sticks to my sweaty brow as I wipe across it in relief.
Then, I bite my lip, painfully: what if Godzilla had just met, in the bowels of the Earth, with Middle East extremists hell bent on raining down retribution on us all? Worse yet, the damage is far and wide, to the point the government has become deeply involved. Will it be labeled an official terrorist event? Did I take that $150 terrorism coverage rider my handsome insurance agent suggested?!? If not, I could be without coverage. Salt gets in both eyes as I slap my forehead and I scream inappropriately during the movie’s only love scene.
And, my eyes bulge, oh no! This seems too real...I just drove into town to visit the park in my new white Porsche Cayenne, and I even let some of the tenants take their picture next to it, and now Godzilla has roasted it like a marshmallow over a bonfire of tinder (flaming mobile homes)! “It’s war now Godzilla!” I grit through my teeth. Someone shushes me; my wife asks if I’m “okay.” I snap out of it and remember I have “comprehensible coverage” and I should get a check for the value minus the deductible. Sweet!
My rage has scared Godzilla but given he is a major klutz he downs all the power lines in the region as he runs away. He may be gone but it’s August, we’re in Texas, and it’s 107 degrees out and now we have no A/C or power for the next 30 days and my tenants stop paying rent! Will my loss of income coverage pay? Darn you, Godzilla! My Special Form property policies exclude for off-premises caused power outages unless I specifically requested a costly endorsement adding this coverage back. If not I will have to hope my tenants keep their contractually required rent payments flowing to me. I exit the movie desperate to check my insurance policies.
Have an insurance quandary Kurt can solve? Give him a ring at 800-458-4320 or visit www.mobileagency.com.