In general terms the consumer is at the mercy of a professional. Whether it’s auto or home repair, Joe Public doesn’t have the knowledge to assess the estimate or the finished product. It’s no different with financial professionals. In the wealthiest country in the world, we are the least educated when it comes to money matters.
Honestly, how many consumers can read their homeowner’s policy? And even if they did, do they understand it? You would think by now insurance companies would routinely hand the policy owner a summary statement of benefits or some type of crib sheet of contractual imperatives. And if these carriers are thinking about providing disclosure, why can’t it be in the language of the consumer?
For all the disclosures, disclaimers and caveats that are published by insurance companies and even investment houses, certain contractual semantics heavily favor the institutions, not the consumer or investor. Bottom line Joe Public doesn’t have a chance unless he/she litigates through arbitration or, God forbid, take their agent or adviser to court.
This blog does not represent a legal opinion by is based on interviews with attorneys on my consumer and adviser video talk shows.