A week ago, I was at my Mom’s house in Colorado. Colorado is infamous for its massive thunder and hail storms and insurance companies are paying the price for inclement weather nearly every year. While we were there, true to form, Colorado hail did its damage.
At Mom’s house, there was a storm of golf ball sized hail. My daughters were there too – they had never seen anything like it – after the storm passed they ran to the yard to grab a few chunks to snap some pics and show their friends.
Considering the property damage, I realized that many times, we are unaware of the clauses that are in the contracts that run our lives, from insurance policies to privacy policies, from health coverage to investments, from automobile purchases, to buying and owning our homes, from credit card payments, to bank accounts, from mortgage payments to personal and business loans – the list goes on and on. Every time we do anything with money, it involves some kind of contract between us, and the businesses we Trust (or don’t) to do business with.
The damage to my mom’s house was estimated by the first contractor to be $20,000. Had I been more involved, had I even thought about her insurance before this storm, I would have found out that the Hartford insurance my Dad had signed up for before he passed away, was still the exact same as Mom has now. Had I thought to check, I might have found out, in advance, that my Dad had set up the insurance, in their California home, with a giant deductible. I might have checked the premiums to find that she’s been paying, for over a decade now, about $1,500 a year too much for her policy. But I didn’t check, I didn’t think about it, as I’ve been running around working, raising five kids with my wife, and taking care of other things, like my personal and business work, and my 85 year old father-in-laws stuff.
Mom is subject to a deductible that will cost about a quarter of the repair costs. So we’re stuck. And that’s how it goes with contracts. We often get so busy with actually living, that we don’t bother to consider our contracts and find a smarter way to deal with them. We miss what’s actually inside, its clauses, even the obvious ones, like a giant deductible, or the premiums, and we don’t look until we are forced to! Often, then, it’s too late.
Smarter contracts are not just a huge advantage because they can streamline everything from insurance claims to health care services, at a dramatically reduced cost by eliminating the middle-man. They also can help us to become smarter, ourselves. At a glance, we find out things we “Need to Know” – while we are thinking about all the other stuff in our lives. This applies to personal business, as well as business in general.
Our mission at BlockCerts is to make technology accessible to everyone. Just as large corporations use tech to learn what the coverages are, what the premiums are, everything about their customers and what they cover (or don’t cover), we believe that people and businesses of any size or means, should also be able to organize and know what all of this complex information and legal language really means – so we can work better, plan better, save money, and be prepared when it really counts.
I want to say “Sorry Mom. I should have checked after Dad passed away and been more on top of this for you”.
All I can do now is keep building the BlockCerts blockchain and Smarter Contracts solutions, so I don’t have to feel like an inattentive Son, or husband or Dad (don’t even get me started about the contracts with schools and universities, braces, etc.). It is my hope that I can organize all of the contracts in my Mom’s life and my own, and that I can help others do the same with smarter contracts.
We all need it before the “hail storm” pounds us – and we find out, when it’s too late.
PS: These insurance companies, and others, we want to Trust, want us to Trust them too! They write these contracts in bulk, with boilerplate. We are affected – with BlockCerts smarter contracts, they can help all of their customers, like me and my Mom, not miss things we should know. That not only will help keep us happy but keep us as customers – and lower costs so they can provide better premiums along with better service! That’s what the “real world” of blockchain will bring, starting with BlockCerts.