How Insurance Works... Larry's barn burned down and his wife, Susan, called the insurance company. Susan told the insurance company, "We had that barn insured for fifty thousand and I want my money." The agent replied, "Whoa there, just a minute, Susan Insurance doesn't work quite like that. We will ascertain the value of what was insured and provide you with a new one of comparable worth." There was a long pause before Susan replied, "Then I'd like to cancel the policy on my husband."