Three Reasons to Make Sure You Get the Most Comprehensive Coverage at the Most Affordable Rate
By Lauren Dallas, Personal Lines Manager
In the most recent issue of our newsletter, we shared a segment from The Today Show in which an expert asserted that one of the best ways to make sure you’re selecting the right coverage for your unique needs is to shop your policies every year.
Of course, shopping for homeowners, auto and umbrella insurance policies each year can be time-consuming, tedious and confusing for the average person who is not an insurance expert.
That’s why we do the shopping for you! So while we agree that it’s important to shop your insurance policies annually, we recommend that you enlist the services of a qualified independent insurance agent who is working in your best interests. That way you can purchase with confidence and make sure nothing is left to chance.
Here are three reasons we insist on shopping our clients’ and prospects’ insurance policies to multiple carriers, rather than sticking with captive agents and insurance companies year after year.
1. Things Change
It is not uncommon for life to present changes throughout the year, which can impact your coverage options and the premiums you pay:
- Perhaps you’ve acquired a high-value item that needs to be properly insured, such as an engagement ring, fine artwork, or precious furs.
- Is there a new driver in the household? Or has an older child moved out and obtained their own coverage?
- Did you have a claim throughout the year?
- Some homeowners upgrade or expand their homes. Make sure the policy reflects the new square footage and features.
- Has a new security system been added to the home that might be eligible for an insurance discount?
- Has someone in the home purchased a new recreational “toy,” such as a snowmobile, waverunner or dirtbike?
- Did a new dog join the family recently?
It’s better to have an expert double check with you to see how any life changes may impact your insurance rates. It is far more likely that nothing will be overlooked when entrusting this to a professional.
2. Rates Change
Insurance companies will change rates based on a wide range of factors:
- Your individual claims history and the factors listed above
- The carrier’s own loss history in the preceding months
- Inflation and the carriers’ own costs of doing business
- Drivers coming on and off the auto policies
- Changes in the replacement value of a home
- Laws, statutes and regulations that are relevant to the insurers and their policyholders
How individual carriers insure certain assets changes from year to year, as well as how much they feel they need to charge in premiums to insure your assets. Don’t assume that nothing has changed when approaching your policies’ renewal date, even if your own personal situation is unchanged.
3. Insurance Companies Change
As suggested above, insurance companies may change internal policy and approach to how various risks and assets are insured — sometimes even if they are insured. For example, State Farm recently announced that they will not be writing any new homeowners insurance policies in California, due to catastrophic losses caused by wildfires in the state.
While effectively pulling out of a state is an extreme example, just know that insurance companies are constantly evaluating their own bottom lines, as well as the factors impacting them, negatively or positively. Sometimes, the math just doesn’t work as currently constructed, so changes are necessary. Accordingly, we have a checklist we use to make sure nothing is being missed or inadvertently overlooked.
We know that shopping for insurance can be difficult and not altogether fun. That’s why we invite you to let us do the shopping for you, whether you’re an existing client or potential client. We will conduct a thorough audit of your personal assets and quote your policies with multiple carriers to find the right coverage with you. Finally, we will consult with you to share why a given policy is the recommendation we provide for you. With your approval and direction, we will even secure the coverage and take care of all of the administrative paperwork for you.
It may not be fun for the average consumer, but it’s what we do every day, and we’ve learned to love it!