Long time, no blog! I hope this finds you well, healthy, and a little more relaxed than this time last year. I really do not have a theme for this post, just some random thoughts that might resonate with each of you. I am now fully vaccinated and have been able to get out the country twice this year with minimal protocols. Just how far are they supposed to stick that cotton swab up your nose anyway?
I have been working on a project that has been on my “fixin to do list” for way too long. More to come on that, but I am beyond excited about it. This year has been one of listening and not talking…unless I am doing my stress testing and professional explaining of all of the different insurances and investment options I use with my clients.
Here are some of the Q&A I have been reading via email or listening via phone call.
Question: Brian, our current rates seem high in relation to what we get when we shop for home & auto coverage online. What can we do?
Answer: Yes, you have been with the same company for a while, and I agree with you. However, it is possible that because of that, you forgot the fact that I am an INDEPENDENT agent, with multiple companies that we represent. Since I have started working with you, we have grown to a place where companies are us to offer their home, auto, umbrella, rental policies. Let me remarket your account to see where savings are available and without compromising coverage. Are you OK with that?
Question: Brian, why has my mortgage payment suddenly gone up? Is it because of my insurance premiums?
Answer: Have you received your tax assessment showing a significantly increased property value? So far, we have avoided that huge property tax increase the mayor was proposing. However, per Davidson County assessor’s office the appraised value of my home has increased almost 22%. This was also reported to my lender, who in turn, advised that my escrow balance needed to increase by about $2500/yr. In lieu of writing a one-time check, I just had them increase my monthly mortgage payment.
Question: Brian, my property value has increased significantly. Do we need to increase the coverage on our home insurance policy?
Answer: Yes, values have gone skyward, but unless the footprint of your actual home has increased, and you have increased the actual square footage of the home, we do not need to increase the coverage. The insurance company adjusts the Coverage A dwelling amount with each annual renewal to offset the inflation costs of building materials and labor. In addition, you have extended replacement cost of 150% (or higher) so we have that benefit as a “backstop” in the event of a catastrophic scenario.
Question: Brian why has my home insurance premium increased? I have had no claims.
Answer: You have obviously read about the soaring cost of building materials and retail labor affecting the cost of new construction and the increasing prices of new homes. If it costs more to construct a home, doesn’t it make sense that those same increased costs apply to reconstruction in the event of a claim?
Question: Brian, why is the cost of my new car so much more than the one we just traded in? Shouldn’t it be lower because it is newer?
Answer: You would think so because with home insurance, the newer the home, the lesser the premium. Why? New electrical, new roof, new everything is less of a risk than say a 50-year-old home. With all of the technological advances on cars today, yes there are significantly more safety features. However, this increases the cost to repair or replace in the event of an accident.
Hopefully, this might answer some of the thoughts you are having, especially the first one. Given that our agency continues to grow exponentially, and product offerings continue to expand and improve, we are as strong as we have ever been, and I personally appreciate your continued loyalty to me and to our agency.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some exciting things I’ve been working on, and I can’t wait to share with each of you. My phone is always by my side and I try to be as available as possible during working hours. Please feel free to call or email me if any of this Q & A resonates with you.
Have an amazing summer!