Why Insurance Coverage, Not Price, Matters
// INSURANCE AGENT
Is flood insurance necessary even if your home isn’t on a flood plain?
Absolutely. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood plain chances are your mortgage company already requires you to carry flood insurance. But floods can happen at any time, even if you’re not on a flood plain. In this case, a separate flood insurance policy is often very inexpensive, so there’s no reason not to buy one — just in case.
Why should people consider factors other than price when shopping for insurance?
Today, it seems as if every TV commercial, radio ad, billboard, or print ad promoting insurance focuses primarily on competitive pricing. While the price is important, it’s certainly not the most important thing to consider when shopping for insurance. Price is meaningless without value, so the price must relate to what you receive in exchange for your money. The first inclination is to accept the least expensive quote possible. But it’s certain the lower-priced policy leaves out important coverages. The most important consideration is proper coverage, not price.
What should people look for in an insurance agent?
At Hanby, we strive to position ourselves as trusted advisors to our clients. A trusted advisor is someone clients rely upon to give sound, individualized advice, often on difficult topics, that they trust completely. Attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors are often among clients’ group of trusted advisors, but insurance agents are often excluded from this tight circle.
I think the explosion of web-based insurance carriers, where there’s never any face-to-face contact with one particular person, has contributed to this situation. And that’s unfortunate because the things that mean the most to you are insured — home, cars, boats, businesses, and, of course, your life. Getting it wrong can have catastrophic consequences. Look for an agent who’s willing to get to know you personally — one you can build a strong trust relationship with over time.
How can homeowners protect valuable personal items such as jewelry, fine art, furs, firearms, etc.?
Most homeowner’s policies have special limits for theft when it comes to these types of items, and those limits don’t even come close to covering replacement value. People with valuable collections of jewelry, firearms, and the like can either purchase a separate policy to cover them or schedule them on their homeowner’s policy. With the latter, you only have to worry about one bill, which is convenient. The con is that if you ever have to use it, it shows up as a claim against your homeowner’s policy, likely increasing your premium.
What advice do you have for people who are concerned about adequate coverage?
Everyone’s situation is different, meaning everyone needs something a little different when it comes to protecting their assets. One thing I recommend to almost everybody is purchasing an umbrella policy that sits on top of home and auto insurance. These can provide $1 million, or more, in coverage and can fill in some of the gaps in the other policies. The cost is very affordable, especially considering the great peace-of-mind it gives. Learn more by visiting my blog at hanbyinsurance.com and search for the Auto Insurance and Homeowners Insurance Buyer Guides.
About the Expert
Erin is the principal agent and owner of Hanby Insurance and has been working in the insurance industry since 1999. With offices in Mesquite and Rockwall, she serves clients all around the greater Dallas metro area. Erin and her highly experienced team of agents are dedicated to becoming their clients’ trusted advisors and developing customized policies for each individual according to their specific needs.
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Rockwall: (972) 771-4110