4 Major Mistakes People Make When Buying Homeowners Insurance (Before they found The Choice Insurance Agency 😉
- Paying “Junk Fees” on their policy:
Insurance agencies are paid by the insurance companies that they represent. However, some agencies add “junk fees” to every policy they sell when they write it….and their clients have no idea that they are paying extra fees into the insurance company’s pocket for no benefit to the client at all. What this means is that these clients could have bought the exact policy from another provider for $50-$100 less.
The Choice Insurance Agency never adds junk fees to any policy written by an admitted carrier. We also review every policy with our clients and provide them with a detailed summary of all coverages and costs. Because, at The Choice Insurance Agency, we think you should know what you’re paying for and only pay for what you need.
- Buying a “Surplus Lines” policy when they were eligible for something better:
“Surplus lines” policies are policies that do not have to meet the minimum standards of a policy as stipulated by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance. These policies are also not backed by the State Guarantee Fund. This means that if there is a huge loss in one area (like, say..hurricane Katrina?) and the insurance carrier has to cover massive payouts, if they run out of money….you might not get paid for your claim. Since “Surplus Lines” carriers are not backed by the State Guarantee fund, there is no money to utilize as backup and you are purely out of luck if the carrier runs out of money to pay claims.
Surplus lines policies are intended to be used when no admitted carrier will insure something due to the fact it’s a higher risk (ex: really close to the water, the house built on stilts IN the water, etc.). Normally, the policies cost more for less coverage. Sometimes, though, the cost may be less for less coverage. When working with our (now) clients on switching their (previous) home insurance to us, we have found examples where agencies have written surplus lines policies because the cost was a less without telling the client that it was a surplus lines policy or explaining the disadvantages of a surplus lines policy. If you are not sure if your home is with a surplus lines carrier, ask the agent if the company is admitted or surplus lines and only resort to purchasing a surplus lines policy if an admitted carrier is not an option for you.
- Paying for an agent and not getting one:
When you purchase a policy, one of the things you deserve is counsel, advice, and assistance at the time of a claim, potential claim, or complicated situation. However, when you “buy direct” from a company, you do not get an agent. Some agencies outsource most or all servicing to corporate call centers or an out of state service company. This means that instead of knowing your agent…you get to wait as a number in que for someone who may or may not be able to help. Don’t we all deal with that enough already on everything else? If you have an issue, wouldn’t you rather speak with the office and agents you KNOW that are locally based? We would.
The Choice Insurance Agency has three local offices to support our thousands of clients in and around Hampton Roads. Our agents who service your policies are your neighbors and we are dedicated to helping you. Our clients have the convenience of 24/7 service for routing requests and accessible local agents for advice and complex requests. We will never outsource our commitment to service you to people you do not know in another state or another country.
- Buying from an “Auto” Insurance company:
When you own a home and auto (and any other insurable risks), there are many benefits to bundling with one insurance company including but not limited to:
A-) Maximum bundling discounts
B-) One adjuster when a claim impacts multiple property
C-) An agent who can see your “whole picture” and provide better advice
D-) Ease of combined billing/account management
Many companies that used to be considered “just auto insurance” now sell home insurance, too. But it’s not what it seems! What these companies have actually done is set up an agency to sell homeowners insurance from other companies. So, while it seems like you’re dealing with a single company and receiving all of the benefits of bundling, you’re actually not getting any of the benefits. (One exception to the comment is that usually there is a very small “bundling” discount that the insurance companies work out amongst themselves but it does not compare to the sizable bundling discounts that a single company provides. Discounts like a few hundred dollars off your home policy when you bundle with auto.)
The Choice Insurance Agency is a full service agency and can bundle home, auto, motorcycles, RVs, boats, rental properties, umbrella liability coverage, commercial insurance, life insurance, and investments. The more you bundle, the more you save, and our agents can advise you on each risk that you have.
The Choice Insurance Agency Team is committed to helping you plan, achieve and protect your life, your family and your goals. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100.
The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events. In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations. See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100.