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How to Encourage Homeowners Insurance Clients to Increase Their Coverage

We all have clients that no matter how hard we try, they just don’t have the coverage we recommend. We may have asked for years or we have been a bit too shy to ask. Either case we need to sharpen our skills on making sure clients understand what they should have and, often times, how affordable it could be! We will break down the common coverages every agent should be recommending and how to approach educating the client and helping them add that on to their policies!

Homeowner’s Insurance

Earthquake Insurance Endorsements

Earthquake coverage is becoming increasingly more available as an endorsement rather than an additional policy.  Now you may not be in California and think you don’t need to worry about it but they can pop up anywhere! Often times earthquakes can cause severe damage. Earthquake insurance can be more regional but we recommend researching earthquakes in your area. They may be closer than you think. When an earthquake hits anywhere in the continent it’s always a good idea to discuss options with your clients.

Inflation Guard

Every agent has had the pleasure of explaining the difference between the value of your home and replacement cost. Everyone swears they would never replace their home as nice as it is now (until they go wild on Pinterest!). Inflation guard helps to automatically adjust your replacement cost to keep up with current home trends and building costs. For example, with different tariffs and shortages in supplies, rebuilding can very well be more expensive than what you can sell your home for.

We always recommend inflation guard. Because you have a beautiful home, we want to make sure your insurance keeps up with your home. If you ever had to rebuild due to a claim we can’t keep you in the same estimates that we did 5 or even 10 years ago. This allows the policy to adjust to keep up with new costs of building. For only x per month I think we should add it on.

Water Sewer Backup

How fun it is talking about sewer backup! This is an oddly named policy that covers so much more! In 2009-2013 water damage and freezing claims accounted for over 25% of all homeowners property damage. I think we have all had water in our basement but without the proper coverage we may be paying for it alone. It can be pretty inexpensive to add on ($50-$250 per year).

One coverage that I believe you should consider is Water Sewer Backup. Currently you don’t have coverage from overflows of water from sewers and your home’s drains. Backups could be caused in your home or at the public sewer level. I’m sure you could imagine that having to clean that up would be quite costly. For only X per month we can add on X in coverage.  Don’t you agree we should add that on?

Scheduled Personal Property

We all think we have nothing until we add up our shoes and handbags for the women or tools and collections for the men! The most common item that should be scheduled but we see missing frequently are wedding rings. Yes, some are covered if they are under a certain amount but most need to be scheduled. We all may inherit a family heirloom, have a random collectible that is worth some money or be blessed enough to have several items! As agents we should be asking these questions so we can make sure we are insuring all of that bling!

I noticed on your account that you are married. One note I wanted to update you on is it looks like your wedding ring was never listed on the policy. Currently if it were lost or stolen it would not be replaced as is. For a few dollars per month we can list it and make sure it’s properly protected.

Home Business Endorsement

In today’s world more and more people are choosing to become self employed and work from home. Yet few think to tell their agent. Many people don’t realize that business equipment and legal liability aren’t covered. When you find out that someone is self employed with a home based business this is always a coverage you should be discussing.

Increasing Liability Coverages on the Home

You may come across those low liability coverages on home policies.  Liability coverage covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or pets cause to other people as well as court costs and incurred damages awarded. While the minimum coverage is $100,000 increasing it to $500,000 is often very inexpensive.

I noticed your liability coverage on your homeowners policy was a bit low at $100,000. In today’s very litigious society we recommend increasing that to $500,000.  What this means for you is that for X per month we can increase this coverage in case someone was ever hurt on your property or you damaged someone else’s property. I’m sure you can see that with legal fees and damages that is not enough.  Wouldn’t you agree for X per month we should add that on?

Study Up on Your Carriers’ Packages

Carriers have worked to create some pretty cool tiers or packages for endorsements. As an agent it’s important you learn that information and study it. Often times these packages provide the most bang for your the client’s buck and provide a great deal of value! The carriers have also done a great job naming the packages to seem exclusive and valuable. Wouldn’t everyone like to be a platinum client?

One thing I wanted to mention to you was a new package your carrier has just released. It’s really an incredible opportunity. We can add on X, Y, Z all for $ per month. This provides you top tier protection all at a great value. Wouldn’t you agree we should add that on?

Stacking the Deck In Your Favor

When you discuss increases with clients it’s a great opportunity to review their entire account. We are big believers in calling every client annually for an account review (If you need some assistance getting this started check out our AppX Retention Program). When you are prepared you can better advise clients! We recommend quoting the increase on the phone or before you connect with them so you have the numbers handy. You can easily score increases when the following occur:

  • New home purchase
  • Remarket
  • Account Review
  • Inbound calls by taking a moment to review their account

Remember, making recommendations is great for E&O purposes and helps educate the client. You become their trusted adviser rather than the person that talks about rate all the time!

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