By Robert Kerdasha ASSUREDPARTNERS
Your assets are important to you. And the way you insure them matters; especially when they represent all of your investments, hard work, and energy.
Whether trying to protect property in multiple states, complicated risks, or multiple prized collections, there has been an underlying approach that consumers tend to take to protect their investments that has been reinforced for years by lazy insurance providers and speculative Internet blog posts.
Instincts may prompt you to try this standard but outdated approach—calling five or six insurance brokers, asking them to quote with various carriers, doing some additional online comparison and maybe even checking out rates for online insurance options.
With all this information, you then try to determine which program offers the best protection for the cost. This idea that the more carriers, brokers, and companies you compare—the more options you uncover, the better the result—has permeated the insurance marketplace seemingly forever.
However, this approach actually creates more work for you, the consumer.
All of those brokers you originally contacted likely reached out to the same carriers for quotes, especially if they are established in the high-net worth personal lines space. They all have access to the same markets, offering Chubb, Pure, AIG, Berkeley One, Vault, and Cincinnati. You then are left with the unwelcome task of trying to determine a program based on prices and plans alone, without an experienced agent on your side to talk you through the ins and outs of what you are looking at.
With everyone having the same markets, you may ask, “What can I do to prevent myself from being in this situation?”
Instead of asking for quotes upfront, interview your potential agent. While all companies might have access to the same companies, that does not mean their experience in putting together customized solutions is identical as well.
To ensure you are with the right insurance advisor, be sure to ask your broker the following questions:
- What does the business operation look like? Who will be handling your program details on a day-to-day basis? Who will be the person answering your phone calls whenever you need something?
- Is the company able to handle all your specific coverage needs, whether they be on a national or international property?
- How is client communication handled by the company? How often will you hear from your insurance advisor? What are your communication expectations, and can the advisor meet them?
- Does your advisor have an in-house claims department? Or do they rely on the carrier’s claim center?
- Does your advisor have any advanced certifications showing they specialize in the areas of risk that matter the most to you?
- Wherever your properties are located, is your advisor experienced on the different risk factors in those specific regions, whether they be flood, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, etc.?
- What level of experience does your advisor have in insuring collections, such as fine arts, jewelry, cars, etc.?
- Is the relationship between your advisor and the insurance carrier close enough to work in your favor? When your agent knows executive management, you can rely on them working on behalf of their clients to make the impossible possible.
In the end, all insurance advisors will get access to the similar pricing and options from the carrier partners. You will pay close to the same amount, especially in the high-end space, regardless of the insurance advisor you pick.
The decision to make is determining which advisor will work for you and your assets, ensuring you are getting more than just a policy, but an entire team committed to keeping you and your assets safe. Take time to hire your insurance advisor with care, and the comfort and security you will feel will be worth taking this alternate approach.
Robert Kerdasha is Director, Personal Risk Services, and a 29 year veteran, CAPI (Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance) to the High Net Worth personal insurance marketplace. AssuredPartners writes coverage in all 50 US states