Attention realtors and mortgage lenders: insurance agents also need to talk directly with clients

Helping a client buy or refinance a home is a most rewarding process but also a very stressful one for everyone involved. In order for the client to have the best possible experience, numerous people have to perform their jobs with a very high degree of precision and professionalism.

In order to do this, every participant in the process has to gather a unique set of information directly from the client.

The realtor needs to meet with the client and do a detailed analysis of the clients’ needs, wants, and dreams. The mortgage person needs to gather an astounding amount of financial information and guide the client through the maze of the qualification process. The inspector and the appraiser need to “white glove” the house physically in order to provide the client, realtor, and lender with the necessary information about the structure and value of the house.

Gratuitous photo of Dodger Stadium
Credit: www.dodgersway.com

But, for some reason, people think the insurance agent can do his job without talking directly with the client. Every now and then I get requests to “ballpark” a quote. Or, realtors will give me just a few bits of information thinking that is all that I can provide a quote without talking directly with the client.

This doesn’t work.

"Ballparking" insurance estimates carries the very real risk that the number will be so low as to be a bait-and-switch or so high that the client will just shop elsewhere.

The insurance agent needs to talk directly with the client in order to gather detailed and specific information in order to cover the client properly, professionally, and economically.

Just like your jobs, our jobs involve precision, professionalism, and attention to detail. And, unlike you, we will be in contractual relationships with our clients long after the house has been sold.

Here are just a few of the things the agent needs to cover in order to provide a proper and professional insurance quote.

  • We ALWAYS want to try and write the car and house together. 99.9 percent of the time bundling these policies will save the client money.
  • With this in mind, we will need the date of birth and driver’s license number of everybody in the household. We will need to pull the client’s driving & claims history.
  • We will also strongly prefer to have the FULL CURRENT auto insurance policies. THESE ARE NOT the slips of paper that go in the glove box, but rather the FULL POLICIES.
  • The EASY WAY to obtain these documents is by calling your carrier and asking them to email them to you. Anything else is just a mess.
  • (For more information on how to keep this process simple, please click here.)
  • We also need to take about 20 minutes and walk through a detailed series of questions about the specific house. These include general questions such as the square footage, the composition of the roof as well more specific questions about basements, remodels, solar panels, dog breeds, jewelry, and numerous others.

After this, we go to work on a proposal. The first step of this is entering this information into what is called a “rater”. The rater digitally shops multiple insurance carriers. The rater can ask the agent dozens of detailed questions based on the varying requirements of these carriers.

In addition to this, we need to discuss several items directly with the client. These include:

  • The liability limits on your auto policy. If you are ever at fault in a serious accident, your policy will only cover you to the stated liability limits. After that, you are on your own. Your client could lose their dream house and/or have their wages garnished for years to come.
  • Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists Coverage. This protects you if you are hit by an uninsured or insufficiently insured driver. It can cover not only medical expenses, but lost income, pain and suffering, and even potentially long-term care.
  • Umbrella policies can add $1 million or more to your auto or home liability coverage.
  • Loss assessment for HOA members. This pays if the HOA should assess individual unit owners in the event of a major loss, such as a hail claim.
  • Code upgrade coverage, which will repair or rebuild your home to conform to current building codes in the event of a loss.
  • Sewer or water backup coverage, which is not part of a standard homeowner’s policy and must be added by endorsement.
  • Coverage for jewelry and other valuables. Insurance carriers often want current appraisals on such things as wedding rings.

Insurance agents are just like anyone else in this process. We have to do our own in-depth fact-finding, and we have to have our own set of conversations with the client. 

You don’t need to answer these questions, but we do in order to do our jobs properly.

Credit: Rolling Stone

And, yes, I hear the train a-coming: "But my clients are really busy right now and don’t have time for all of this."

Do your clients have time for:

  • Being hit by an uninsured driver, losing 18 months of income, and finding out that their policy offers no coverage?
  • Getting a $9546 bill from their HOA to fix hail damage and finding out that their policy offers no coverage?
  • Finding out after their wedding ring is stolen that they have to come up with several thousand dollars of their own money to replace it?
  • Finding out that they have a deductible of $5000 or even far more?
  • Asking … "why didn’t ANYONE tell me about these things? Why didn’t my realtor or lender tell me about any of this stuff?"

(Click here to learn why you should NEVER buy insurance online.)

Again, the insurance agent will be in a contractual relationship with the client long after you hand the client the keys to the dream home.

And, more importantly, connecting your clients directly with an insurance professional will help eliminate unpleasant surprises not only now, but in the years to come. And when your clients are happy with you that means not just referrals, but an enhanced reputation as you forge ahead in your respective careers!

You win, your client wins and the insurance agent wins. Everybody wins!

LET'S GO OUT THERE AND WIN! 

30+ carriers ... 44 states
Auto-home-commercial
Offering
life & group benefits in Colorado

Doug Newman

303-902-5503



epsinsures@gmail.com - www.epsinsures.info
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