Homeowner Insurance - Price or Protection?

January 24, 2013

Are you looking for price or protection?

That is the question we ask people that call us for Homeowner Insurance proposals. The difference between price and protection is being dramatically realized by the victims of Super Storm Sandy.

People that opted for a quality product (protection) have been rewarded by prompt, fair and professional claim adjustment. Those that demanded the lowest price or didn’t pay attention to what they were buying are getting slow responses, incompetent adjustors, coverage declinations and unrealistic demands for documentation. In short, they are getting exactly what they paid for. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if one insurance company charges half of everyone else, there is probably a darn good reason.

Many of the inquiries we get begin with “I want a quote for Homeowner Insurance” followed by a list of unrealistically low coverage limits that they would like us to match. This presents us with an ethical dilemma… do we offer what the customer is asking for or should we propose a policy that will respond adequately at claim time?

If you are looking for Homeowner Insurance, go with an agent that takes the high road. Our proposals are always based on the “HO-3 special form” and we include water back-up and replacement cost building and contents coverage. Those options raise the typical premium by more than 15% but to leave them out would be reprehensible, in my view. A less principled salesperson will simply offer the cheapest policy available and include a huge deductible to reduce the premium even more. Sadly, until the claim happens, the customer will be perfectly content.

With 40 years in the Homeowner Insurance business, I tell you there is no bottom when it comes to what dishonorable insurance salesmen will do to make a sale. With that in mind, when shopping for homeowner insurance, spend some time on this New York State website, http://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/hmonindx.htm and obtain some basic knowledge on the subject. Then go get proposals from three different sources, determine get the A.M. Best financial rating for each carrier and very carefully compare the coverage and deductible options being offered. Our website also provides a great deal of information about Homeowner Insurance and many other insurance subjects.

By taking the time to go through the above exercise you will make an informed decision based on facts rather than a slick sales pitch or a low price.