Client Education Trends

 

We have been on a journey for over a year to educate both agents and buyers of insurance about the most effective way to secure insurance and risk management services.  It appears our work may be paying off.  We are seeing more and more articles related to the buying and selling insurance that include titles like:

  • “Educate Your Clients”
  • “Discover Solutions”
  • “Quality Relationships Matter”
  • “Buyers Value Partnerships”
  • “Sales People Can’t Wing It”

These articles directly relate to what we have been saying over the past twelve months.  We have reviewed a number of these articles and picked out some of the best points for agents and insurance buyers to consider.  These include:

  • See your buyer’s needs through their perspective. This involves active listening on the agent’s part.  Agents should talk less, and listen 80% of the time.
  • Deliver your buyer a solution — not a product. Solutions are meant to address the client’s real needs, not sell an insurance product.
  • Focus on what’s important to the client. Determine what their true needs are.
  • Focusing only on your insurance product will cause you to miss what buyer’s value from you.

If insurance buyers demand these procedures of their agents, and agents practice these guidelines, insurance coverage would be better designed, and the overall cost of risk would be lower for businesses.  Insurers would be happy because losses would be reduced, and businesses would be matched with the right insurer.

Price or Value?

Shoppers are always looking for that next big sale or deal. When it comes to purchasing a 46” HDTV, it is easy to identify all the features you want, and then shop for the best price.  In fact, many retailers might even negotiate with you to get your business. When selecting your insurance, you cannot think the same way.  Why?

  • Insurance can never go on sale, it is highly regulated.
  • Consumers rarely have complete information about various insurance products.
  • Consumers may believe that “popular” or advertised products are high in quality.

Let me clarify that high-priced insurance does not always equate to a better value.  However, if you purchase the low-priced insurance policy are you satisfied that all the coverage terms are consistent with a higher-priced one?  A better way to look at this is to consider the value of what you are buying.  Here are some of the value-added advantages you will find in insurance if you do a little searching.

What makes up a high-value insurance program?

  • An insurance policy that will respond to your risks when a loss occurs.
  • The extra services offered by the insurer at no cost to you.
  • The knowledge and expertise of the agent. The agent is your key to a high value advantage. The agent is the one who helps you identify your risks and designs a policy specifically for you.  The agent will be there to help you manage a claim and to educate you.
  • Your agent increases your insurance value by helping you understand why the premiums are different.

Value is more than price.

There are also non-price variables that every insurance purchaser should consider.

  • The agent’s experience in your industry. Do you want an agent who primarily only insures homes to insure your restaurant?  These risks are different and should be treated as such.
  • Insurance companies have customer satisfaction ratings for claims, premium processing, and other services. Do you want to use an insurer with a below-average claims handling rating?

In conclusion, only an experienced agent can help you understand and define the true value of your insurance purchase. Call Reichley Insurance Agency anytime to see how we can help you!

Preparing for a Cyber Loss: A Small Business Guide

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of protecting your company from cyber threats. Cyber attacks can result in significant financial losses, damage to your reputation, and legal liability. Preparing for a cyber loss is crucial to minimize the impact of a potential attack. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how small businesses can prepare for a cyber loss.

Assess Your Risk

  1. Identify vulnerabilities: Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities in your systems and data.
  2. Evaluate your security measures: Review your existing security measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, and password policies.
  3. Determine your risk level: Based on your assessment, determine your risk level and prioritize your mitigation efforts.

Develop a Cybersecurity Plan

  1. Create a incident response plan: Establish a plan that outlines the steps to take in case of a cyber attack.
  2. Implement security measures: Implement security measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular software updates.
  3. Train employees: Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices and ensure they understand their roles in preventing cyber attacks.

Secure Your Data

  1. Backup data: Regularly backup critical data to a secure location.
  2. Use encryption: Encrypt sensitive data to protect it from unauthorized access.
  3. Implement access controls: Limit access to sensitive data to only those who need it.

Prepare for a Cyber Loss

  1. Cyber insurance: Consider investing in cyber insurance to help cover the costs of a cyber attack.
  2. Incident response plan: Ensure your incident response plan is up-to-date and easily accessible.
  3. Communication plan: Establish a communication plan to notify employees, customers, and stakeholders in case of a cyber attack.

The Advantage of Having an Insurance Agent Involved

  1. Expert guidance: Insurance agents specializing in cyber insurance can provide valuable guidance on risk assessment and mitigation.
  2. Policy customization: Agents can help customize your cyber insurance policy to fit your business needs.
  3. Claims support: Agents can assist with the claims process, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Preparing for a cyber loss is essential for small businesses to minimize the impact of a potential cyber attack. By assessing your risk, developing a cybersecurity plan, securing your data, and preparing for a cyber loss, you can help protect your business from cyber threats. Additionally, having an insurance agent involved in the process can provide expert guidance and support. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and staying vigilant is key to keeping your business safe.

Best Practices for Claims Mitigation: A Homeowner’s Guide

As a homeowner, filing a claim with your insurance company can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with damage to your property. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate the claims process and ensure a smooth and efficient resolution. In this article, we’ll explore best practices for claims mitigation, highlighting the value of having an agent involved and helping you navigate the process with confidence.

Prepare Before a Loss Occurs

  1. Review your policy: Understand your coverage, limits, and deductibles.
  2. Document your property: Keep a record of your home’s condition, including photos and videos.
  3. Keep receipts: Store receipts for valuable items and renovations.

Mitigating Damage

  1. Act quickly: Notify your insurer promptly to prevent further damage.
  2. Take photos and videos: Document the damage before repairs begin.
  3. Make temporary repairs: Prevent further damage, but avoid permanent fixes.

Filing a Claim

  1. Contact your insurer: Reach out to your insurance company to report the claim.
  2. Provide detailed documentation: Share photos, videos, and receipts.
  3. Keep a claim journal: Record interactions with your insurer.

The Value of Having an Agent Involved

  1. Expert guidance: Agents help navigate the claims process.
  2. Advocacy: Agents ensure your interests are represented.
  3. Streamlined communication: Agents facilitate communication with your insurer.

Working with Adjusters

  1. Be prepared: Have documentation ready for the adjuster’s visit.
  2. Ask questions: Clarify the claims process and timeline.
  3. Review the estimate: Ensure it includes all damages.

Resolution and Next Steps

  1. Review the settlement: Ensure it aligns with your policy.
  2. Complete repairs: Use reputable contractors.
  3. Keep records: Store all documentation for future reference.

By following these best practices and leveraging the expertise of an agent, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the claims process, minimize delays, and ensure a fair settlement. Remember, preparation is key, and having a trusted advisor in your corner can make all the difference. Call us anytime if you have other questions or concerns!

 

Tom and Harry’s Par-Tee Debate on Insurance Agents

On a sunny Saturday morning at the local Green Meadows Golf Course, two lifelong friends, Tom and Harry, found themselves in the midst of a discussion that was as meandering as the course itself. The topic of the day? The virtues of an insurance agent who educates and nurtures relationships with clients versus one who merely sells a product.

As they approached the first tee, Tom, ever the pragmatist, launched the opening salvo. “You know, Harry, I think an insurance agent should be like a good caddy. They should know the course, understand the traps, and help you make the best shot possible,” he said, taking a practice swing. Remember, insurance is all about the final cost.

Harry, adjusting his sunhat, chuckled. “Absolutely, but there’s a catch. My agent is like that caddy who not only carries your clubs but also teaches you which club to use and why. It’s not just about making sales; it’s about making sense of the insurance jungle.”

The two teed off, and the debate continued as they strolled to their balls. “See, my guy does the basics, and that’s fine by me. As long as I’m covered, why need the extra fluff?” Tom queried, eyeing his shot.

“Fluff?” Harry exclaimed with a grin. “It’s hardly fluff when you’re facing a sand trap of legal jargon and complex clauses! That’s when you need someone who doesn’t just hand you a club but also shows you how to swing it.”

As they reached the green, Tom lined up his putt. “I guess when you put it that way, it does make sense. Maybe I do need someone who isn’t just there at the sale but walks the course with me.”

“Exactly!” Harry replied, as he watched Tom narrowly miss his putt. “It’s about building a relationship where they know your game, your life, your family, your business, and how it all changes over the years. That’s the agent who not only gets you onto the green but helps you stay there.”

They moved on to the next hole, with the conversation drifting from insurance to other life matters. However, the topic resurfaced again as they waited for a slow group ahead.

“You know, I think you’re onto something,” Tom conceded as they observed the tortoise-paced foursome. “Maybe I should look for an agent who’s more like a coach than a salesman. Someone who’s there in the long haul, not just for the quick sale.”

Harry nodded, taking a sip from his water bottle. “And when life throws you a curveball, or in our case, a rogue golf ball, you’ll have someone who understands your game well enough to help you play through it.”

As they finished up their round, the two friends realized that while they might not agree on every stroke or strategy in golf, when it came to insurance, they both valued someone who was more partner than pitchman.

With their clubs slung over their shoulders and the sun setting behind the 18th hole, Harry quipped, “Just think, Tom, with the right agent, dealing with insurance could be almost as enjoyable as golf!”

Tom laughed. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But maybe a bit less frustrating.”

And with that, the two walked off the course, their debate settled, at least until the next round.

 

Grill Talk: Tom and Harry’s Fiery Debate on Annual Insurance Reviews

Tom flipped a burger on his well-worn grill with the expertise of a seasoned pitmaster while Harry lounged nearby, nursing a cold drink in the laid-back ambiance of Tom’s backyard. The smell of barbecue filled the air, mingling with the faint sounds of a summer playlist. It was the perfect setting for another one of their friendly debates.

“You know, Harry, I was thinking about our chat the other day on the golf course,” Tom began, seizing the opportunity as he turned the sausages sizzling on the grill. “It’s really crucial to sit down with your insurance agent annually to review your coverage. Life changes, and so do your insurance needs.”

Harry raised an eyebrow, setting his drink down. “Come on, Tom. Once you’re covered, why fix what isn’t broken? It’s not like insurance policies are daily specials at a restaurant.”

Tom chuckled, prodding the coals with his grilling fork. “That’s where you’re wrong, buddy. Think about it—what if you renovated the kitchen, or one of the kids started driving? Those changes could seriously affect your coverage needs. It’s not just about buying insurance; it’s about updating it to suit your life.”

Harry sighed, watching the smoke drift lazily up into the tree-lined sky. “I suppose you have a point, but doesn’t that just complicate things? I’d rather set it and forget it, enjoy my backyard, not sit in some stuffy office talking about hypothetical disasters.”

Piling a perfectly grilled burger on a bun, Tom passed it to Harry. “But that’s just it; it’s not all hypothetical. Last year, after our review, we realized we were underinsured on our home. And with the way property values have been going up, can you imagine the pickle we’d be in if something happened?”

Harry took a thoughtful bite of his burger, the juices mingling with the tangy barbecue sauce. “Well, when you put it that way… Maybe there’s some merit to your annual check-up idea.”

Tom smiled, pleased with the slight concession. “It’s like maintaining your car or even this old grill. Regular check-ups keep surprises at bay, and you know how much I hate surprises.”

Harry chuckled, his resistance thawing like the ice in his glass. “Okay, okay, maybe I’ll give my agent a call. But only if you promise to keep these burgers coming.”

“Deal!” Tom exclaimed, clinking his bottle against Harry’s. “Insurance might not be the most exciting thing to review, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. And hey, we can make it a tradition—annual insurance chat and a barbecue.”

As the evening wore on, the friends continued to discuss, laugh, and share stories. The casual backyard setting had a way of turning even the most mundane topics into enjoyable conversations. Whether they were talking about insurance or not, it was clear that these gatherings were about more than just the food—they were about staying connected, staying informed, and, of course, staying well-fed.

 

The ADU Impact Home Insurance

Are you considering adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to your property? Whether it’s a backyard cottage, garage conversion, or basement apartment, ADUs can provide a convenient and affordable way to increase living space and generate rental income. However, it’s essential to understand how ADUs impact your home insurance.

In this blog, we’ll explore the world of ADUs, their benefits, and what you need to know about insuring these additional structures.

What are Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)?

ADUs are secondary housing units on a property, either attached or detached from the primary residence. They can be:

  • In-law suites
  • Guest houses
  • Backyard cottages
  • Garage conversions
  • Basement apartments

ADUs offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased living space
  • Rental income opportunities
  • Aging-in-place solutions
  • Sustainable housing options

How Do ADUs Affect Home Insurance?

  • Adding an ADU can impact your home insurance in several ways:
  • Increased value: ADUs increase your property’s value, which may require higher insurance coverage.

Additional risk: ADUs introduce new risks, such as tenant damage or liability.

  • Separate insurance policy: Depending on the ADU’s size and use, you may need a separate insurance policy.

Insuring Your ADU: Key Considerations

When insuring your ADU, keep the following in mind:

  • Dwelling coverage: Ensure your policy covers the ADU’s structure and contents.
  • Liability coverage: Consider increasing liability coverage to protect against tenant-related accidents.
  • Rental income coverage: If you rent the ADU, consider coverage for lost rental income due to damage or repairs.
  • Discounts: Ask about discounts for features like security systems, smoke detectors, and impact-resistant roofing.

Accessory Dwelling Units offer a versatile solution for expanding living space and generating income. However, it’s crucial to understand how ADUs impact your home insurance. By considering the unique risks and requirements of ADUs, you can ensure you have the right coverage to protect your investment.

Before building or insuring an ADU, consult with your insurance provider to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. With the right coverage, you can enjoy the benefits of your ADU with peace of mind.

Knowing When to Update Your Business Insurance Coverage

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, insurance coverage isn’t just a necessity—it’s a dynamic tool that safeguards your enterprise against unforeseen risks and liabilities. However, many business owners overlook the importance of regularly reviewing and updating their insurance policies, potentially leaving their operations vulnerable to new threats. Identifying the right moments to update your business insurance can make a significant difference in your company’s resilience and financial health.

Regulatory Changes

One of the most clear-cut indicators that it’s time to update your business insurance is a change in laws or regulations that affect your industry. Governments frequently update regulations to address new risks or societal changes, such as data protection laws for online businesses. An insurance policy that was compliant a year ago might not provide adequate coverage under new laws, exposing your business to fines or lawsuits.

Business Expansion

Growth is a goal for many businesses, but with expansion comes new risks. Whether you’re increasing your workforce, launching new products, or entering new markets, each of these milestones necessitates a review of your current insurance coverage. For instance, expanding into a new state or country might require additional forms of insurance due to different legal requirements. Similarly, introducing a new product line could expose your business to new liability risks that your current policy doesn’t cover.

Changes in Revenue

Significant fluctuations in your business’s revenue can also be a signal to reevaluate your insurance needs. Higher revenue levels can increase your liability exposure, necessitating higher coverage limits to protect against potential claims. Conversely, if your business is facing a downturn, you might need to adjust your policies to reflect your current operational size and risk profile, potentially reducing premiums.

Technological Advancements

The rapid pace of technological innovation can quickly render an existing insurance policy outdated. For example, businesses that have recently digitized their operations may need to consider cyber liability insurance to protect against data breaches or cyber-attacks. Similarly, companies utilizing new technologies or machinery might require updated property insurance to cover these assets adequately.

Natural Disasters and Climate Change

The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters due to climate change mean that businesses must regularly assess their insurance coverage for natural catastrophes. If your business is located in an area prone to floods, hurricanes, wildfires, or other natural disasters, it’s critical to ensure that your insurance policy reflects the heightened risk level and provides sufficient coverage for such events.

Changes in Ownership or Management

Transitions in ownership or significant changes in management can impact the direction and operations of a business. These changes often bring new strategies, operational practices, and risk profiles, necessitating a review of the existing insurance coverage to ensure it aligns with the new management’s vision and the company’s updated risk landscape.

Regular Annual Reviews

Even if none of the above changes have occurred, it’s wise to conduct an annual insurance review. This practice ensures that your coverage remains aligned with your business’s current state and future goals. Regular reviews also provide an opportunity to explore cost-saving options, like bundling policies or adjusting deductibles.

Insurance is not a set-it-and-forget-it component of your business. It’s an essential tool that must evolve alongside your company. By staying vigilant and understanding when to update your business insurance coverage, you can protect your enterprise against emerging risks and ensure its long-term sustainability. Regular consultations with your insurance provider can help you navigate these changes smoothly and keep your coverage in line with your business’s needs.

 

 

Tom and Harry’s Lunch Debate – An Unconventional Duel Over Insurance

It was a typical sunny Tuesday when Tom and Harry, two old friends from college, decided to catch up over lunch at their favorite local deli, “Sammy’s Sandwiches & More.” The deli, known for its gargantuan sandwiches and a chatty parrot named Pickles, was the perfect backdrop for what would soon unfold as an unexpectedly heated debate about, wait for it, insurance.

Tom, an ardent fan of technology and all things online, was quick to dive into the topic as he bit into his towering pastrami on rye. “You see, Harry, buying insurance online is the future! It’s fast, easy, and you can do it in your pajamas,” he chuckled, waving his half-eaten sandwich for emphasis. You can even pick what kind of insurance you think you need.

Harry, ever the skeptic and a champion of personalized service, retorted with a knowing smile as he neatly arranged his utensils next to his untouched club sandwich. “Sure, Tom, but when’s the last time your laptop offered you expert advice tailored just for you or could negotiate better rates on your behalf?”. And Tom, are you smart enough to know what kind of insurance you need? Are you going to rely on the internet to help you when you have an uninsured claim?

“Online insurance is all about convenience, cheap insurance, and efficiency,” Tom argued, brushing crumbs from his laptop. “Plus, I can compare dozens of policies in seconds!”

Harry nodded, taking a calm sip of his coffee. “That’s true, but remember the time you bought that ‘affordable’ policy online, and it turned out it didn’t cover the very thing you needed when you filed a claim?”

Tom’s face fell slightly as he recalled the incident. “Well, yes, but”

“But nothing!” Harry interjected with a laugh. “An independent agent would’ve caught that. They work for you, not the insurance companies. They understand the fine print and make sure there are no surprises when you least expect them.”

As their debate grew more animated, even Pickles the parrot seemed to weigh in, squawking, “No surprises! No surprises!” from his perch by the cash register.

Harry, seizing the moment, added, “And let’s not forget about the personal touch. An independent agent is someone you can build a relationship with. They’ll be there through life’s big changes—marriage, kids, a new house, maybe even a new sandwich obsession.”

Tom, ever the good sport, conceded with a grin, “Okay, okay, you have a point. Maybe there’s something to be said for someone who can navigate the complexities of insurance without leading me astray.”

“As I thought,” Harry said triumphantly, finally taking a bite of his sandwich. And when technology fails, who are you going to call? Not your internet provider!”

Both laughed, the tension dissolving as quickly as it had escalated, and they spent the rest of their lunch reminiscing about college days and planning their next golf game.

In the end, while they didn’t solve the great insurance debate of their time, Tom and Harry left Sammy’s with full stomachs and perhaps a little more appreciation for the old-school charm of human interaction, something no online platform could match.

As they walked out, Pickles squawked a final thought: “Human touch! Human touch!” Tom couldn’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, Harry and Pickles had a point.

 

What Are the Traits of a Good Insurance Agent?

Very Simply Put

  1. Honesty

Selling insurance is about giving customers, businesses, and individuals solutions to their risk issues. Misrepresenting the facts, or trying to sell a policy, does more harm than good to their customers. A good agent will not try to sell anything; they will listen and become a problem solver first. Then and only then might insurance solutions or options be provided.

  1. Responsive Client Service

When clients phones or emails, a timely answer is essential because they need the information to make decisions. When a client spends their money, they have a right to feel secure and content during the course of the business relationship. Through actively listening to and empathizing with our valued clients, agents can find success

  1. Industry Knowledge

Selling a policy is only one aspect of what it means to be an insurance agent. Agents must be able to provide a thorough understanding of all facets of the products and services they sell, as well as how each client’s situation may be addressed. The agent should be trained in all aspects of the risk management process.

  1. Community Involvement

Being a respectable member of the community is a must for running a successful insurance agency. We believe in fostering relationships and giving our neighbors access to resources because we are local leaders. To make the neighborhood a better and safer place to live, we collaborate with customers and businesses.

Our Philosophy

Over the last sixty years, we have established a reputation for honesty, high morals, integrity and friendly, professional customer service – pillars of a successful insurance agency. Based upon this foundation, the staff of Reichley Insurance Agency commits to the following mission:

  • To provide the clients with quality products and services through financially sound insurance companies committed to the American agency system.
  • To provide prompt and courteous service by handling each account as if it were our own and by treating each client the way we would want to be treated.

We further commit:

  • To enhance our professionalism by continuing our education in the insurance industry as well as supporting opportunities for personal growth.
  • To communicate with each other and work together in harmony towards the success of the agency, and each participant within the agency.

These commitments result in the highest of customer satisfaction and confidence. They are Reichley Insurance Agency’s highest priorities. Achieving them enables both collective and individual success and thus fulfill our mission.