Why Having An Insurance Partnership In 2021 Is Critical

Business Woman Staying On Top On Chart Bar And Looking With TheCOVID-19 may be part of our lives forever. As we move into 2021, you need to re-think how you view insurance. Insurance is not best purchased with the concept of; the lower the cost the better for me. We have seen too many issues arise in 2020 where someone had cheap insurance and ended up having an un-insurance claim, poor customer services, or no insurance at all.

Remember These Values Should Be Important To You

  • It does not cost you more to develop a relationship with a professional insurance advisor. You want an agent who is there to serve you at all times.
  • The right insurance designed for you is what you need.
  • Understand the value and culture of the agency, do that match yours?
  • Insurance may not be your only option. We might tell you to not turn in that small claim.
  • Insurance is design to protect your family and finances.
  • We offer a process of getting you the insurance you need.
  • Our agency’s core values are based on developing a relationship with you, understanding your needs, and educating you on what action we take together.

Your life is changing. We ask you these kinds of questions to understand your insurance needs.

  • Do you have any domestic employees?
  • Have there been any changes in marital status?
  • Are you involved in any nonprofit organizations?
  • Do you own a business and operate from your home?
  • Are you remote working in 2021?
  • Do you own a second home?
  • Are adult children now living at home?
  • Do you drive for a rideshare company?
  • Do you rent out your home?
  • Have you started a home business?
  • Do you own any unique collections of art, wine, cars, or guns?
  • Are there any children in college?

You need a partner in 2021, let us show you how we do it.

Here Is Our Secrete to Getting Our Clients The Best Possible Combination of Coverage, Price and Service.

light bulbThere is nothing wrong with wanting competitively priced insurance for your home or business. The issues seem to arise when an insurance consumer takes the low-cost insurance without regard to coverage, their risk, or services offered. We have found a way to help our clients get the best of both worlds; we call it CPS (coverage, price, and service).

Coverage– your policy needs to be designed to give you the insurance you need.

Price– We will work with our insurers to get you a policy you can afford with the coverage you need. We believe in value, not just low prices. We make sure you get all the credits you deserve. We will re-run your credit score as needed.

Service– Insurance is evaluated in the service you receive during the year and after a claim has been reported.

Here are the keys to getting the best possible combination of coverage price and service.

Relationships matter. Relationships still matter and always will. For all its regulations, calculations, and machinations, insurance still requires a personal touch. An agent must have a good relationship with the insurers it represents to get the best level of service, which is passed on to the customer. The agent’s relationship with the customer is important in order for the customer to receive the service they desire.

Communication. We listen to our clients, allowing us to better understand their needs and design an insurance program that meets their needs. We take the time to educate our clients on the different types of insurance, eliminating insurance that is not needed, and saving money.

Be an Invaluable Resource.  We help you understand risks you may not have known about and create insurance solutions that will cover a potentially un-insured claim.

Authenticity. By maintaining an open and honest relationship with our clients allows us to show our value and the importance of building trust. We are able to speak freely about the coverage you need and the coverage you may not need.

You are buying a process of how we work with you to provide the coverage you need.

What Is Insurance?

stressMany people think insurance is a product like a car, home, or boat. It is easy to think of insurance as a product, but it is not. You can use and touch a boat or car every day. You spend money; then you get to use it, see it feel it. It’s not so with insurance. You can hold the policy and look at a bunch of words on the policy explaining coverages, risks, and exposures. Yet it just isn’t the same as a test drive. When you select an insurance program, you may never see it or use it until you have a claim. Then you will fully understand what we are saying.

Good insurance will give you a peace of mind that will allow you to live your life with confidence.  You have the confidence that your agent and insurer will be there for you in your time of need.

Insurance is designed to protect you from unknown and unexpected accidents and losses. That is why it is so important to understand what you are buying before you do. If you are not sure what kind of insurance you have, do you really have peace of mind?

Insurance becomes tangible only when you have a claim; then, it becomes very real. At this time, you hope the policy delivers as promised.

Here is why we educate rather than sell.

  • Educated buyers make better decisions.
  • Insurance policies are not all created equal. Insurance is not like a commodity; insurance companies offer many different kinds of policies; these offer coverage you may need or may not need. Why pay for insurance you don’t need? Or worse, you paid for coverage you thought you had but didn’t.
  • Many insurance policies are filled with coverage gaps. These are areas where you need certain coverage, but the policy may not provide it. A coverage gap may also be having policy limits or deductibles not designed for your needs. An agent acting as your advisor can help you identify these gaps and offer solutions.

Give me a call and let talk about how we are different and can help you understand your insurance purchase with clarity. I want to earn your trust.

 

Are Electric Scooters Covered Under My Insurance Policy?

scootersElectric scooters and bikes are popping up all over cities across the country.  They have been popular in Europe for years.  We are at the beginning of this new form of personal transportation, which creates a few questions regarding risk, liability, and insurance coverage.

How Can You Secure Insurance Coverage That Includes Physical Damage And Personal Liability For An Owned E-Bike Or E-Scooter?

Personal liability from homeowners or renter’s policy is unlikely to cover the use of an e-bike because of the exclusion for motor vehicles. A motorcycle policy covering an owned motorcycle or scooter might extend liability to a non-owned e-scooter. In most cases you do not have any insurance coverage unless owned and properly insured.

Are You Covered If You Rent An E-Scooter Or E-Bike?

Most cities don’t have regulations or rules because they don’t qualify as a motor vehicle. Some cities require a driver’s license and helmet, but these are mostly on the honor system.  Users can rent the scooter then leave it anywhere they want (in your front yard or in front of your business).

Insurance companies are busy trying to figure out who is liable in the event a scooter injured someone.  What if the scooter rider injures someone while on the job, will the injuries be covered under workers’ compensation and any liability be the responsibility of the employer insurer?  Business insurance policies may not address scooters specifically. Depending on the circumstances, some electric scooter-related injuries may be covered while others may not.

Many scooter companies have strict waivers that are included in the rental agreement limiting any liability to the rental companies.  One company offers a $1,000,000 liability policy, but all claims would be subject to extensive investigations.

Most legal experts agree that rider will bear the legal liability arising from accidents because of the terms to which the rider agrees to when downloading the app.  The laws, the courts, and the insurance industry are often slow to respond to new technology, and this may be the case with electric scooters. Relatively few laws specific to e-scooters have been passed.

Final Thoughts

Any insurance solutions will most likely be using an auto type of coverage and there are likely territorial limitations imbedded in the policy, therefore traveling abroad and renting these in different urban areas may leave a coverage gap in those specialty policies.

There are a few carriers that offer specialty type electric scooter insurance for these types of devices. The cost varies depending on usage.  We recommend you contact your insurance agent to discuss if your personal insurance provides any coverage or if you need to add coverage to your program.

Ask Perk Reichley

perkOver the years, I have been asked about many different kinds of insurance questions. I thought it might be interesting to start sharing these questions and my responses. Remember, there is no bad or wrong question. If you have a question, send it to me, I will be happy to answer it for you.

Are there unique kinds of insurance I might need?

It is our hope and desire that you never need to make a claim, but if you do, you want the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service. Here are some added coverages you might want to consider.

  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Higher limits on jewelry
  • Identity theft
  • Coverage for collections, art, guns, and coins
  • Personal umbrella liability
  • Coverage for back-up of sewers caused outside the home

How often should I review my personal insurance program?

We recommend an annual review of all your personal insurance needs. This might be a call or face-to-face meeting, depending on your needs.

If you have made some life changes, we always recommend a review at that time. Some life changes that will affect your personal insurance include:

  • Change in marital status
  • Birth of a child
  • Purchase of a new car or any other major purchase
  • Planning international travel
  • Children heading off to college
  • Working form home
  • Retirement
  • Job change

Should I ever consider increasing my deductibles?

Changing your deductibles on your auto or home insurance depends on your risk appetite. It is true that increasing deductibles will save you money, but there are other factors that you might also consider.

  • How much increase is desired?
  • Do you have a history of losses?
  • Do you have the financial resources to handle it?
  • Is the cost-benefit worth the risk?

House prices have been skyrocketing in my neighborhood lately. Should I increase my limits?

A hot real estate market doesn’t actually impact your home rebuild cost or replacement cost. That number is based on the raw materials and labor it would take to rebuild it with like kind and quality.

 

What Keeps You Up AT Night?

Every one of us has certain things that keep you up once in a while. It might be your job, the kids, illness, or other life’s problems. Our goal to make sure that protecting your family with the right insurance does not keep you up.

Here is how we help you sleep at night

  1. We never sell you a policy. We ask questions and educate you so that the coverage you but the right fit for you.
  2. Insurance is a complex transaction, so we work hard to make sure you understand how insurance works before you make a decision.
  3. Our team is licensed and have years of experience that help us better educate you.
  4. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your insurance decisions.

According to an Insurance Journal article, here are the top issues that keep people up.

  • Flood and other natural disasters
  • Identity theft
  • End of life issues
  • Eldercare

We can provide valuable information regarding each of these so that you can make the right decision for you and your family. We hope you noticed that we don’t just offer a quick insurance product. That is because we will only offer you an insurance solution after we fully understand your needs.

Connect with us and let us show you how we do it

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.

Why We Stopped Selling Insurance and Started Educating our Clients

Many years ago, our agency changed the way we operate. We saw that insurance could be viewed as a commodity like a car or home. But we know otherwise. There were two reasons for our change.

  1. If people saw insurance as a commodity, then the lowest price wins. And with insurance, low price usually means one size fits all coverage and low or no education or service that values the customer over the insurance carrier’s efficient transaction model.
  2. When we can educate and explain why you need or don’t need certain insurance coverage, the process becomes less about cost and more about purchasing the right coverage at the right prices, hence creating value.

Here is what we like to do before we even say the word insurance. We ask questions to understand your needs better. We share our knowledge about your risks, and we help identify the individual risks you face and start the process of putting together a plan to protect you with a combination of insurance, risk transfer and avoidance techniques.

Our clients routinely tell us that “this is the first time someone took the time to explain this to them”.  They feel empowered to control and have ownership of their insurance program.

Building a business populated by satisfied, repeat customers is our goal.  This benefits both parties and offers us the opportunity to invest our knowledge and expertise while sharing the relationships we have with community vendors and insurance carriers to benefit our customers.  This feels more successful that hitting a sales goal each year.

As we continue to monitor the safety needs of our staff and clients, our agency will continue to operate as we have since the start of the COVID-19 Quarantines and work electronically in service to our clients. Walk-in traffic from clients and prospects will continue to be suspended. We will remain open and all aspects of our agency operations are available including a drop box at the office for payments and documents.

Communicate with our staff via electronic methods; Telephone, email, text are still available (PDF) and our technology to conduct business transactions electronically has been expanded to include video meetings as an option to face to face. While this lacks the personal touch we are known for as well as the communication style we prefer, these changes are necessary during this time of protecting one another for the near future. We appreciate your understanding and loyalty to our agency.

 

What Does Your Agent Talk To You About?

When you meet or talk to your agent, what are the topics of conversation? Are you talking just about your bill, or how you got an endorsement and didn’t understand it? Do you get way too much communication on how to reduce your premium by buying less coverage? Many companies will tell you, and you don’t need to talk to your agent.

We are here to provide a different approach. We recommend talking to your agent at least once a year and even more if needed. Communication is the key to all good relationships. We will reach out to you and talk to you about the following.

  1. How is your claim being processed? Can we help you?
  2. Did you get your policy, and do you have any questions?
  3. Have you made any major purchases; a new car, boat, or other high-end items?
  4. I know you have a wine collection, did you but any new bottles that need to be insured?
  5. Your son Travis is heading off to college; we might want to review your coverage.
  6. How is your new job going? Do they offer life insurance, or would you like to look at some options?
  7. Have you thought more about identity theft coverage? Or do you have any questions?
  8. We have found many people are driving for a ride-sharing company, is there anyone in your house doing this?

These are just some examples of what our conversations might look like. Of course, we also start with a good day it is great to connect, and end with thank you for your business, we value our relationship and love serving you.

 

Your Policy Is Only As Good As Your Agent

agentTo say that your insurance policy is only as good as your agent is a bold statement. You have also heard me say, that not all policies are created equal. Just what do I mean by this? The idea is that your agent is the most important part of your insurance program. Here are three reasons why this is true:

  1. Insurance companies only offer a policy, they do not design coverage. On the other hand, independent agents can design coverage that is best for your specific needs.
  2. Independent agents work for the client, not the insurer.
  3. Experienced agents can help you identify and manage your risk, rather than sell you a policy.

The best way to ensure you are getting the best advice and value is to have a trusted relationship with an experienced agent. Like any relationship, communication is the key. A good agent will listen to the customer and offer risk and insurance solutions. There are times when insurance is not the best solution. Again, here are examples:

  1. Contractual Risk Transfer – There are many ways to transfer your risk through a contract or agreement. An example might be for products liability. If you are distributing a product manufactured by another party you can transfer the product liability to them, rather than take that risk on.
  2. Self-Insure – There are times when the risk may be such that you are better off self-insuring rather than spending a lot on an insurance policy with a super high deductible. Sometimes, you can mitigate risk by putting risk control techniques in place to reduce or eliminate the risk all together.

Only an agent who is interested in your best interests would offer you options that included no insurance. Rather than using any agent to get you an insurance quote, select a qualified independent agent who will collaborate with you and design a risk management program that meets your needs.

 

We Can Help You Build A Bridge

An Insurance Update

Most people have some gaps in their personal insurance coverage. We do our best to help our clients understand where these are and provide solutions so that these gaps don’t exist. Having an independent agent help, you find the right kind of personal insurance for you can go a long way in providing you with peace of mind.

Personal insurance is complex, and we are here to help you understand the complex, so you have made an informed and educated decision.

What are Insurance gaps?

Insurance gaps can be areas where you thought there was coverage, but in reality, there is not. It may be that the coverage is not available or is too expensive or you just did not know about it. Gaps can occur if you have more than one agent handling your personal insurance. Between your home, auto, RV or personal umbrella there might be times when one agent thought the other was taking care of the issue. Insurance gaps can include:

  • Flood insurance
  • Identity theft
  • Earthquake
  • Sewer back-up
  • Auto insurance limit issues
  • Your home is undervalued
  • Lack of a personal umbrella
  • Limited coverage for other drivers on your auto policy.

These are just a few of the personal insurance issues that can create real problems for you. Call our office for a free review.

While the massive national agencies spend millions on television ads and offer barebones policies, they do not know you. When your needs change or your situation complicates, you don’t want an automated phone tree or cold cyber-agent. You want to talk to compassionate, honest insurance experts – that’s our team. You shouldn’t have to spend hours researching and comparing policies. Let the specialists at Reichley guide you through the complex insurance industry.

Call today to alleviate the worry and get covered – (937) 429-0655.