How We Help You Make Informed Insurance Decisions

When it comes to your insurance, making the right decision can be the difference between a covered loss or a nightmare. Knowing what to look for is one thing, but it’s just as important to know what NOT to do when considering your insurance agent and the kind of insurance you may need. What your goal should always be is to get the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service. To help you get to this point, we have a process that we use that helps us known you better and educates you on your risk and how best to manage them. The process is the same for a family or a business.

Understanding

It is important that we have an understanding of your needs, concerns, and risks. Our goal is to gain knowledge of what risks you have and how we can manage these together. Some risks we can say for sure may need insurance, but there may be some risks where insurance is not the best solution.

Educating

Once we understand your risks and needs, we educate you on how to manage them best. We believe that our primary purpose is to educate and inform our clients so they can make the best possible decision.

Planning

Once we agree on what your risk is, we set up a plan. The plan may be to offer insurance options, increase deductibles, transfer your risk, or self-insure. Notice that this is the first time we mention insurance. If the first word out of an insurance professionals mouth is insurance, all they are doing is trying to sell you a product, not deliver on a promise.

Managing

We manage your program through insurance placement; risk reduction techniques claims assistance and customer service. We understand that our job does not end when your policy is delivered. We answer questions and solve problems throughout the entire year.

Evaluating

To continue the process, we assess your program and make corrections based changes in your needs and risk. We believe that your insurance needs change, and therefore, our approach needs to be flexible enough to adapt and change over time.

In the end, you have a better-designed insurance program and be more satisfied with the results. Just remember, cheaper is not better and better is not always more expensive. We offer a way to add value to your insurance purchases.

Agents Keep Changing And Evolving

Things Every Agent Should Be Doing

In case you have not figured it out, I am on a mission to change the way agents/brokers and their clients interact with each other. There are three things that every agent should be doing with their clients; educate, educate, educate. Ok, I know what you are thinking. Just like real-estate, it is location, location, and location. But not so fast.

Here Is What I Mean By Educate

Educate Your Clients About Their Risk

The very first thing every agent needs to do is help their clients understand what their risks are. Not just simply fire, wind, and auto hazards, but rather the client’s complete risks.  These risks can include liability assumed in a contract, cyber risk, employment liability, and more. This involves truly understanding the client’s business and how to create and deliver real solutions; some of which may not include insurance.

Educate Your Clients About Insurance

Every agent needs to be providing information to their clients on how insurance works, and the pros and cons of the insurance their clients are considering. Do your clients fully understand all the terms, conditions, and exclusions of their insurance?

Educate Your Clients About The Market

It is very important that your clients understand how the insurance markets work, including market trends and market volatility. The swings in market pricing can actually provide opportunities for our clients. As prices go up, why not increase the deductible, thus keeping premiums level?

It should always be the goal of every agent to help your clients understand the value you bring to the relationship.

Filing A Claim Correctly Can Save You Time And Money

We hope you never have an accident or loss.  But if you have a loss, knowing that your claim is covered by insurance will help.  That’s what insurance is all about.  And, if you understand the claim filing process, you will find that you will have fewer headaches and your claim will be resolved much faster.

Here are some tips to help you file your claim

Our agency is here to help you through the entire claim process.

  1. Always read your insurance policy so that you know what is covered and what is not covered.
  2. If you are unsure if your claim is covered, it is always good to call our office, or your agent. This is another good reason to have an independent agent to help you through the claim process. Don’t rely on the insurance company to interrupt coverage for you. Sometimes, just a conversation with the insurance company can be logged as a claim, even though no claim was filed.
  3. For auto accidents (depending on the damages), you will need to gather as much information as you can. Call your agent to obtain a check list to keep in your car. You can call our office for help, even right after the accident we are here to help. We offer a 24/7 client emergency number directly to our staff. It is ok to wake us up in the middle of the night; we may be in our pajamas, but we care about you.
  4. Document as much as you can. If you are involved in an auto accident, take photos with your smart phone. Get as many witnesses as possible.
  5. You have an obligation to prevent further damage. For example, if you have roof damage you will need to patch the roof with plastic or other material to prevent any further water damage.
  6. Understand that the claim process will involve working with a number of people. Our office can help take some of the work off your plate, but you will have to talk to the adjuster at some point to review the claim and settlement.
  7. Before accepting any settlement, make sure you are satisfied with the amount. Also make sure you read all the documents.
  8. Remember, all property losses may be subject to your deductible and deductibles may vary within the policy. This will help you understand the expectations of what is covered and what is not.
  9. Use our agency as your resource; we are here to help you manage the claim process.

 

 

What Is Risk Analysis And Why Is It So Important?

What Is Risk Analysis And Why Is It So Important?

The term risk analysis tends to sound like a complicated thing. But simply put, risk analysis is a review of the things that might create a loss for you, your family, or business.

Why Is This important?

You have so much invested in your family, home, and business. You need to have an understanding of things that might happen, which will create a negative impact on your family and business.

What Role Does Your Agent Play?

Your agent will be your guide, consultant, and advisor through this process. It is important that you have an agent who is not interested in selling you insurance. Your agent needs to educate you on your risk, offer options, and work with you to make sure you are correctly protected.

If your agent does not understand or is not interested in this process, you will be left with inadequate protection.

If your agent offers an off the shelf homeowners policy, without asking questions and educating you might get stuck in the event of a claim. For example, you have a fire in your business and have to move out for three months during reconstruction. Do you have the right coverage to help you with temporary rent, and other expenses? What if you have to close your business and you have a loss of revenue? Knowing the right coverage and limits you need is the responsibility of your agent.

We Help Make The Complex Simple

We offer a series of questions to help our clients understand their risk and what options they have to manage them, based on their individual situations.

We educate our clients so they can make informed decisions. For example, if you are renting out a part of your home, you will need special insurance, as your homeowner’s policy excludes operating a business out of your home.

If you own a home and have other financial assists, you may need a personal umbrella policy. This protects you against litigation or claims where your primary coverage is exhausted.

Let’s start a conversation on how we might be able to educate you and design an insurance program that fits your individual needs.

After Recent Storms Agents Show Their Value.

The recent storm and resulting damage have offered a reminder just how important the right kind of insurance can be. It also      re-enforces just how important your agent can be in helping you through the claim process.

People buy insurance to protect their family and financial assets from a loss. So when a loss occurs, most people expect their insurance to step up and take care of the issue.  Understanding insurance and the process involved in designing a policy can help prevent a standard claim from turning into a disaster.

How We Are Adding Value Post Storm

  • Helping clients finding contractors.
  • Offering ideas regarding money clients received from the insurance adjuster.
  • Communicating how the claim process works. For example, why the insurance company only paid a portion of the damage estimate at first.
  • Reminding people that claims are a “process’ of steps, not a one and done approach.
  • Helping to match volunteer disaster relief with clients in need.
  • Acting as a location and resource for internet, meeting space for adjusters and contractors to meet with clients displaced by the storms.
  • Helping clients with a final proof of loss.
  • Providing information on how to present your claim in a way to obtain the best payment based on your coverage terms.

Why Your Agents Knowledge And Experience Matters

Having a well-written policy at the time of a loss will make the entire process easier and more efficient.  Every insurance policy offers basic coverage like coverage for your home and personal property.  A trusted insurance partner will go beyond this and counsel you on how much coverage limits you may need and the benefits of modifying deductibles based on your financial capabilities.

The Value of Annual Insurance Reviews

An annual insurance review can offer time for the client and agent to sit down and determine what kind of coverage is needed based on your unique needs. This has become increasingly important after the recent Memorial Day tornado.

Your policy has coverage limits and deductible that will apply to each loss or claim. We can help you understand how these work and the value to you of adjusting these based on your individual needs.

We help you understand the value of viewing insurance as more than just a policy. It is a relationship with your agent and the insurance company. Your agent can become a trusted partner and help you with many areas of your personal insurance. This involves building a relationship of trust. You will want to have a comfortable, professional

Low Premium Vs. Value… Which Is Better?

Many people think the best way to select an insurance agent is to hire the one that offers the lowest possible price. Lower price can mean inferior coverage and that’s fine until you experience a loss that isn’t covered. My goal is to help you understand that there is more to insurance then getting the lowest price. I use concepts like value, cost benefit and service as a foundation for the agent/customer relationship.

Here are a few ideas to help you along your path

Independent agents offer more options. Independent agents represent many different insurers. You want an agent who represents many insurers; especially an insurer who have experience in your specific industry, and who is willing to take the time to get to know you. Allow the agent to market your risk with many different insurers, this is a good way to bring vale to the process. You want a relationship, not a policy.

What can your agent offer? If you own a business and are looking for an agent to write your commercial insurance, you want to make sure they have experience in your industry. If your agent only has experience with personal lines, do they really have the experience and knowledge you need?

Know your agent’s credentials and experience. Ask your agent about their experience and qualifications. Are they investing in extra training and or do they have accreditations, like ARM or CIC. Also ask about their staff, is the account manager also seeking additional designations.

Does the agents personality fit with yours? Your agent can become trusted advisor and help you with many areas of your business. This involves building a relationship of trust. You will want to have a comfortable, professional relationship with your agent, so you can ask questions and get the straightforward responses you deserve.

Your agent can build an insurance program that provides sound insurance and risk management that adds value. And in the long run value is much better than low price.

Are You Looking In The Right Places For Your Insurance?

A More Effective Way To Think About Insurance.

Everyone is looking for a good deal on his or her personal insurance.  Some people define a “good deal” as getting the lowest priced insurance, much like buying gas or other products of a similar kind.  However, there is a different way to define the “best deal” in insurance terms.  We want you to get the best value.  Let me describe what I mean.

You Are Hiring Agent—Not Buying A Policy

Rather than shopping around for the lowest cost insurance, why not shop for an agent who can help you find the best value.  Independent agents represent many different insurers.  You will benefit from an agent who represents many insurers; especially an insurer who has experience with your individual needs.  When you allow an agent to market your insurance needs to several insurers, it is an excellent way to bring value to the process and ensure that you will be presented with the best options available on the market today.  You want a relationship, not just a policy.

Insurance policies are not all created equal. Insurance is not like a commodity; insurance companies offer many different kinds of policies that may or may not offer the coverage you need.  Why pay for insurance you do not need, or worse, pay for coverage you thought you had but did not.

As an independent agent, we will not sell you more insurance, we will provide the right insurance.  In some circumstances, we may even tell our clients not to buy insurance.

Ask your agent about their experience and qualifications. Are they investing in extra training and do they have accreditations?

A good agent will:

  • Ask questions
  • Educate you
  • Bring their knowledge and skills into the relationship
  • Act an advisor not a sale person
  • Become a trusted partner

Agents Help Fill The Gap

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 have policy limits or deductibles not designed for your needs.  An agent acting as your advisor can help you identify these gaps and offer solutions.

We often use the phrase, “You often don’t know what you don’t know.”  Our job as your trusted partner is to listen to you, educate you, then partner with you in developing the right insurance solutions.

Here Is How You Benefit

  • The complex becomes clear. When you have a relationship with the agent who is serving you, they will make the complex world of insurance understandable and how best to manage it.
  • Is Insurance the only option? Clients may not always understand that there may be other ways to handle risk.  A trusted advisor is in the education business – not the selling business.
  • Value-added benefits. With a trusted advisor, you the buyer will have all the resources and knowledge of the agent and his/her team.
  • You have access to other experts. Wouldn’t it be great if your agent brought to your team attorneys, accountants, claims experts, loss control professionals, and more?  Well, a trusted advisor will do just that.

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

Reichley Insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction.  Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks, and provide solutions.  Every Reichley employee has the heart of a teacher.  Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

How We Put People Before Policies

We have used “How We Put People Before Policies” as our tagline for many years.  We use it because we truly believe that people are more important than policies.  However, a tagline is meaningless unless it is put into practice.  Here are a number of ways we carry this out this concept every day.

Each Client Is Unique

We know your insurance needs are one of a kind and require personal attention.  Your family may require certain kinds of coverage and we will make sure you understand that.

Education Comes First

Before we even talk about insurance, we want to educate you on your risks and how these risks may affect your family or business.  We believe that if you are educated about your risk you will make educated decisions.

Excellence Starts With A Human Connection

When a client calls, they get a licensed professional who can speak to their specific needs and respond accordingly.  We listen to your concerns, ask questions, and then provide a response.

We Never Stop Learning

Risk and insurance is an ever-changing field.  That is why we, as a team, continue to expand our knowledge base and further our education.  This allows us to provide you with the latest trends regarding your risk and insurance.

Relationships Matter

Insurance is a relationship between you the client, the agent, and the insurance company.  We look out after your interests—we do not work for an insurance company.  We enjoy making personal connections with our clients, and look forward to the next time we interact with them.

2019 New Year Resolutions For Every Buyer And Agent

As we move into a new year, I hope that every insurance agent and insurance buyer will think about how they view their relationships. Let us get away from the clever insurance advertisement’s attempts to bring our products and services down to the lowest common denominator, price, and commodity. Insurance products and services are used to build our local economies, allow people to dream, and help rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Therefore, here are my resolutions for 2019. I hope other agents and insurance buyers will embrace these as well.

Agents

• I will always put the needs of my client above mine.
• I will strive to educate rather than sell.
• It will be valuable to provide my clients with options.
• Insurance is a complex transaction, and I need to help my clients understand what they are buying.
• Risk management should always be part of every conversation; identify risk, assess the risk, manage the risk, and review again.

Insurance buyers
• I will select an agent who values relationships.
• Price is not an indicator of quality.
• Buying local is like the “farm to table” of insurance.
• I will seek an agent who is qualified to manage my risks.

At Reichley Insurance, our employees are committed to developing ongoing communication with our clients and striving to exceed your expectations. You are not buying a product; you are managing your risk. Remember, insurance is not a product; it is a promise and a trusted relationship.

Which Insurance Agent Is Right For You?

Selecting an insurance agent may be one of the most important things you do.  Every family needs a good accountant, financial planner, and insurance agent to be looking out after their interests.  However, in today’s world, it may be hard to move your thinking away from the idea that the lowest price is the best, to getting the best value for your dollar.

We want to offer you a fun way to learn why your agent is more important than your policy.  We do this in the “Dear Abby” format—except it is “Dear Perk.”

Dear Perk: What does an insurance agent do?  In addition, is one really needed?  From – Wondering Will.

Dear Will:  A good insurance agent will help you understand what kind of insurance you need, first by educating you, and then offering solutions specifically designed for your family.  An agent asks you questions like, “What keeps you up at night,” or “Tell me about your lifestyle?”  Without an agent, there is no one looking out after your needs. Your agent will be there for you in the event of a claim and can provide valuable advice to make sure you get the full value of your policy.

Dear Perk: Aren’t all insurance agents the same?  From – All The Same Sam.

Dear Sam: No, insurance agents come in many different forms.  I recommend independent agents who represent many different insurance companies.  They are familiar with all types of policies from different carriers in the marketplace, and will create a better value by selecting what is best for their clients and not just selling you what products they have on hand.

Dear Perk: Our family has been blessed with great jobs that have allowed us to afford many luxury items.  Do I need any special kinds of insurance?  From – Very Blessed Brian.

Dear Brian: There are some very specific kinds of insurance we might recommend to people who have a high net worth.  Of course, we would want to meet with you to ask a series of questions in order to educate you and create a personal insurance portfolio just for you. However, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about your insurance needs.

Have you considered:

  1. A personal umbrella policy. This coverage offers higher limits for people who desire to protect their wealth in the event of a serious claim.
  2. Insurance for collections. Many people have wine collections, art, jewelry,and other high-end items that need to be insured.
  3. Insurance for a second home. If you own a vacation or rental home it is important to have that insured.
  4. Loss of use coverage. In the event your home is damaged, and you need to move out during restoration, you need coverage for a hotel, food, and other expenses. These can be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

These are just a few thoughts we have regarding the importance of your insurance agent. “We believe insurance is not a product, it’s a promise and a trusted relationship”.  Please make time to hire the right agent with whom you can build a trusted relationship.  Then follow their advice and direction.