As a broker, it is important for you to not just meet your clients, give them a policy and never speak to them again, but to build a relationship with them that encourages them to contact us when they have questions, updates or concerns.
When we sell a policy, we are selling the ease of mind to that customer that we will take care of them should a claim arise, however, if you speak to a lot of clients who have dealt with a claim, they will tell you there were things they weren’t aware of that were not covered or that were covered. They didn’t know what their deductible was or what it was used for other than to lower their premium. When you agree to protect their risk, don’t you think they should know what is and isn’t protected?
We forget to check with our clients every so often to find out if there have been any changes to their home that need to be covered. To let them know about changes to their policy, and talk with them about their deductible. These are all very important topics that are so often skimmed.
If you have open communication with a client they will find they understand their policy better, they will know what is and isn’t covered so there won’t be any surprises when the adjuster tells them their roof isn’t covered, or that their vacant dwelling does not have water coverage. We need to show clients that we are insurance professionals so they will have confidence in what we say and suggest. Making sure they are informed, is the best way to do that.
An area that I found was often missed with my clients was discussing their renovations. They assumed that they were covered based on the replacement cost that was determined years ago before their renovations were started, let alone completed. When I explained to them the gap in coverage between their current limit, and the limit they needed, they were shocked. Letting them know that if their home had a fire, the granite counter tops they had installed would be replaced with the vinyl they used to have, and the newly installed hard wood floors would be replaced with carpet; they were again shocked. However, how would we know about these changes if the client doesn’t know to call and tell us about them? Having a quick phone call or meeting with them every few years to check on this is all it takes to turn us from a sales person to an insurance professional.
Another area was their deductible. Often they would want to put a high deductible in place in order to lower their premium; however they weren’t aware that when they had a claim, they would need to pay that amount out of pocket. For most families, having to pay $1500 in a month on top of all their other bills would be detrimental. When this was explained to them, they were more open to lowering their deductible and paying the extra premium. When your client is concerned about the premium, this should cue you to talk about their deductible. Ask them if it would cause trouble should they have to pay the current deductible on top of all their other bills in a month. If the answer is no, then go with the higher deductible, but if the answer is yes, why put them in that situation?
Being a broker is a rewarding yet demanding position, the knowledge we have about insurance goes to waste when we don’t share it with our clients. If you want to be seen as the professional you are, show them that you are there to cover them and give them confidence that they will protected if they have a claim. Inform them of changes and important details about their coverage and encourage them to contact you if anything changes or they have questions.
“It’s easier to do the job right then to explain why you didn’t” – Martin Van Buren.
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