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Beene Insurance Agency Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Homeowner? What's the difference what company or agency I choose besides price? LOTS.

You've finally decided on your new home. Now begins the work. Mortgage companies and their agents points, closings, title search, realtors commissions.... oh, and homeowners insurance. Who do you call?

Well, it does matter who you call. As independents, we can MARKET insurance with top insurance carriers. A captive one company agent has only one product. Simply not a good choice in today's environment. We shop the following  including but not limited to:

Progressive, MetLife, Berkshire Hathaway Guard, Safeco Liberty Mutual, Travelers Nationwide and more, Doing so allows us to find not only a good market price but also carrier sweet spots. For example, did you know that some companies LIMIT the amount of structure coverage  you carry? What that means is they will ONLY pay up to dwelling limits to rebuild your home.  Also, some WILL NOT guarantee replacement coverage for your roof. Many customers I talk with in the home buying process do not know WHEN the roof of the home has been replaced nor are they informed by their realtor or inspector. ROOF AGE SHOULD BE A NEGOTIATING FACTOR FOR YOU. For example if the roof is 15 years old it pretty much may have only a 5 year life left so, do the math.  In our area, roof claims are the most common claims we see. Remember 2012 in Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley? Tornados and massive hail storms. structures damaged by trees falling on homes and roofs. And hail, lots of hail!

Quick story. My home suffered roof, gutter and some siding damage. Roof needed full replacement. My policy? Roof was fully covered. A neighbor down the street from me suffered the same damage but his roof was only partially covered. Lesson? You better know your roof age and whether your policy offers full replacement. 

Other must haves for your policy: excess replacement coverage for your home itself, guaranteed replacement on your belongings, water backup, personal liability of at least $300,000 . I recommend $500,000 and adding an excess liability policy of $1 to $3 million. The policies cost little and can protect ALL your assets in the event of personal injury , negligence and so much more.

If you remember only one thing from this blog, remember this. The mortgage company is interested in one thing: getting your loan closed. The realtor, getting your loan closed. With all due respect, they are the last folks you should expect to advise you on homeowners coverage. Many times the monthly payment ratio is so close that they will advise you to consider price only so they can "make the numbers work". DO NOT fall into this trap. The commissions these folks make are sometimes as high as 7% of your home sales price in the THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!

A good comprehensive homeowners policy, the policy that you DEPEND on to cover your greatest assets and precious belongings typically costs less than 1% of the entire value of your home. Value? Yes. Affordability? Yes. Ongoing service and advice from our office? Yes. All inclusive!

After your loan has closed and the check has been cut for their commissions do you have any ongoing relationship with the realtor or mortgage company? No. We will work for you and have a relationship with you thru many years. And our fees are in the hundreds of dollars not thousands.

That's why you should do business with our agency. We are not beholden to ANY company. We work for you. As your needs change we will be able to remarket your policy as we recommend. You never have to change relationships with us simply because of pricing, or changing needs. THAT's the VALUE of choosing an independent agent, especially our agency. I have been doing it right in the insurance business for forty years. 

Be sure to call, text or email us today whether you're buying or already have homeowners. We appreciate your business!

Mitchell Beene