As a real estate agent, you are the best resource for your clients when it comes to finding, purchasing and protecting their new home. Appraisers, inspectors, lenders and decorators — you are your clients’ go-to authority when it comes to all necessities for home ownership.
Naturally, you’re going to want to be their guide when it comes to protecting their new investment and everything in it.
Needless to say, you don’t need to be an expert on homeowner’s insurance. Rather, you should be able to provide your clients with advice when it comes to choosing an expert to help with their insurance needs.
You want to be able to advise them when it comes to the types of questions that they should be asking before taking the crucial step of committing to an agency and choosing a policy.
Here are five tips you can give your clients that will help them on their way to finding a homeowner’s policy that suits their needs:
1. Do some research
As with any transaction, don’t go in blind. Knowing a little about a subject before you approach a professional can pay you dividends.
Advise your clients to learn a little bit about the types of homeowner’s policies that are available and what might best suit their needs.
2. Ask questions
Again, this bit of advice just makes sense when it comes to educating your clients on any pertinent subject. By asking lots of questions of an insurance broker or agent, your client will have a better understanding of what types of coverage are available and appropriate as well how to protect a home and the belongings in of it.
3. Make comparisons
Homeowner’s insurance is not a one-size-fits-all business. Your client needs to find the best fit for his or her particular needs at the most competitive price.
4. Research exclusions
Not all policies are created equal, and there are all sorts of perils to consider — from fire, theft and windstorms to earthquakes and floods — some of which require additional coverage.
Water damage is an especially tricky concern to navigate, so advise your clients to make certain they understand what is or isn’t included in a policy before making that purchase.
Let your client know if he or she is moving into an area where exclusions typically apply or if they will need to purchase additional federally mandated flood coverage.
5. Market value does not always reflect replacement coverage
Replacement costs can help replace an entire home that has been destroyed by fire or natural disaster. Market value, on the other hand, might be cheaper, but won’t necessarily compensate a homeowner in entirety for a catastrophic disaster or total loss of property.
As a real estate expert, you are well-equipped to explain this distinction to your clients so that they can opt for the appropriate coverage to protect their possessions.
Congratulations. Your valuable advice about homeowner’s insurance will continue to gain your clients’ trust and foster their future business.
By partnering with trusted vendors and educating your clients about insurance issues that might affect them, you can provide a whole package experience when it comes to delivering exemplary service to your clients.
Matt Naimoli is a partner at G&N Insurance.