Any insurance agent who has been in the business long enough has one or two go-to stories they will use to prove their worth in a pinch. Whether we are talking to a prospect, speaking with others in the insurance industry, or re-hashing old insurance claims with a long-time client, these stories are often cautionary tales and are occasionally entertaining.
Well, as a 15-year veteran in the industry, I have such a story that took place a number of years ago. This happens to be the perfect time of year to tell it since it pertains to thunderstorms and water backup coverage!
A friend of mine had his personal insurance coverage with a local competitor who was reputable; however, there was no real relationship between the agent and my friend. After a while of bugging him about it, he finally gave me an opportunity to quote his insurance program. He explicitly told me to let him know if I found any coverage deficiencies as well as to advise him on any areas where he could strengthen his insurance coverage.
One thing that immediately jumped out to me was his limit of insurance for water backup of sewers and drains was $5,000. I had been to his house on a number of occasions and knew that he had a fully finished basement that contained a full bar, furniture, an entertainment center with a large TV, etc.
I asked him if he was aware of his water backup limit. He mentioned he thought he had some coverage but wasn’t sure how much. When I informed him he only had $5,000 of coverage, he agreed that it wasn’t nearly enough.
I then put together a proposal for him that included $50,000 coverage for water backup of sewers and drains. He liked what he saw and purchased the coverage from me.
One week to the day after we got his program going, a massive thunderstorm rolled through the area and caused power outages along with water-related issues due to the amount of rain that fell in a short period of time.
Guess what happened?
My friend’s basement had a massive water backup claim that almost maxed out his $50,000 limit of insurance. He hadn’t even received his new homeowner insurance policy in the mail when it proved to be more valuable than he ever would have imagined.
So, to make a long story short, don’t overlook the importance of this coverage. Some of the well-known national insurance companies only offer a $10,000 water backup limit and I’ve had prospects tell me they thought that was the maximum limit that all insurance companies offer. Obviously that’s not true!
Take a moment to review your exposures with your independent insurance agent and allow him or her to offer you the proper coverages – such as water backup of sewers and drains – that are needed to protect your home. You’ll be glad you did should disaster ever strike.