As insurance agents, we know that most people don’t like getting a homeowners quote. It’s time consuming, boring, and many consumers are rightly concerned that they won’t get a good deal from an agent – or whatever monstrously massive company they’re calling because of a funny ad on TV. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize the hassle of quoting and make sure the results are more accurate, the process takes less time, and that your new policy will have the best value for your situation. A few quick tips are: be prepared, give the agent your declarations page from your old policy, and always tell the truth!
We do however run into the same questions on a regular basis, so let’s talk about the 5 most common things people leave out when we try and give them a homeowners quote. I’m talking, of course, about the alligator in the backyard.
Excuse me, do you have a moment to talk about Alliance Insurance?
The alligator in the backyard is a joke in our office that goes a little something like this:
Agent: Looks like we’ve got your quote about finished! Is there anything we’ve left out?
Customer: No, I think that’s it.
Agent: Great! Here is the quote, and for less than we thought!
Customer: Looks great! One last thing. I forgot to tell you that I have an alligator that lives in my backyard.
An alligator living in your backyard might have something to do with your homeowners insurance, since what we do is protect people from risk. While some of our good friends in Florida may disagree with me, living with an alligator probably increases the risk that you or someone else could be bitten.
I’m just loving the new koi pond.
While alligators and other huge reptiles are pretty low on the list of things we run into, the following features are the most likely to be forgotten in the excitement of getting a homeowners quote.
The first most commonly left out risk are swimming pools. We need to know if you have them, if they are fenced or not, and whether they are above or below ground.
The second often forgotten risk is your son or daughter’s trampoline. We know they’re fun, but they also can lead to injury for your family or visitors. It isn’t a deal breaker if you have one, but it lets us know the right place to put your policy so we can insure this properly.
The third item is man’s best friend, your dog. We know, you love your furry buddy. But certain breeds have higher risks, and letting us know what kind of dog you have will help us make sure we put you with a company that is comfortable with the breed and can insure it. Not doing so could leave you in big trouble if Fido ever got scared and chomped down on that annoying neighbor.
Woof woof, Mrs. Simpson.
In fact, let us know about any pets you have – especially if they’re of the farm or exotic variety.
The fourth piece of information is water, or more specifically, bodies of water that aren’t man-made swimming pools on your property. Let us know about ponds, creeks, fjords, or anything larger than that low point in your yard that floods because your husband won’t fill it in.
The fifth and final risk is all about how you get your heat. If the answer involves combustion of any kind, we need to know about it, regardless of whether it is a wood stove, an oil tank, or natural gas. If it is a tank of some sort, make sure you let us know if it is above or below ground.
I was just checking your meter here, and the bad news is I’m an alligator.
Make sure you let your agent know these important details and you can avoid having a nasty surprise when you get your bill – or even worse, if a claim should occur. If you have any questions about these or other special circumstances at your home, give us a call or fill out the contact form below and we’ll be happy to help. Also, if you want to know more about homeowners insurance in general, check out our article Homeowners Insurance 101 and get yourself some education.
And here’s the video for some additional discussion – enjoy!