Montgomery Insurance Group, LLC Blog
Montgomery Insurance Group, LLC Blog
What is an independent agent?
We get this question all the time. An independent agent is an insurance agent that represents more than one insurance company and can provide competitive options to their clients. We wanted to share the benefits of having an independent agent vs a captive agent that only represents one company:
Ability To Shop Multiple Carriers
Many clients like to do research and compare different options and rates when shopping for insurance. An independent agent can do all the leg work for the client and shop multiple carriers all at once to find the best rate and coverage option. This helps reduce the amount of time the client spends shopping for insurance. Having multiple carriers also becomes beneficial when rates change. Unfortunately, rates change with all carriers and no carrier is immune to having rate increases. Many factors affect rate increases, but the ability to have options when your rate does increase is a big reason why many of our clients enjoy using us. About 60-90 days before your renewal we will check in with you to capture anything that could have a impact on your rate or address any changes that need to be made. From there we will re-shop all of our carriers to find you the best rates for your needs. You can not do that with a captive agency.
Many independent agents have offices in the communities and areas in which they live. This accomplishes two things. First, being local and servicing the surrounding areas allows the client to have a local point of contact for all their insurance needs and connect with agents that live and work where they do. The client does not have to worry about calling a 1-800# , getting placed on hold, or repeating themselves to two or three people before getting routed to the right representative. Second, having a local office helps keep monies within the economy of the local community versus giving it to big box companies directly. We are strong advocates for keeping our local community economy strong.
Options for All Lines of Insurance
Sometimes captive agencies are limited to what insurance products they can provide. Most simply do not provide everything that a client could possibly need and many clients like to keep their policies all within the same agency so they have one point of contact for all their insurance policies. This becomes impossible with some captive agents. With an independent agent, we have the options to help you with ALL your insurance needs as we have access to markets that will insure risks that most captive agents can not.
We have focused this month on insurance rates. Why they change and what they include. We zeroed in on some things that affect auto insurance, but now let's shift gears to homeowners rates.
There are 5 main reasons why your homeowners premium can increase year over year. Of course these are not all the reasons, as rates are very complex, but these are the most common we see from day to day.
1. Loss of Discounts
Many carriers give discounts for newly constructed homes and newer roofs. Each year that your policy renews these discounts decrease as the home and roof age. Why you ask? Well as the home and roof age they become more susceptible to a loss than they are when they are newly constructed. Pipes age making them more risk to leaks and cracks, your water heater ages making it more prone to leaks from sudden discharge, and your roof ages making it more prone to have water leaks from rain and storms.
2. Inflation Guard That Increases the Amount of Coverage On Your Home
Some policies include protection against inflation of building costs. Year over year the cost to build a home will increase due to materials and cost of contract labor. To protect against this, the insurance carrier will increase the amount that your home is insured for to make sure that in the event of a total loss, you have ample coverage to rebuild the home.
3. Change In Insurance Score (Credit History)
As we have noted in previous blogs and our social media posts, your insurance score which consists of many things including your credit history, plays a big role in your rates. If you have opened new lines of credit or had any change that decreased your credit score, then more than likely you will see an increase in your homeowner's premium.
4. You Filed Several Small Claims Over The Year
Your homeowner's policy should not be used to file small incidental claims. Doing so multiple times in a year can actually hurt your rates. Make sure to consult with your agent before opening a claim to see if it is worth it to file or if it meets your deductible.
5. Natural Disaster In Your Area
When you live in an area that is constantly subject to natural disasters or heavy weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wind storms and hail, you will typically be paying higher premiums to compensate for the risk of a claim in this area. Also, following a natural disaster you might see a spike in premium as the claims paid out are spread to the insured's in this area because the cost of repairs on homes from some of these disasters are steadily increasing.
If you notice these increases or changes in your rates become too expensive for your budget to tolerate, contact an independent agent like Montgomery Insurance Group that can shop for you and find a solution.
Hello there! So many of you have not met me in person and we have only spoken over the phone. Thought I would share a quick video so you can meet me in the flesh and get to know what we are all about. Stay tuned for more blog topics coming soon!
Welcome to our new insurance agency blog!
This is our very first post. We're not quite sure what we're going to write about here, but the plan is to create helpful content for customers and prospective clients about information that is relevant to you.
We hope you'll come to view this as a top resource for keeping your family and your finances safe.
Here are a few of the topics we may be writing about: