Drilling down to uncover hidden exposures
PERSONAL LINES SELLING
Although it is convenient,
quick and easy to sell a package
policy, individual policyholders
have their own specific needs
It’s the little things that count. Sometimes we spend the majority of our time trying to cover the big picture from a 30,000 foot view. And from a distance we might feel that we have all the bases covered for our policyholders. Yet at the time of the claim, things are never looked at from the 30,000 foot view. It is always up close and personal.
When it comes to a claim, your policyholder has a need and, indeed, may be in a crisis Whether it’s an auto accident or a home fire, your policyholders never remember how big a hurry they were in when they purchased their policy, nor do they remember that they were not concerned with the details at that time. Oh, how the devil is always in the details.
It is important to remember that although it is convenient, quick and easy to sell a package policy, individual policyholders have their own specific needs for protection. Although we make it clear that you can’t cover everything, as trusted advisors we must probe and drill down to find what areas need additional coverages. Most package policies can be endorsed to expand or add additional coverages. In our office we believe that it not only assists the clients in completing their coverage needs, but it also instills confidence in them when we can tailor a product to their personal needs.
Here are just a few of the things to think about each time you write a personal lines account:
1. Always offer both auto and home coverage even if a discount is not available. Having one agent handle both the auto and home reduces the opportunities for gaps in coverage. Many companies now offer a discount for combined policies, not to mention the convenience to the customer of having one office handle all of a client’s needs.
2. Offer your auto clients residual debt coverage. In addition, clients need the opportunity to consider glass buy back, towing, rental car, customization coverages and death and dismemberment.
3. Homeowners policyholders need to know that they can add coverages to those that are offered in their package policy, or raise the limits of the coverages provided. Extra coverages to consider are building code upgrades, contents at replacement cost, extended replacement cost, glass buy back, identity fraud coverage, earthquake and flood. Higher limits might be necessary for jewelry, guns, silver, furs and cameras, to name just a few.
4. Many carriers offer homeowners warranty coverage to cover the inner workings of a home. Mechanical breakdown insurance is available for vehicles. Many of your policyholders will feel more safe and secure with such coverage.
5. Always offer umbrella coverage to round out the personal lines account. Remember, you are in the business of making your clients feel safe and secure. You will want to make sure that your policyholders’ are adequately covered.
Today’s professional insurance office is not a one– dimensional product peddler, but rather a total solutions provider. It’s not just about selling policies. It’s about serving the best interests of your customers. We need to go beyond just the sale of a package policy. We need to ask questions, get to know our customers, discover what they own and what they owe. It is our responsibility to inquire about policyholder needs that may not be apparent. Dig a little deeper; ask more probing questions. Cover all the bases for your customers. The unseen need that may not seem important at the time of the sale could prove to be the most important at the time of a claim.
Copyright Rough Notes Co., Inc. Jun 2002
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