At Signature Exteriors, a St. Charles, Missouri-based roofing contractor, we’re proud to work with such a fantastic community of related experts, from insurance agents to home inspectors and even our own in-house roofing team. We wanted to share their expertise with our customers and readers, so we created an “Expert’s Corner” on our blog in which we interview these highly talented professionals.
Today's interview is with Insurance Broker Dan Luigs.
First of all, what is the percentage of people who do not insure their home properly? Is this quite common?
Over 60% of people do not have their house insured to the rebuild value, despite that nearly all homeowners tell me that they feel it is critical to be able to rebuild their house if devastation happens. They want all the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, finished basement and everything they had before. They do NOT want to be surprised with a $100,000 gap in coverage.
What is the most common question or issue that homeowners ask you as an insurance broker?
People always ask if they are “covered correctly.” So, mainly people really do want peace of mind and they want to get that from a good company with good customer service offering good value. We aim to be great at all of these and exceed their expectations!
Insurance deductibles of all kinds seem to trip people up. What is the ideal deductible for homeowners’ insurance, flat or percentage? And why does hail/wind have its own deductible?
A flat deductible (also called a straight deductible) is generally what people want and most companies will offer that. This deductible is a flat dollar amount that applies to each loss and is deducted from the total amount of the loss that is covered. After you pay the deductible, the rest is paid by the insurer.
The wind/hail deductible was set up to help insurance companies keep costs low for clients and allow the insurance company to not pay as much when the wind/hail happens.
This kind of weather has happened so often in Missouri that they started implementing the wind/hail deductibles that Oklahoma and other Gulf states had been using for years. This means that homeowners must pay a certain amount first before the insurance company pays for hurricane damage.
There isn’t a big discount for accepting the wind/hail deductible, so I HIGHLY recommend that and the flat deductible that includes wind/hail. That's typically what clients want.
In recent years, many insurers are offering Actual Cash Value rather than Replacement Cost Value coverage. What’s the difference and which is better for homeowners?
Everyone wants (and thinks that they have!) Replacement Cost coverage. Replacement Cost means that whatever is damaged, you get a new one from the insurance company.
Actual Cash Value (also known as market value) is like a tire warranty: the insurer pays you for the unused pro-rated amount. So if you have a 20-year roof and it’s 15 years old, they only pay for 25% of the roof. It's also known as "market value" because it's the amount that you could expect to get for the item if you sold it in the marketplace.
Roofers and homeowners really dislike Actual Cash Value and a LOT of companies are starting to automatically switch the policy when the roof is 15 years old. And on some quotes, Actual Cash Value isn’t even disclosed. This is becoming a much bigger issue.
If your coverage changes, what's the best way to have this conversation? Is email acceptable or is it best to meet with the agent/broker to discuss your changing needs?
Definitely have a phone conversation or an in-person meeting. People’s lives tend to move so fast, and when we have the opportunity to catch up with our clients we have been able to help with additions to their house, jewelry that they've purchased and cars they forgot to add. In addition, people often ask life insurance questions as they are reviewing changes that have happened.
Also, I should mention that auto rates have radically increased this year. Our clients are having great success with a new program that can save up to 40%. If anyone has auto insurance questions, we’d be glad to get you the answers you are looking for!
Today's Q&A was with Insurance Broker Dan Luigs of Missouri. Dan, of Insurance Store Inc., is always looking to help others get what they want and is also known in St Louis as “The Connector” as it seems like he can make an introduction to almost anyone you are looking to meet! He is the Keynote Speaker and MC at events around St Louis, such as: Mastermind STL, St. Charles Association of Realtors, O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce, Realtor Roundtable, Take Action! Seminars, etc.
Find him at www.insurancestoreinc.com or on Facebook at Dan "The Insurance Man" Luigs - Insurance Store, Inc.