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Technology and Insurance Part 2

Technology and Insurance Part 2

Last week I introduced how technology has changed and continues to change our lives. Technology advances are easier to see with companies such as Amazon, Uber, and Netflix, they are also leading to change in the insurance arena. Most of the technology changes in insurance have been in the “back office,” the area most consumers don’t see. As an independent insurance advisor, these changes make it easier for me to quote prospective clients policies, service existing clients’ policies, and even manage my business. Changes visible to the consumer have made great gains too and that’s what I want to focus on today. The key areas technology should have the greatest impact on are shopping for a policy, getting policy documents, administering a policy or making changes as needed, and handling a claim. We’ll examine the quoting, policy documents and policy administration in this post and focus on claim administration in a separate post. Quoting: Every insurance company has a web presence which provides information about insurance and the policies they offer. They also offer a chance to obtain a quote for either car, home, renters, or some other type of personal insurance. Most are easy to use though a few are cumbersome to navigate or assume the buyer understands the coverage components and limits of the policy they are quoting. I quoted Sheri’s and my policies online with all the major carriers tonight and was surprised at the wide range of premiums each returned. There are a couple of concerns I have with several of the web sites, they depend on honest and accurate self-disclosure of any tickets, accidents, or property claims. None appear to run a CLUE report, which shows claims, or a MVR report, which shows tickets. If you enter inaccurate information into the quote, you’ll receive an inaccurate rate. All but two of the carriers I reviewed could handle a not at fault accident claim, one where we were hit by another driver. My concern with those two carriers is that the quotes had such a huge swing in prices I was skeptical about their accuracy. Policy Documents: Most carriers allow a policy holder to register as an online client. To register, you’ll need to enter an online name or email address and in some cases, your policy number(s) or some other identifier. Once registered, you can make payments online and in most cases, view documents such as the policy itself, a summary of coverage, and in a few instances, a copy of your car insurance ID card. Policy Administration: I have yet to see any carrier which allows the policy holder to make change of vehicles, adjusting coverage, adding a...

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The Super Bowl and Home Insurance

The Super Bowl and Home Insurance

Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans fans are licking their wounds today as both teams were knocked out of contention in the past weekend’s games. It will be interesting to see whether who will play in the Super Bowl. Will it be the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons or Pittsburgh Steelers? But just what is the connection between the Super Bowl and home insurance? If you’d asked me Sunday, I would have said there wasn’t one, but a conversation with one of my underwriters today changed my mind. I was reminded that some people rent their homes to people attending major sporting and entertainment events to people attending a Super Bowl, World Series, Final Four, or the Masters. People who do are able to make a little easy, extra money providing a home away from home for the festivities while they are going on. Making a little extra money renting your home to a family of avid fans or business colleagues sounds like easy money and very low risk. There’s a catch though. If you do rent your home for such an event and you incur property damage from someone who decides to trash your home or is hurt and sues you for negligence, your home insurance policy will not cover it. Home insurance policies are not written to cover rental property and you could end up with a denied claim and having to pay for repairs or a lawsuit on your own. There is, however, a temporary rental policy my underwriter informed me that they write which is perfect for this situation. The policy provides up to a month of property and occasion. If something is broken by the renter or they sue because they slip in the shower after one too many adult beverages, this policy covers it. The rate on this temporary rental property policy is attractive too. My underwriter had quoted one for another of his other agents earlier today on a $350,000 home. The rate was a little more than $330. While that may eat into your rental income, it does provide a wonderful peace of mind for the homeowner when their regular home insurance policy won’t cover such a loss. You could even say it’s priceless! What do you think? Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks! Ed Wise Share...

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