By Matthew Perry, EW Smith Agent
We meet a lot of people and when asked what we do for a living, we try not to mention that we’re insurance agents. We tell them we are risk managers who happen to sell insurance. Because we don’t just sell insurance products for your car or home, we provide a sound plan to help manage your everyday risks. In our experience over the years, people that come into our office don’t seem to want that. They just want the cheapest, bare bones policies that don’t protect their assets. That can be a huge mistake, and most people don’t even realize it!
For instance, one of my clients is in the medical field. He and his wife, who also works, have two kids who both still live at home. He owns a nice two story colonial home in a southern Downriver neighborhood. The first time we met, he came into my office and shared with me stories about his family. He told me about his daughter and how she was planning on going to college in the fall. He told me how excited he was for his son to finally get his license and about how he loves to come home from work, sit on the couch and watch a Detroit sporting event.
After thumbing through his policies, I noticed that he had $100,000 of auto liability coverage, so I asked him about his assets. He told me he told me about his home, his 4 cars, the college funds he had, his retirement investments, and his income. It was well over 1 million!
I asked him if he thought that in the event of a accident in which a lawsuit was filed, if he thought $100,000 would cover all of those. He told me didn’t think so and that his home was worth over $100,000 alone. He realized if he was sued, he could end up in financial trouble all because he wasn’t planning ahead.
Together in my office, I recommended that he increase his liability limits and purchase a $1,000,000 umbrella policy. I let him know that the cost for him to do so really wasn’t that expensive and he decided to go ahead with the plan.
A couple of months later, I got a call from my client. He was really upset on the phone. He told me that his son was just in an accident. He explained that his son was driving to school one morning and turned onto a busy intersection. As he was driving, there was a woman traveling in the same direction in front of him who suddenly stopped. My client’s son did not see her in time and slammed right into her. The woman was injured, sent to the hospital and filed a lawsuit against them. My client was terrified!
I assured him that everything would be okay. I reminded him about the day he came into my office. I let him know that between his auto and umbrella policies he had well over 1 million in protection.
Long story short, the insurance company fought for my client and settled the lawsuit. He didn’t have to pay anything out of his pocket and was amazed at how smoothly the insurance company handled everything.
My client now appreciates the value of someone who can provide a sound plan to manage his everyday risks. He knows now that I am not just an insurance agent, but a risk manager.
What about you? Are you looking for the cheapest bare bones policies that you can find, or are you looking for an agent that can review your assets and provide a sound plan to manage your risks?
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