My agency, Alan Galvez Insurance, seems to be one of a dying breed.
Here’s what I mean by that:
We physically inspect houses we are planning to insure. And not just an exterior inspection. We go inside.
Almost sounds dumb when I lay it out there, huh? But it’s become readily apparent that the majority of insurance agencies in my county don’t even do a minimum of an exterior inspection and very few do an interior one.
I know this because I have a pretty good relationship with most of the agencies in my area. We talk shop. Several have said they simply don’t have the time available to leave the office.
I also have a good relationship with local realtors. I’ll never forget this conversation with one in particular:
Me: “I’d like to set up a time to come inspect this property.”
Realtor: “You mean actually come to the house?”
Me: “Yes, we inspect the properties we insure.”
Realtor: “Really? That’s unusual. I’ve never had one insurance agent ask to see a property.”
I almost fell off my chair. NEVER???????
I was floored. What gives? Perhaps other agencies have their own outside inspection firm they hire to send out and look at properties. Although I doubt it.
If insurance is all about risk assessment, then how in the world can you properly assess a risk if you never see it? And yes, the outside is a start. But what about what’s inside? Perhaps there’s a mold or mildew problem. Maybe a woodburning stove that’s unsafe. Or even a heating or electrical problem. I’ve compiled a handy listing of common “nuisances” that cause issues with insurance. And trust me, what may look cool to you may look exactly the opposite to an insurance company. And you don’t want to find that out the day before closing.
What if I walked through the house and pointed out several potential hazards that could ultimately cause you and your family harm? Besides the safety aspect, think about this: perhaps you could use these “hazards” as a bargaining tool to either negotiate the price downward, or get money to make repairs. Now, please note, I’m not a “home inspector”, but after 15 years in the business, I have a pretty good understanding of how the major components of a house should look. If it looks sketchy, then it probably is.
Would this information be valuable to you?
And by doing the inspection, I also have facts that are crucial to the establishment of the coverage amount. This is an area where I don’t want to guess. My previous post concerning replacement cost will help explain the concept, but as your most important investment, guesses aren’t going to cut it. Do you want your house rebuilt with no arguing? Do you want it repaired without being penalized?
Would this additional information help you?
Seeing the property and walking around inside gives me an excellent snapshot of the risk and ensures that I am doing my best to protect your most valuable investment.
So I ask you: Would this approach be worth your time? What are your thoughts? And insurance folks, please weigh in too. I’m not trying to be judgmental, I’m just honestly amazed and bewildered by this trend.
Now you know how we roll at Alan Galvez Insurance. If you like our approach and are confident it fits your needs, I’d love to talk. Contact me and let me show you how we can help (Ohio residents only).