Joel Dunham, President of Ovation Insurance recently was awarded the designation of Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA), a professional designation conferred by the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society (the AIMS Society).
Dunham successfully completed three Insurance Success Seminars. The CPIA designation stands for professionalism, commitment to sales training and results, and technical knowledge.
Position for Success (CPIA 1) assists participants in implementing risk identification strategies and systems that will prevent errors and omissions during the insurance prospecting process.
Implement for Success (CPIA 2) focuses on the development of the technical knowledge and skills needed to design a complete, yet innovative, insurance program for prospective clients. Participants will leave with detailed information for providing solutions that benefit consumers in the complex insurance marketplace.
Sustain Success (CPIA 3) provides participants with specific methods for maintaining high legal and ethical standards of operation while developing the agent-client relationship.
The AIMS Society is the only insurance organization dedicated solely to recognizing training and service quality among property and casualty insurance personnel. The mission of the AIMS Society is to improve the selling skills and insurance knowledge of its members by upgrading professionalism through information and education, which will result in providing better service to the insurance-buying public.
For more information about Insurance Success Seminars, the CPIA designation program or membership in the AIMS Society, contact the AIMS Society national office at 877-674-CPIA (2742) or visit www.aimssociety.org.
Ovation Insurance was founded in 1961. Serving the states of Indiana and Ohio, Ovation Insurance has been recognized for exceptional insurance services and best practices throughout both states, featuring the 2018 PIA Indiana Young Insurance Professional of the Year (Joel Dunham) and the 2018 National Alliance Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year for the state of Indiana (Amanda Stoller).
For more information about Ovation Insurance, contact the agency at 260-749-4970 or visit www.ovationinsure.com.
First-time FAQs: Do I need a home warranty or home insurance?
While first-time homebuyers often get home warranties and home insurance confused, the reality is that it’s not an either / or situation. You have to have home insurance before you close on your new home, but a home warranty can be bought any time.
Breaking it all down:
What exactly is home insurance?
Homeowner’s insurance provides you financial protection against disasters. It protects the house itself and everything in it, as well as provides liability coverage in case anyone injures themselves in your home or on your property.
Getting home insurance must happen before close of escrow, and lenders will insist on it.
Okay, so, what’s a home warranty?
A home warranty typically provides coverage for air conditioning units, heating furnaces, and other home appliances/systems like the oven or range if they fail due to normal wear and tear.
Additional coverage can be purchased to cover a swimming pool and spa pumps. Note that coverage typically lasts only one year.
It’s common practice for a seller to pay for a home warranty, but a home warranty isn’t always necessary and can just as easily be bought at a later date.
What does home insurance cover, and what’s excluded?
Your policy covers both damage to your property and legal responsibility for any injuries you or your family cause to other people in the house.
The structural protection normally includes damage or destruction due to fire, hurricane, lightning, hail or other disasters outlined in your home insurance policy.
Most policies will not pay for damage caused by earthquakes, floods or lack of proper maintenance. You can purchase additional coverage or a separate policy for those.
Make sure detached buildings like garages and storage sheds are included, even if that costs a little extra.
A good rule of thumb is to buy enough coverage so you can rebuild your house if disaster strikes.
Your personal belongings inside the home, including furniture, electronic and sports equipment, and clothes are covered for theft and other insured disasters, but high-end items like jewelry, art and collectibles will require additional coverage if you want to insure them for their full appraised value.
Policy types: actual cash value vs. replacement cost
You have two choices when insuring your home and belongings.
If you opt for “actual cash value,” you receive the amount of money needed to repair or replace your home after depreciation is factored in. With a “replacement cost” policy, your home will be restored to “like new” condition using materials of similar quality, without considering depreciation.
The liability protection of your home insurance policy includes such accidents as someone slipping and falling on your driveway, or your dog biting a visitor in your living room. It covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members (and pets) cause to other people.
Additional types of home insurance coverage
You can read more about other home insurance options on our list of Top 10 Optional Homeowners Insurance Coverages. Other considerations, depending on where your dream home is located, such as the history of claims in your neighborhood and on your property, may make home insurance difficult to obtain; i.e. if you chose an area prone to wildfires or mudslides.
Deciding whether you need a home warranty is a less pressing matter, but if you’re closing on a home or thinking about making an offer soon, it’s important for you to find the right home insurance provider.
You are located in a flood zone. I’m in a flood zone too.
In fact, everyone is in a flood zone. Some just happen to be in a ‘preferred’ area, known as an ‘X’ zone. If you live in an ‘X’ zone, you are typically not required by your mortgage company to carry flood insurance. But is that justification that you need not carry flood insurance at all?
What exactly is covered on a flood policy?
Why should you carry flood insurance if you’re not in a flood zone?
How much does flood insurance cost?
What is covered?
First and foremost, flooding would be covered on a flood policy. A flood is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as ‘a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mud flow.’
This would not be covered on a homeowners policy – in fact it is specifically excluded, and that is important to note. To have coverage in the event of a flood, you must carry flood insurance.
It also covers rising surface water.
Two examples of this:
A hurricane pushes water inland. This water is further forced upstream via rivers, and from the rivers into homes, leading to considerable catastrophic water damage. This would not be considered storm damage as covered by a homeowners policy – it would be considered rising surface water. Your homeowners policy would not pay this damage, but a flood policy would.
A water main breaks in a city. When it breaks, water is forced into the street at an alarming rate, and three feet of water rushes into the homes of several families causing considerable water damage. So who is responsible for this? The homeowners policy unfortunately would not cover this as it is also considered rising surface water. The city COULD accept some responsibility for the damage, but it’s very unlikely that they would. However, a flood policy would cover this exposure and restore the homes.
Why should you carry flood insurance?
Well – as mentioned earlier, you’re already in a flood zone. It’s just a matter of you being in a ‘preferred’ zone (X) or a ‘standard’ zone (AE, etc)
Do you live near a river?
Do you live in town near a water main?
What flood zone are you in?
Do you have a basement?
How often does it rain near you, and what happens when it does?
These are just the basic questions to consider when making the decision of whether or not to purchase this insurance plan.
Who offers flood insurance?
Traditionally, flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program via many standard insurance carriers, but there are some private markets available that may be an option as well, particularly if you live in a standard flood zone.
Keep in mind though, flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period unless you are purchasing a new home and the mortgage company is requiring you to carry flood insurance at closing. You can’t wait until the next big storm is on the horizon to add it – you have to put the 30 days in first.
How much does flood insurance cost?
Honestly, it varies. If you’re in a preferred zone, you can get a basic plan for as little as $150-$200 depending on whether or not you have a basement. But again, it depends on how much coverage you want or need and what zone you’re in.
In summary, if you live in Indiana and Ohio we recommend that you buy flood insurance. And even if you live in a preferred flood zone it’s a great thing to consider. Hopefully you will never be put in the position where it is needed, but if you are then we want to make sure you have what you need to restore what you have.
Getting a flood quote is easy. Ready to get started?
One of the most common questions I get asked is this:
“Is there any other coverage I should know about that I don’t have?”
I’ve compiled a basic list of 10 of the best insurance coverages, along with some average pricing to help with your budget. Keep in mind that every company is different and the pricing estimates in this quote are in respect to Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, so the pricing of a few of these options may look very different to you depending on where you live. Also keep in mind that not every insurance company will offer every one of these options, so make sure you discuss with your agent to determine whether not your current company offers these options as well.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost: Most homeowners policies will already list your home at replacement cost, and if communication between you and your agent is ongoing about it, there’s a good chance that it’s listed at an accurate number and if your house burnt down you’d be in good standing. But what happens when there’s a major catastrophe? What happens when everyone in the mile radius of yours has their house destroyed at the same time and the cost of labor and materials skyrockets based purely on circumstance? Well, guaranteed replacement will essentially guarantee that as long as your replacement cost estimation is accurate, the insurance company is willing to go above and beyond your listed coverage to make sure that your home is fully replaced. Estimated Annual Cost (EAC): $30-$50
Cash-Out Option:I’ve already gone into this extensively here, but let’s say your house is completely destroyed and you decide that instead of rebuilding, you’d rather just cash out and move on. You can do that anyhow, but if you do not have this endorsement you will likely received a diminished value when you do. However, with the Cash-Out Option, you’ll receive the full replacement benefit and can rebuild elsewhere. EAC: $200-$400
Service line: You know how you get those notices from the gas and/or electric company every couple months stating that you are responsible for covering the service lines that go under the house? Well… that’s true. This coverage is somewhat of an answer to that. It will cover the service lines under your house if they are damaged or destroyed, and in most cases will also cover the excavation costs to get to them, which can be a huge deal if you have a slab foundation! EAC: $15-$20
Equipment Breakdown: Until recently this has been more commonly found on commercial policies, but it’s becoming much more prevalent on homeowners policies now too. It essentially covers your systems – heating, air conditioning, washer, dryer, etc. in the event of unexpected breakdown. It will not cover wear and tear and/or aging, but if the unexpected happens, you’d be looking at a payout. EAC: $20-$25
Identity Theft: Most companies offer this now as well at a low amount and some actually include it as part of the policy for free, but this would be a reactive service to someone stealing your identity. They’d essentially pay the recovery costs to restore everything. Note: This will not monitor your accounts, it would only be there as a backup! EAC: Free-$35
Earthquake: Not much explanation needed here, but you should know that this is not automatically included in your plan. Cost can vary widely on this, depending on the company and construction of the house. You’ll typically see a higher cost if you have a brick house, for instance. EAC: $15-$400
Matching of Siding and Roofing: If you have an older, ornate, or unique home, this could be a very big deal. Insurance companies repair or replace your roof and siding with reasonably similar materials to what you have. But what happens if your particular materials are hard to find? Imported? Discontinued? The cost could be significantly higher. This endorsement would ensure that the company is willing to seek out and pay for materials that will match what you have. EAC: $50-$150
Water Backup: This is absolutely critical if you have a basement with a sump pump, but can also be relevant without one. It will pay for water damage resulting from water overflowing from the sewer and/or drains, or sump pump overflow. Safety features matter on the pricing of this. EAC (for $5,000): $25-60
Inland Marine: No, I don’t mean anything to do with boating. This is something you can add to your homeowners policy to cover your high valued items specifically. Engagement rings, expensive firearms, musical instruments, collections, even cell phones and tablets, depending on the company – they can all be listed here and covered with little to no deductible. Pricing varies greatly between items (a fine arts painting it less likely to be damaged than a computer or cell phone based on usage), so pricing this would be very tricky. EAC: TBD
Refrigerated Products: This isn’t a huge coverage but is very convenient when the event hits. Assuming you lose power for a week, what happens to the food in the deep freeze? Chances are it’s gone, and you could have up to $500 in food in the freezer alone. It’s enough to be a significant annoyance, but less than the deductible. With this endorsement, which often times is included in the policy from the beginning, the deductible would be minimal or none. EAC: Free-$15
Not all of these may be relevant to you know – but they could be later. You may be planning your next home purchase, and it could be significantly different than your home now which means that your need of certain coverages will change. Furthermore, every insurance carrier is different, and not every company will offer every one of these options. That is why it’s crucial to keep ongoing dialogue with your agent, and an independent agent like Ovation Insurance will allow you the freedom to change plans based on your needs.
Ovation Insurance is pleased to announce owner Joel Dunham and associate Amanda Stoller have both received statewide awards for outstanding service. Dunham is the 2018 Young Insurance Professional of the Year as awarded by the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Indiana, Inc., a recognition of outstanding achievement by an employee, owner, or principal of a member agency who is under the age of 40. The recipient then competes with other state association winners for the Young Insurance Professional of the Year award at PIA National’s Federal Summit held in the spring. Stoller has received the 2018 Customer Service Representative (CSR) of the Year Award from The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, recognizing participation in the insurance community and outstanding dedication, ability, and commitment to customer service.
Ovation Insurance, previously known as Stoller-Dunham Insurance Agency, was founded in 1961. Dunham recently stepped into the role of president and owner after 10 years with the agency. Ovation has raised the bar this past year by implementing the following changes: a fresh and modern agency rebranding, innovative marketing strategies, a focus on digital client communication, actively engaging in social media campaigns, and various customer service improvements including comprehensive annual policy reviews.
Ovation Insurance is proud to receive this state-level recognition and will continue striving to be a leader in independent insurance. Ovation Insurance serves clients in the states of Indiana and Ohio offering auto, homeowners, business, life, and ministry coverage.
From helping you to understand how the right coverage can protect you in the event of an insurance claim, working with the right insurance representatives can make all the difference. Even if you feel like your insurance plan may be fine and that all of your assets are protected, if you’re not sure it’s always worth a look.
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
You have all heard the horror stories, or maybe even had one happen directly to you. A claim isn’t paid due to a very vague interpretation of the policy. A great deal on a new policy that turns out to be a scam. A policy you thought you had signed up for turned out to have never been issued because the agent pocketed the money instead of issuing the policy.
It seems to be far too common in the insurance and financial realm. Regulations have greatly increased over the past few years to help encourage the success of reputable agencies and companies, but it is next to impossible to remove them all.
So how do you know you have a reputable insurance company? A reputable insurance agency?
Here are some tips to help you discern the good from the bad:
Check with the Better Business Bureau to find out what complaints have been filed, if any. You can further see if and how they were resolved.
Verify with the state insurance department that the agency or company is licensed and in good standing
Research online the agency or company in question to see what articles or complaints appear. Pay special attention to the words ‘scam’ and ‘ripoff.’ Again, you can also see how the company responds as well.
Check the company’s rating with AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s
Choose an independent agency that can work with multiple carriers, and takes the time to explain the coverage, the processes, and questions you may have about the company
Regardless whether you’re purchasing home and auto, business, ministry, or life insurance, the same rules still apply. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
What’s the best hotel insurance plan in Indiana and Ohio?
If you own a hotel – and especially if you own several – you know that the insurance market for hotel insurance has changed drastically in the past ten years. Many owners have likely seen their costs rise considerably because of these changes. So with that in mind, how are you supposed to find the best hotel insurance plan? Where do you start? What do you look for? How do you cut costs? And when will you have any time at all to research this?
This is going to be a starting point to finding the right plan. Every hotel is unique, so each one will have different needs than the next. Some have restaurants. Some are franchised. Some have valets. Some are bed and breakfasts. Some have conference halls. Keeping these things in mind, I’ve tried to keep this article focused on things that may affect all hotel owners.
We’ll start with a few things you’ll want to look for in a policy, agency and company, then we’ll move into some ways to save money.
Hotel Insurance Necessities
Property and Liability Insurance – Of course these would be listed! If the building burns to the ground, how quickly can you get it rebuilt? If a guest trips over a cord left out by the staff while cleaning, are you protected?
Equipment Breakdown – If the heating, air conditioning, or even laundry machines broke down unexpectedly, you could have a huge problem. To keep the doors open, you’ll want to have these items repaired or replaces as quickly as possible, and the costs could be very high. Equipment breakdown coverage would offer protection in this type of scenario.
Food Spoilage Liability – You do all you can to find reliable vendors and suppliers for your food, drinks and snacks, but if a sandwich is left on the shelf a bit too long and an unknowing customer buys it, there could be a problem. Do what you can to prevent that from happening, but be sure that when it does that you’re covered.
Liquor Liability – If you sell alcohol, you already know how important this is. You’re already doing all you can to prevent possible claims, but make sure you’re protected when and if something should happen.
Crime and Vandalism – For many, unfortunately this is a huge risk. Installing alarms, cameras, and implementing safety procedures is an excellent first step, but you’ll want to be ready in the event of burglary, robbery, vandalism, and employee theft.
Now let’s look at a few ways to save some money on your business insurance policy.
Ways to Save Money on Gas Station Insurance
Positive Google Reviews – Yes, this is actually becoming a factor now. Insurance companies are paying more and more attention to the online community and what they have to say about your service. Make sure those reviews are looking good, and do what you can to improve them and your insurance company may take notice.
Building improvements – Insurance companies want to make sure everything is in excellent shape, so when you update the roof, or the plumbing, or the heating, etc, make sure you notify the insurance company. If you notice that the building is showing signs of wear, it may be a good time to invest in repairs.
Loss Control – Most insurance companies look back a total of 3 years for your losses. No losses are obviously the best if you want the best price, but quite a bit of credit can be given if you’ve taken steps to avert further losses. If you were robbed, but then put in a security system, that would be reason for the company to meet you in the middle.
Pay in Full – Many companies give significant discounts if you can pay your insurance on an annual basis. It’s always worth asking for more credit when you’re able to, so plan ahead so you can take advantage of this.
Multi-policy discounts – Most people know this is true for homes and autos, but did you know it works for commercial accounts as well? Always ask!
Experience – Credit can also be given if you’ve simply put in the time and paid your dues. You may not only qualify for better discounts, but better programs entirely if you have 3 or more years of experience as a business owner
Insuring Everything with One Company – Just like buying in bulk, there are many carriers that will give more and more discounts if you place everything with them, much like the multi-policy discounts as mentioned above. If you own several stores, make sure to look into placing them with one carrier. If you operate in multiple states, it’s worth looking into whether or not your carrier can work for every location that you own.
Again, this is meant to simply be an introduction to some quick ways to find the policy right for you. Be sure to check with your agent for additional coverage and discounts that apply specifically to your business. Of course, you can always contact us here for a quote as well and we can discuss what sort of plan would fit your business best.
It’s the middle of October and the weather is beginning to change. You’ve enjoyed months with your beautiful convertible and now you’re planning to (regretfully) put it in the garage for the winter. Now that you’re not driving it – do you need to keep coverage on it?
Whether it’s the convertible scenario above, or a car that is in the middle of being restored, or simply a car that will just sit for a period of time while your son or daughter moves back home to figure out what to do with their life, you might find that you’re paying insurance on a vehicle that won’t be driven for months. What are the options? What insurance do you need?
The short answer is to leave only comprehensive coverage on the car. This would protect the vehicle just as ordinary comprehensive coverage would, including theft, vandalism, weather, fire, etc.
So basically, the things you’d be most worried about with a car in storage. The car would not be legal to drive by any means, but you would save significant costs and the car itself would have some protection.
Now, some very important notes of caution before doing this:
If the vehicle will driven at any time, state law dictates that you must carry liability insurance on the vehicle. So even if you are only planning to drive the vehicle very sparingly, it needs to have at least the state minimum in liability protection.
Example: The car you regularly drive is in the shop, so you decide to drive the car in storage to the store to buy some groceries. As you’re leaving, you back into another vehicle. This would not be covered.
There would not be coverage for anything off road either.
Example: You have a truck that you’ve put in storage for the winter. You have a dead tree stump in your yard that you want removed, so you and your neighbor decide to use your truck to pull it out. As you pull, a chain comes lose and strikes your neighbor in the face. There would be no coverage for this.
One very big potential issue is forgetting to contact your insurance company when the car is able to be driven again.
Example: You regularly put your convertible in storage for the winter, and you always notify your agent before and after putting it in storage. It’s now June and you accidentally hit a sign in your convertible, only to realize that you never contacted your agent earlier in the spring. No coverage.
You’ll want to check with your insurance company on this, though. Every company does this a little different, and you’ll want to be sure this is something they’re willing and able to do and that there are no additional games in coverage that you should be aware of.
As you can see, there are some big risks in doing this. Try not to look at it as a way to ‘save money,’ but know that less coverage = a lower price. Make sense?
So what do you think? Does it make sense to you to put your vehicles on a comprehensive-only coverage basis?
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s not something you forget and it’s not something you’re anxious to do again. But when it happens, who needs to be involved at the scene, and what should or should not be done while you’re there?
There are nearly 10 million car crashes in the US each year, big and small combined. This isn’t something you spend a lot of time thinking about until you’re in that situation, but once you’re there, it’s critical.
So here are some easy steps for what to do after a car accident to get you through it:
1. Call 911 and/or the police – if needed.
First and most importantly, if there are any injuries, get help ASAP. Make sure you’re not in anymore immediate danger and call for help if needed. Give as much detail as possible so they can send the right people your way.
Second, it’s always a good idea to call the police and file a report. The police do not determine who’s fault the accident is, but they can give a factual report of what happened. Otherwise it could end up your word against the other party’s, and obviously that could be problematic.
You are required to report the incident to the police if:
there is an death or injury
the accident results in damage amounting to $1,000 or more
one of the drivers is uninsured
a criminal act caused the accident
If the accident takes place in a parking lot or on private property, the police may tell you that they don’t need to file a report since it didn’t happen on a roadway. It’s still advisable to have a report filed anyhow to cover your bases.
*Make sure you take down the police report number so that you can report it to your insurance company.
2. Assess the damage.
Be very careful here. Your first instinct may be to move the car off the road as soon as possible, but you’ll want to do a few things first:
Take some pictures of the accident as is
Check for leaking fluids. If you see quite a bit, DON’T MOVE IT.
Check for flat tires. Moving it with a flat or two could do further damage.
Check for strange smells or noises. If you find any, best to leave it alone.
If you find that the car appears to be movable, continue to monitor things but you are legally allowed to move the car off the road. Otherwise, better call roadside assistance.
3. Exchange information with any other party involved.
It’s always a good idea to exchange information. This speeds things up considerably once you have it. You’ll need:
Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers involved
Year, make, model and license plate of all drivers involved
Insurance company names and policy numbers of all drivers involved
Be careful of implicating yourself, of course. The police report will help the insurance company determine fault, so you don’t need to open yourself up to being viewed as the at-fault driver, particularly when you very well may not have been.
If you feel threatened by the other party, be cautious and/or do not engage.
If the other party prefers to settle with cash instead of running everything through the insurance company, do not accept. This could lead to numerous liability problems down the road, it’ll be your word against theirs, and you won’t be able to go back and file a claim on it. Do it right the first time.
4. Document, document, document.
Take good, quality photos of the scene to accurately show what happened. Again, this makes things run much smoother when the insurance companies begin to sort things out. Show the entire vehicle on each side, and get closeups of the damage. If possible, get photos of the other party’s license and license plate as well.
5. Call your insurance company.
Call it in as soon as you can. You’ll want to do this while everything is still fresh in your memory. They’ll want to help you through this as best they can as well. If you have an agent, call them. If not, you may call your company directly. What information should you give your insurance company?
Name, address and phone number of each driver
Policy numbers and insurance companies of each driver
Year, make, model and license plate of each car involved
A brief description of what happened
Police report number, if applicable
Witness contact information, if applicable
From here, your company will begin to sort things out with you and anyone else involved. If you are found to be at fault, your company will work things out for everyone.
If the other driver is at fault, then their company will pay for your repairs and injuries. You may begin the process with your own policy if you’d prefer to get started on it immediately – though you may be responsible for the deductible first. It would be reimbursed by the other company at the closing of the claim.
Finally, reporting an incident and filing a claim are not necessarily the same thing. There may be some instances in which it would be better not to file a claim at all, though some insurance companies require that their customers to report all incidents, so you’ll want to double check on that as well.
Obviously, no two accidents are the same. It might be simple and straight forward. You might need a lawyer. Each situation needs to be assessed, of course, but the thing that remains consistent is this: always be safe.
What is an insurance protection class and how does it affect my homeowners insurance price?
An insurance protection class is developed by ISO (Insurance Services Office) and ranges between 1 and 10. Also known as a ‘Fire Protection Class,’ it is based on your distance to a water source, how quickly the nearest fire department can respond in the event of a fire, and what equipment they have.
Here are some of the things they’ve historically looked at:
What kind of trucks do they have?
How many trucks?
How much water can the trucks hold?
How much water can they pump per minute?
How close is the house to a fire hydrant?
How many firemen are employed?
Are they employed or is it volunteer?
They have evaluated the layout of the land in the past and has scored each area accordingly. Depending on what area your home is located in, that will determine your score. Changes happen from time to time as towns and cities expand, but it’s been a stable concept.
Prices generally increase as you move from Protection Class 1 to 10. Classes 9 and 10 tend to indicate that you are in the country, meaning it may take a little longer for the fire department to get there so your insurance rates may be higher as a result. In fact, there may be some insurance companies may shy away altogether from Classes 9 and 10.
Is this really the best way to be scoring things anymore? Hasn’t technology improved to a point where we can get faster response?
Some insurance companies are looking very closely at this. They are considering other factors to determine the real risk of a total loss and weighing them along with the Protection Class to determine the true risk. They understand that as technology, data and information improves, so does speed and precision.
These companies are using alternative means to calculate the risk level by evaluating the distance to the primary responding fire station and the quality of the water supply. One company our agency works with has come up with their own system by doing this. Instead of rating the location by classes 1-10, they have only three ratings that are to be applied to the property: Protected, Partially Protected, and Unprotected.
The idea is to be more accurate in calculating the likelihood of a severe fire loss. The Insurance Protection Class is still listed on the policy forms, but only as a ‘backup’ rating element for analysis and for situations where the new rating cannot be returned. Overall, since this company decided to switch to this method, it’s been more beneficial to those on the outskirts of a town or city, or just out far enough that under the PC class they may have been classed as a PC-9, but are now listed as ‘Partially Protected.’
Not every insurance company has made the decision to consider other factors into their rating systems yet regarding insurance protection classes, but it’s something to keep your eye on – especially if you live in the country and have no intention of every moving into the city. These things are always changing so it’s good to review your policy with your agent every year to see what the best situation is for you.
Course of Action:Check with your agent to see if your homeowners insurance carrier is using traditional Protection Class valuations to determine your home’s level of risk, or if they’ve started incorporating other factors into their protection ratings. Find out which is best for you. If you’re unsure or if you’d like to reevaluate entirely, click here for a quote with our agency.