We were trained many, many years ago. Today we are experienced, knowledgeable, serious and dedicated to protecting you, your family, your horses, and your property. Insurance should provide you with peace of mind so you can go to sleep at night without giving it one thought, let alone worry, whether you are insured and protected properly. A key word here is properly.
Too many reviews we do today for prospective equine clients reveal improper coverage, missing coverage, under-insured structures, under-insured personal property, and over-pricing. We mostly find these concerns when you have a "long-distance" agent, or if you're agent isn't paying regular visits to your facilities. We visit you at least twice a year as we know how quickly things change in the equine industry!
Equine and equine facilities are a special breed of insurance. Unlike auto or home insurance, you won't find a quality and knowledgeable agent on every other corner chasing to insure you. Insuring equine risk is a special niche market. We represent or have access to all major equine insurance carriers in the country, and we use them all accordingly. We are in the equine market every day, we know what the market is doing and where the best coverage and rates are today. Based on your situation, we have the ability to go out and negotiate with several carriers on your behalf.
We need to meet! To do this right, to protect you properly, we need to meet. Plain and simple - this isn't something our agency will do on the fly online. We may start by reviewing your current Equine Insurance Package sent to us, but to really dig in, to get familiar with your buildings, scheduled equipment, your equine operations, and to do the best job possible for you - we need to meet.
Call it old-fashioned, but, we want to see what we are suppose to be insuring for you! We'll need a tour around your facility, take pictures, ask questions, see equipment, determine square footage of facilities, see how structures are constructed, what materials are used, what is your arena footing composed of.....and the list goes on! We need to see it before we know how we are going to protect you. Yes, old-fashioned, and also just good ol' common horse sense.
After the tour, if we spot substantial issues, such as missing coverage, we'll let you know right away so you can address the issue with your current insurance agent. This is another reason we review your current coverage and insist on a tour of your facility - we're going to start protecting you right away by alerting you to missed coverage or coverage gaps so they can be addressed with your current agent immediately before something happens.
We wrap up our meeting with completion of a 7-page custom designed questionnaire. This will then give us almost all the information needed to submit applications to our carriers for rates on your behalf. There will always be one or two more questions that pop up when we are completing carrier applications - so you may receive a call, email or a text to help us fill in the final blanks on all applications being submitted to carriers on your behalf.
One of the most devastating losses you can suffer is the loss of a barn. Whether it be total destruction by a tornado or a partial destruction by fire, you must have that building insured to a proper value. Are you insuring the building on a Replacement Cost Basis? An Actual Cash Value Basis? Or on a Functional Replacement Cost Basis? It matters as each one of those values are going to be different. The most critical part of it all, no matter what Valuation Method is in your policy contract, making sure you have satisfied the Co-Insurance Requirement in your policy contract is crucial to full recovery for your loss.
If you have read this far and saw that word Co-Insurance, I hope you are aware of Co-Insurance and understand it's ramifications. It is one of the most important clauses in your policy, but, not too many agents take the time to explain it to you. I estimate 90% of the people I consult with don't know what it means, and I'll even bet that 50% of insurance agents can't properly explain it to someone. Yet, it could cost you tens-of-thousands of dollars on a total fire loss of a barn with a Replacement Cost of say $500,000 for an example.
Please see my tab here on website "Co-Insurance" for more information.
Our first and foremost duty when we return to the office is to calculate the valuations just mentioned above. Then, and only then, can we properly advise you of what your building(s) should be insured for to avoid a Co-Insurance Penalty. I know this is lengthy, but please do not push this one aside. Make sure your building(s) are insured to proper values or it could severely harm you in a loss situation - partial loss or total loss.
After we have calculated Building Valuations using the same advanced software that insurance claim adjusters will use, we can start preparing applications to send out to at least three of our carriers for quotes. The process of completing the applications takes up to two hours. Once they are sent to carriers, we will usually have all our rates back within 5 business days.
After all rates are back in the office from our carriers, we start to review to see who is going to be the best fit for your situation. While keeping coverage at the forefront, we too are price conscious and we do compare the rates from each of our carriers. If we feel one carrier is better suited for you, but the rates are not as competitive as another carrier - we won't hesitate to call the underwriter to discuss the situation and request additional consideration on the rate for you. In addition, we give each carrier feedback as to how they did on pricing, and at times, they reconsider and revise pricing for us. Being an independent agent and representing more than one or two carriers gives us a clear advantage over many other agents in this regard.
Once carrier and rates are finalized, we prepare a simple, yet detailed, summary of coverage for your review. We'll walk you through each section, each building, each coverage to make sure you are fully aware of exactly what is being quoted for you. We try to set up our proposal in an apples-to-apples comparison form as much as possible so you can compare with your current coverage/price accurately. However, with every proposal we find coverage that needs to be added, increased or improved. We will then note right next to, below, or by an asterisk the difference in the coverage you have and the coverage we are recommending that you should have. The decision is always yours in the end. We strive to give you all the information you need to make that final decision a solid financial decision based on the level of protection you desire.
This is usually the start of a long-term relationship, one of mutual benefit. We don't sell you, then leave you! You will always have 24/7/365 access to us through cell phones - we know accidents happen after 5PM, weekends, and holidays. We want you to have the peace of mind that we are always available to help you - no matter the time or day.
In addition, we are out in the field visiting everyone at least a couple times a year. One of these times is when we start to work on your renewal. We won't just send you a 15 page application and ask you to complete it and email it back to us with some pictures. We'll never ask you to do our job for us.
We do renewal applications and obtain renewal rates. If approved, we will send you the application to sign and return to us.
A personal word of caution - do not complete these renewal applications on your own. Your agent, as part of their duty to you, should work with you to complete. Some of these applications are 15 pages long and they can be confusing and complicated. If not completed properly, it could affect your future coverage. Please do not assume that liability - tell your agent you want them to complete for you and with you, then you can review and sign it. If they won't, or say they can't - find an agent that will work for you all the time to make sure you are covered properly. Please give me a call. I'll be there for you. Thank you.