What are some general questions to ask agents when shopping for insurance?
Opinions on going with a local firm or larger, national firms?
Here are some of the warning signs a well-intentioned agent will never be able to give you the best the market has to offer when it comes to RE insurance options;
- Jack-of-all-trades and the master of none (e.g., they want to upsell you home, auto, health, life insurance, etc.)
- Dictator, not a consultant (e.g., they force coverage on you instead of tailoring the coverages around your unique situation)
- Only represent one insurance company (no single insurance company can offer the right policy, at the right price for all situations)
- Their process for getting a quote is difficult and cumbersome
- Their underwriters/inspectors seem to always find a problem with a property
If you spot these warning signs, you should search for an insurance agent with these attributes:
- Have a depth of knowledge gained through years of experience working with real estate investors like yourself
- Have a unique consultation process specifically crafted for working with REIs
- Have access to a minimum of 50 insurance companies
- Work with a large independent insurance agency or group (the larger the agency, the more leverage they have with insurance premiums and claim settlements).
Thanks for all the information.
Jason has made some good points. I would add that there are certain senario's that come up in the Flipping/Buy & hold process that you can check them out on:
1. do they have multiple markets for Vacant buildings?
2. do they write Builders Risk policies for Renovations?
3. Can they provide Liability for the property owner and/or Self GC owner in a rehab.?
4. If you are in a coastal situation, how close to the coast do they write & can they do separate windstorm coverage if you are in a state that requires it?
5. Do they insure contractors for their business insurance?
6. can they provide Workers comp.?
7. Do they write rental properties in the 1-4 family and 5+ unit market?
8. How many companies do the represent?
9. Do they write in all the states you plan on investing?
The more an Agent can do, the more likely they will be able to place the policies you will need in the future.