House Talk Episode 10 – Common Homeowner Insurance Pitfalls
A Conversation with Allison Glasier of Country Financial
Karen Malanga: Hi, this is Karen Malanga with House Talk. And today, I’m happy to have Allison Glasier from Country Financial. She is my go-to insurance person. Allison, how long have we had a relationship with insurance? A long time.
Allison Glasier: I think probably about nine or ten years, Karen.
Karen: Yeah! What I love about Allison is when I refer her, she actually calls those people immediately.
So, one thing I wanted to bring up today and ask Allison about is what are the common homeowner insurance pitfalls. I know I myself am guilty of not reading fine print. And I also wonder about people under-insuring their homes. So Allison, are these two topics, are those important?
Allison: Those are things we see a lot, Karen. Thanks for having me today. I appreciate the chance to be here with you.
I do see a lot of people who look for a cheap rate on their insurance policy. They want to have a good deal. The truth is that for most of us, your home is your biggest asset. And so, it really is important to know what is covered on that policy.
I see things sometimes where there could be a 1% deductible on the policy. If you have a claim and your house is worth half a million dollars, do you want to pay $5000? Are you even aware that that’s your deductible? So, looking at that fine print really is important.
I do see people under-insuring homes as well. It’s important, especially as market values are shifting and building costs change, to meet with your insurance and financial professional periodically and review those policies, make sure the limits are correct and up-to-date. Talk about that new deck that you’ve built or that new shop that you just put in.
Really have that conversation because, at the end of the day, Karen, I want my clients to like me and my assistants and my company. But more than anything, none of that matters unless they like us on claim day.
Karen: Yeah, that’s the big day.
Allison: That’s where it really comes down to make insurance accurate.
Karen: I know I visit with some people because everyone has to have home insurance in place when I close on a property. People will say, “Well, I insured it for the value of what I’m paying for it.” Well, that’s okay, but what is the cost to rebuild that home. It could be two times what you’re paying for it.
Karen: You just don’t know. It could disappear in a big fire or extreme weather.
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Allison: Yes, absolutely. I see it on both sides of that, Karen. One of the things that I hear a lot is, “Well, I paid $500,000 for this property. So, why are we insuring the home for $300,000 or $350,000.” People often forget that the land is a big part of that value.
Karen: Oh, true! On the other side, yes.
Allison: Yes. So again, meeting with whoever you’re working with and having that conversation about what did you pay, what is the square footage, what are the features of the home, do you have current photos on file. Nobody likes to talk insurance. But the truth is, like I’ve said, it really does come down to making sure that it is accurate when you do need it.
Karen: Yeah, I really appreciated your advice because I live in one of those old homes with a basement. We discussed if I did have a major fire, the cost of the excavation for the basement, all that, that’s already there. It’s not going to be destroyed by a fire. And so, to rebuild would be x amount versus if I was just trying to put that home on another lot, and get the whole dug and the foundation poured. I really appreciated all your counseling on that.
Allison: Sure, thank you.
Karen: So, what else do you see as a common pitfall with people when they’re getting their homeowner’s insurance?
Allison: I think that a lot of people will have things that they should be scheduling on a policy like antiques or very nice jewelry, a wedding ring, a gun collection, things like that that slip their mind. But really, when there is a total loss of fire, of theft, something like that, there are limits on those kind of coverages on your policy. And of course, none of us read that fine print. I’m guilty of that myself.
So, again, to really make sure that you’re going through that list and talking about if everything you have in your home is gone, what does that really look like and how do you get back to where you were before.
Karen: I think, also, just a gentle reminder, when people inherit things. Things go on throughout the years, like you’re saying. You remodel your kitchen or you inherit maybe some jewelry from your parents or something. You don’t think about, “Hey, I need to call my insurance agent.” That’s obviously the best time to call and make sure that you’re covered.
Allison: Yeah, absolutely. And I always recommend for people. I love to talk to people on the phone. But if we can do a lot of things by email, then as a customer, as a client, you have a really nice paper trail of what you asked for and what coverages we should have on there. So, I do encourage people to put things down in writing as well.
Karen: Yeah, the paper trail is important.
Karen: So Allison, how does someone reach you? What’s the best way to get a hold of Allison Glasier?
Allison: Thanks so much. My office number is 541-322-9432. I also use my cellphone for business all the time. That’s 541-420-7377. And you can find me on the web as well, CountryFinancial/Allison.Glasier.
Karen: Thank you so much for being here today, Allison. I really appreciate it.
Allison: Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.