When insurance agents get together and talk “shop” you would not be surprised about the topics we discuss. They always seem to lead to the changes we’ve witnessed in the last five years and how our industry makes our customers lives miserable at times. Notice how I said “our industry.” On behalf of my friendly competitors and fellow insurance agents, I can assure you that the last thing any of us want to do is cause you headaches. Let’s see if any of you can identify with what I’m talking about.
Just last week we helped a client who recently received an inspection report from his new homeowner’s carrier. The letter wasn’t kind and demanded that the homeowner repair soffit that was pushed upward and not seated appropriately. No damage was present nor would it cause damage, but it created a cancellation notice until proof it was rectified. Now that’s customer service huh?
To our customer I apologize. For the carrier that sent this letter you are going to get a tongue lashing from this agent and you’re going to take it, and like it, while nodding yes to everything I say.
Another client received the same nasty gram from another carrier who practices the same, good customer service.
Please note the sarcasm. Our client has a beautiful $400,000 home in Bradenton and received a cancellation notice because there was a hole in the screen door on side of the garage. Apparently this inspector missed sixth-grade class on common sense.
Once again, and after multiple phones calls with the carrier and client, the issue was rectified but leaving a very sour taste in the mouth of the homeowner.
This is happening too frequently. I can’t begin to tell you the countless hours we spend fixing these issues but I can tell you we are fighting on your behalf. All agencies are doing this. We feel the homeowner can’t say anything to the carrier in fear of reprisal.
You know why they’re doing this? Because they can, that’s why. It’s inexcusable and the only response I have when it comes down to a logical explanation. There are no laws that require this micro analysis of your home. Once a carrier discovers they can make homeowners perform a makeover, they all followed suit. This will change one day and hopefully soon. Once we have a Tallahassee leader that understands free enterprise and welcomes healthy competition for insurance in Florida, we may see the good ol’ days return. In the meantime this “mouth of the south” will speak on your behalf and let the carrier know how unhappy you are.
Do you have a doozy of a similar experience? Let me know. I want to write a book and share it with industry leaders.
Andy Gregory, co-owner and president of Des Champs & Gregory Inc., can be reached at (941) 748-1812 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.