// Ask the Experts: Why Should You Have An Insurance Review?//
By: Joe McCameron
Our expert for the topic today is Jonathan Creech of WCH Casualty. I first met Jonathan in 2013 when I was interviewing for an agent position with WCH Casualty. I’ve been in the insurance business since 1991, so I’ve met my fair share of agents and agencies. Jonathan and the team at WCH offer a level of integrity that is not often found.
I still work in the insurance business, but my focus now is on corporate retirement plans and financial planning. My experience has taught me that the insurance industry is ill prepared to handle full scope financial planning and corporate retirement planning (this is a topic for another day). With that said, finding insurance agents who service both personal and business insurance and are willing to work with financial advisors is uncommon. As I’ve transitioned out of servicing “new” insurance business, I am relying heavily on Jonathan and the team at WCH to help provide the best insurance and service possible. So, without further ado, here’s a topic that should come up in your financial planning process.
So, Jonathan, what is an insurance review, why does someone need one, and how often should someone get one?
Thanks, Joe. I think when people think of an insurance review, sometimes they think of it as just a time for my agent or a new agent to sell me some more insurance. A good agent has your interest at heart. To answer your question, an insurance review is simply a conversation around the analysis of your current liability and risk management strategy. Change is something that is going to happen. This is why you need a review at least every two years. Marital status can change. You may have children. You may be purchasing a home or remodeling your existing residence. You could have changed jobs.
Why would someone get an insurance review after they remodel their home?
Your home could have appreciated in value and your current HOI may not cover the new value.
Can you give me a few examples of findings during a typical insurance review?
Sure. A lot of times, high value items have not been scheduled – like guns, jewelry, paintings, etc… Also, we find that some clients may need an umbrella policy.
You mentioned an umbrella policy, please elaborate…
An umbrella policy is a policy that goes “over” the underlying auto, home, motorcycle, boat, and or business. For example: let’s say your auto policy has limits of $250,000 per bodily injury, $500,000 for total bodily injury no matter the number of people, and $100,000 in total property damage and you have a $1,000,000 umbrella policy. Let’s assume you were at fault in an accident that causes bodily harm and you are sued for $750,000. Your auto policy covers $250,000 and your umbrella policy covers the remaining $500,000.
Working with a financial professional like yourself can help me determine the size of an umbrella policy that the insured needs. The policy is designed to protect your assets.
When preparing for an insurance review, what does someone need to bring or provide?
For existing clients, we simply need an update on marital status, job status, or basically any material changes in their life. For someone working with a new agent, you would need to provide your date of birth, driver’s license information, and the declaration pages for all your existing insurance policies.
So, it doesn’t sound like an insurance review is too painful. Can this be done over the phone or how should someone proceed?
It’s actually pretty simple for us. Simply provide the basic personal information on the phone and email us your current policies. Most agents can turn this around in a few days. I should mention that the data alone doesn’t tell the whole story. This is why I recommend that we have a quick conversation to find out what is new in your life.
At Visionary Horizons, we take a holistic approach to financial planning. Coming from the insurance industry, it has always been my goal to merge the two. When collecting data for a financial plan, financial advisors often forget to ask for insurance information as it’s often seen as a hassle and carries no incentive. As part of our process, we like to have a third-party review your insurance. Often times no changes are needed, but it’s one less thing you have to think about and can rest easy knowing you’ve checked that box for your financial plan.
Expert: Jonathan Creech of WCH Casualty
620 Mabry Hood Rd Suite 201
Knoxville, TN 37932