How agents can help clients with home insurance policies

by Neil Sharma31 Jul 2019

There are many important facets of homeownership, one of which is home insurance, and sales agents can play pivotal roles helping clients choose the right policies.

“When we go to home inspections, we bring a home insurance checklist so that people can get prepared for that step,” said Taylor Hack, team lead at REMAX River City in Edmonton. “We’ve found that home insurance companies have developed much more advanced questions that sometimes require experts, so having the report is great, but so is having the questions to confirm with inspectors on-site.”

Home inspections are essentially glimpses into home mechanics, which are exactly how insurance companies make risk assessments. Moreover, home sales can’t close without proof of home insurance for mortgage-financed properties.

“If you couldn’t attain insurance at the time of closing, you may not get a mortgage, even though you were approved for one” said Hack. “As part of a safe purchase, having a firm commitment from an insurer prior to removing a finance condition would be considered a best practice. Some provinces also have an insurance condition, as well as inspection condition and finance condition as part of the regular due diligence process.”

Real estate sales agents can help clients determine their insurance needs, according to insurance company belairdirect, and one way is explaining the importance of inspection reports because therein are clues about what’s likely to go wrong.

“The home inspection is an important step because you get to know the house you’re buying,” said Émilie Dutil-Bruneau, director of communications, social responsibility and employer brand at belairdirect. “You’ll get all the information about the home’s heating system, the age of the water tank if there is a water tank, the age of the roof; these are all useful things when getting a quote for home insurance. That inspection report is a good place to start to help consumers assess their needs.”

According to a belairdirect survey, 52% of Canadians with home insurance don’t understand the full breath of their coverage, while nearly a third haven’t taken inventory of their possessions for coverage.

“Fifty-two percent of Canadians with home insurance find it difficult to understand their policies and find them complicated, meaning they aren’t sure what they’re covered for,” said Dutil-Bruneau. “Thirty-one percent of Canadians with home insurance haven’t taken inventory of their properties, and when you don’t know what you have in your home, and what the value is, we recommend you take regular inventory of your belongings and share them with your insurance agents to assess if you have appropriate coverage.

“Realtors could be good assets to help Canadians better understand home insurance by doing regular inventory of their belongings. They could pass that information along to clients when in the process of purchasing and moving into a new home, because when you’re packing you can see and evaluate everything to make sure you have the right protection.”

 

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