Home Insurance & Wildfires
For most people in the rural foothill areas where there is plenty of brush and forest finding and maintaining homeowners insurance has been challenging. Many who have homeowners insurance find their rates rising or their home insurance being non-renewed. How is this happening and what can you do to be prepared? Do not go uninsured.
It’s NOT true! You can find insurance
My name is Steve Valencia and I am the broker for Athena Insurance and Financial Services. In the Amador County Old Gulch fire in September 2015 our area was the “victim” of a large wildfire that caused a great deal of damage. Forced to evacuate many Amadorians lost their homes, possessions and their pets.
I belong to the Amador County Association of Realtors as an “affiliate” member and have the privilege of belonging to their Facebook group. During this time of high hazard I seen a large number of posts regarding the devastation and how “no one is providing” fire insurance.
There were many misconceptions regarding the availability of fire insurance, the California Fair plan “admitted” and non-admitted companies. Most of what I read was the panic of “What will happen to our home’s without insurance? Is it true you can no longer buy insurance? “My agent said no on is selling it!”
I seen all these post with not quite accurate inferences or facts and just had to weigh-in.
First, not all agents have the same homeowners insurance markets
I used to be a captive agent. I worked for one very good insurance company. The offered home, auto, life, health, annuity, mutual funds, IRAs’, boat, motorcycle, motorhome, renters and dwelling fire insurance. Oh’ let us not forget personal umbrella. But that was it! What? One auto, one home.. ya da ya da. If the prospect I was trying to quote did not fit the underwriting guidelines I had to quit!
“If it did not fit I had to quit!”
I would lose the accounts to these “people” call “brokers!” Why? Because the “tool chest” of my company way back there was limited only to “their products and underwriting guidelines.”
Fast forward back to the posting in Facebook and the wildfire of posts.
The “realm and domain” of an Independent Insurance Brokers is deep and wide. At least it is for my insurance agency. So I explained something like this.
First, a captive agent is not lying when he said “he cannot write” your home insurance. What he may be leaving off is that “according” to the underwriting guidelines of ‘his/her’ company. And if he has not been an agent for an independent insurance brokerage like Athena Insurance and Financial Services that he has no clue. It is not his/her job to know about insurance policies that he does not sell and is most likely not allowed to sell since they are “captive.” Sell just for one company. Not shadow cast upon them. It is just the way it is.
I often compare the types of policies and the number of insurance an agent can sell to “tools” and “equipment.” For a captive agent they have a find hand held tool kit with plenty of tools to get many of the main street jobs done. Now, I consider my “tool box” to be more like a van truck with steps. “Walk right on up!” Come take a gander at all we have to offer. Heck. I may even need a big rig and a 40′ trailer.
So, I talked about the non-admitted carriers, other admitted and non-admitted companies that had less strict guidelines and the California Fair plan.
I also own CaliforniaFarmInsurance.com, AssociatedLoggers.com, EverythingAgricultural.com all fine sites for various specialty insurance needs. There is virtually no type of insurance we do not handle.
My phone lines lit up!
I was able to save a great many real estate transactions and loans. I think I earned a very good reputation and continue to reap the rewards today. Thank you…
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