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December 5, 2013

Umbrellas Keep You from Getting Soaked

1 min read

Topic: Insurance Agency Management Insurance Agency Growth Strategies Grow an Agency

I had a shocking conversation with one of our marketing representatives for a major insurance company about the selling of personal umbrellas recently. It was shocking because she related one of the stupidest agent stories I’ve ever heard in my career.

It seems an insurance agency owner who represents her company told her he would never sell another personal insurance umbrella because he had once had a claim on one and then subsequently had his carrier contract cancelled. I am quite certain no carrier would cancel an agency as the result of a single umbrella claim but even so the attitude evidenced by the agent is remarkable.

Remember, we are in a professional business where we must always act in the best interest of our customer even if it is something for which we must bear a cost.

Certainly, given the very high cost of personal auto claims, it is very easy for liability, or even a property damage, claims to exceed the underlying policy limits. What happens then? Bankruptcy for the customer? Or an absolutely indefensible E&O claim? Perhaps both. Certainly the E&O claim will happen, the agent will be found guilty of negligence, the agent’s reputation, ability to maintain carrier relationships and cost of E&O will be negatively impacted at a minimum. 

Offering appropriate coverage is the responsibility of an agent.  I can’t think of a single case where the offering of excess liability isn’t appropriate to a personal auto or homeowner’s customer.  Hopefully, this agent will rethink his position before someone, including himself, gets hurt.  What do you do?