Direct Writer or Independent Insurance Agent?
When you buy insurance to protect your investment property, there are two distribution models you can choose from Direct Writer or an Independent insurance agent.
The agent who works for a Direct Writer is an employee of the company and represents one company. If your property does not fit the risk profile they like, you will have to seek an alternate solution. Examples of companies that use the Direct Writer model: are Allstate, American Family, Country Company, Farmers, and State Farm. Direct Writers primarily write Personal Lines insurance, Home, Auto, Boat, and Umbrella. As of 2016-2017, Direct Writers wrote nearly 65% of all Personal Lines insurance.
Your Independent Insurance Agent represents you, the client, first. They work to match your risk with the best carrier option available through the carriers and programs they represent. Each independent insurance agency contracts with the insurance companies, managing general agents, and wholesalers they represent. As of 2016 -2017, Independent Agents write premiums.
The frustration of a property investor and insurance agent
Buying Insurance Online sounds easy, just type, click and enter your credit card. Right?
Recently I was shopping for insurance for a 12-unit multifamily rental property I own. While I am an insurance agent, and usually buy from myself, the current hard market was making it difficult to find a reasonable solution for my upcoming renewal. As a precaution, I decided to go online to see if I could buy insurance online better than what I could find myself.
What happens when you have a property claim? If you are like most real estate investors when buying a policy to cover your investment, the focus is on limits and price; after all, insurance is insurance, right?
In an ideal world, insurance would be insurance. It would all cost very little and provide more than you could imagine when filing a property claim. You would never suffer any pain or bear any responsibility. But like any dream, the reality is usually grounded in work you have to do to ensure your experience does not turn into a nightmare.
The following is a "nuts and bolts" look into a property claim and what happens when you have damage that requires your insurance company to pay so you can get back into pre-loss condition.
For this example, we will not dive into any potential underinsured instances or penalties, rather just the mechanics, beginning to the end. We will refer to the claim as a "fire," but keep in mind that the property claim process will be the same regardless of covered peril.