Think you're getting good coverage because your insurance carrier is plastered on the TV, radio & internet?? THINK AGAIN
As consumers we fall victim to this every day without even realizing it, and that’s a false sense of confidence in a company or product due their brand recognition. With certain large national insurance carriers spending hundreds of millions of dollars on annual marketing budgets alone, it’s no surprise that the average consumer might think to call them first. The scary part is that (with 1 particular commonly recognized national insurance company) you’d be getting arguably the worst homeowner’s policy on the market. And this is a HUGE deal to the unsuspecting consumer who just bought their first home & drained much of their savings in order to do so. One unfortunate claim could cause financial devastation.
So what EXACTLY are we talking about? What could be so different amongst homeowner’s insurance policies? Well let’s first get specific to the Lehigh Valley. In the Lehigh Valley and especially Allentown, Bethlehem, Hanover, Lower Macungie, Breinigsville, Macungie, Alburtis, Forks, Nazareth and Bushkill areas….we have a bit of a sinkhole problem. In fact, the largest sinkhole in PA history happened right in Macungie in the 1980’s. And more recently the new townhome developments off Rt. 100 in the Macungie/Breinigsville area suffered many sinkholes just in 2013 (see the article here.)
For those of you who don’t know, sinkhole collapse is excluded from all standard HO-3 homeowner’s policies via the earth movement exclusion. Now this exclusion also extends to cracking, settling, mud slides, earthquake & a variety of other earth movement losses. But here in the Lehigh Valley WE HAVE SINKHOLES. And the scary part is that most people don’t know sinkholes aren’t covered & most carriers don’t even offer the option to add it (ESPECIALLY not your large national carriers.) You’d never guess that would you? You might say “Hey, what do you mean? I thought I had the best company out there?” Well…think again.
Sinkhole is just one small example of a specific coverage that’s important to Lehigh Valley residents that the large name brand companies might not offer. Many other important coverage’s (that we won’t get into today) are also excluded (or extremely limited) with your most common insurance companies such as additional living expense, mold remediation, water back up and mandatory large hurricane deductibles.
So how is this possible? Why don’t people know this? Well these large national insurance carriers you hear on TV and radio distribute their insurance through “captive” agencies. These agents can ONLY sell that carrier’s products, so why on earth would they point out their short comings to prospective clients? After all…their job is to sell THEIR COMPANY’S insurance policies. It would be like going to a Chevy dealer & having the sales rep say “just so you know…our competitor’s car is 100% better.” It’s just not how the market works.
So what do we recommend? Do your homework, educate yourself and seek out the coverage you neeed (or you could just call us!) It’s easy for us because we represent so many different companies so we can offer you plenty of options for all your needs. The local captive guy down the street selling only 1 brand simply can’t. The unfortunate part is if those guy’s took the time to explain their coverage’s in detail and compared their policies to their competitors…they’d be out of business.
For companies that are distributed through independent agencies like us…they NEED to provide these extra coverage’s in order for us to present their policies to prospective clients. Those carriers who offer watered down policies wouldn't even be considered by us, because we have OPTIONS. When an agency can only sell 1 company’s product…well…do the math. If you’re motivated by the brand recognition of the local captive guy down the street, ask him about sinkhole, hurricane deductibles, water back up and mold remediation limits…and then call us.
Lehigh Valley Insurance Brokers LLC is a Pennsylvania baseds independent insurance agency representing over 15 major insurance companies.