�Ten Secret Ways Your Homeowners Agent Could Cost You Your Home�
The Ten Part Series Your Home Insurance Agent May Be Hoping You Will Never See!
Secret Way Number One � Crooked Agents Can Kill You
You take pride in your home. You make necessary repairs, and you do what is needed to assure you avoid every possible claim. But some claims are inevitable. And that’s why you have Florida home insurance. Just imagine what it would be like to discover one day, after you have a loss that your
dishonest Florida home insurance agent pocketed your insurance premium, and never purchased your policy, leaving you with no coverage. It could happen to you if you do not know what to be alert to.
How This Happens
Many Florida home insurance companies allow the agent to print the first year’s copy of the policy declarations page to give to their clients. In that way, they will be able to give them the documents required at closing (on a new home), or before the mortgage company pays a renewal on an existing one. And those companies that don’t allow the agent to print the policy, at least allowed him to type proof of your home insurance,
called a binder, for a short term, usually no longer than 30 days.
But suppose your agent got into a bind and decided to type your declarations page, but pocket your premium for his own use? The insurance company could deny the claim since they had no proof you had ever been insured or that any money to put the insurance contract into effect had been paid.
Sadly enough, there are some agents, though rare, who have taken advantage of their clients in this way. Some of these victims have lost their home and all their possessions in a fire, tornado, or hurricane with no way to replace them. Often, the agent just disappears, and his clients have no place to turn. The insurance company has no record of them and their money appears to have disappeared into thin air.
Fortunately, in many states the insurance companies will make that person whole if he can show the binder or copy of the home insurance declarations page they received when they made the purchase. The agent would still have to have been an agent for that company at the time it was prepared, and there would need to be no cancellation notices that had become effective.
How to Protect Yourself
So how can you make sure this never happens to you? How can you be confident when you buy your home insurance policy that the money you pay that agent will be used to purchase an actual policy?
First, always insist on a receipt showing the full amount paid, what it was paid for, and the name of the insurance company the insurance is being written with. Second, insist your agent provide you with a copy of the policy declarations page or binder showing the amount of coverage provided, the location of the property, and the insurance company with whom the coverage has been written. Third, if you ever get a cancellation notice or a notice from your mortgage company indicating their copy of the binder or declarations page has NOT been replaced with a permanent policy, take that very seriously. Contact the mortgage company, determine
what is going on, and then hold the agent responsible for getting any necessary documentation to the mortgage company immediately. If he beats around the bush about it, immediately find another agent. That agent either does not know what he is doing or is dishonest. In either case, you will have a big-time problem if your home is damaged. Fourth, if you ever get a non-payment cancellation notice on a policy that has been paid in full, contact the insurance company direct to determine what has happened, and then contact the agent to see what has happened to the money you gave him or her.
A Much Easier Way
If all this sounds complex and difficult, you can simplify the entire process by finding a long-time stable agent with an excellent reputation. Then simply allow him to guide you, as you place all your coverage with him. Insurance has gotten so complex it is very difficult for most people to be able to fully understand all the �ins and outs’ of the insurance laws and coverages. Don’t let yourself become a victim of one of the few dishonest or incompetent Florida home insurance agents in your state.
This has been the first of ten ways your homeowners agent could cost you your home. If you would like to discover the other nine ways you can view them in video format by going here: www.10SecretWays-FL.com.
This has been a public service of ww.FloridaPanhandleHomeInsurance.com.