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Ready Set Sold with Bryan Vogt #16-03: Joe Harnist: A common myth about homeowners insurance

September 9, 2017

Brian Vogt: Welcome back to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host Brian Vogt, and as I mentioned in the last segment insurance and some of the biggest myths. I will have to be honest with you, I portrayed it out, and I know other realtors and even buyers have been under the impression that if a house that they’re buying has had numerous claims, for whatever reason, it could be legit claims about a house, that they may have some problems either buying that home, or getting insurance on it.
Or that they’re going to be paying an outrageous rate to get that house and they’ll never be able to afford the insurance and they can’t buy the home. That’s why I wanted to bring in a good friend and also a fantastic insurance agent, Joe Harnist, he’s president of the Harnist Insurance Agency and he’s with us today. How are you doing Joe?
Joe Harnist: Doing good, Brian. How are you?
Brian Vogt: I’m doing great. You kind of heard what I talked about and I was, quite frankly, myself, I’ve been doing this for 16 years, I was surprised by the answer. The answer to what I just laid out is, is that true?
Joe Harnist: Well, Brian, it kind of depends. In certain cases it could be. If you’re dealing with claims to the physical property itself that are a repetitive type of a claim, like a repetitive wind claim or if they’ve had sewer backup issues that have been repetitive. That could create an issue that may take some documentation to show the insurance carrier that that issue has been solved and mediated and taken care of so that it’s not going to occur again.
Brian Vogt: That reminds me of a the story that you told me, maybe just to give that some more contents. You talked, and you don’t have to be specific, I think it was in spring. It was a wind situation and maybe you can elaborate on that.
Joe Harnist: Yeah. We had a claim, it’s been several years ago, but they lived at the end of a cul de sac and they were straight ahead of the street that runs into the cul de sac, on this location, they’re home for like three or four years in a row, when we’d have storms in the spring, the front slope of their roof, the shingles would just get blown off because for some reason just the way the houses were set in there, the wind would come down that street and it would just hit that house and blow those shingles off and that happened every year for like three or four years.
At that point in time, finally the insurance company said, “We’re off of it. We’re not going to keep paying this claim every single year.” It’s one of those freak type of things that occur and actually that was really the only one I’ve had that happen to, but it was really kind of unusual. The way it was situated in the street, the wind should have just kept causing a claim every spring.
Brian Vogt: I just wanted to make sure the listeners are assured, that’s an extreme case. That’s, like you said, you’ve been doing this forever and so it hardly ever happens. One out of a million or whatever. The point being, is that they, as a seller, but mainly also as a buyer, they can do it with confidence that maybe they’re getting the wrong insurance information too. Maybe that’s why they need to talk to a professional like you, Joe and with your company. If they’re getting that type of information, getting some backlash because of those reasons. Basically you’re saying that’s simply not true and they’ve got the wrong insurance agent.
Joe Harnist: Yeah. Usually there’s ways to mitigate the issues and we talk with our under writers everyday and I’ve done it with not only personal, but commercial. You work through things with your under writers and explain to them the situation. Like I said, there may be some things that have to be done to make it correct, but there’s always a way to work through it.
Again, it’s mostly claims dealing with the physical property itself. If there’s a lot of claims on the prior owner, but they’re not dealing with the property, it’s dealing with their liability or they lost a ring and there’s a jewelry claim or some other type of claim that doesn’t involve the physical building itself. The house itself. That shouldn’t be an issue for writing insurance for a new owner.
Brian Vogt: I’m hearing you say, the buyer and even the seller for that matter, shouldn’t be concerned about the insurance, in particular the buyer shouldn’t. It’s basically a clean slate. As long as something crazy like we talked about the wind situation or something that’s repetitive that keeps on happening every time, i.e. maybe if you had a gigantic tree over your house and limbs kept falling down, there might be some things you need to do as a seller and beware as a buyer, but that’s good to know. Quite frankly, that was one of the things that came up quite a bit. We’re running out of time, but Joe has agreed to stay on for the next segment and talk about that dreaded mine subsidence issue. He’s got some great insights to that.

You’re listening to Ready, Set, Sold with your host Brian Vogt. Bye bye.

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