Bryan Vogt: Welcome back to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host, Bryan Vogt. We’ve been spending some time with Joe Harnist, of Harnist Insurance Company. He is the President, CEO of the company. Been around forever. In last segment, we talked about how do you choose an insurance agent. We talked about the importance of a trust factor, also the importance of communications.
Yes, online can be good, but sometimes you don’t know who you’re getting, and they could be a different person every day, or every hour for that matter. It can work out, and it does sometimes, but many times just having that simple conversation is really important, and then knowing what you have, that somebody’s not going oversell you, and how important that is when you pick your insurance agent, that they know their stuff, and they’re going to take care of you.
The same one we were talking about though, this time, is why, when selling your house, it’s the best time to shop for insurance. As I’ve mentioned before, about 95% of all sellers are going to become buyers. Often, what we find out, is that most people have it in Escrow. They don’t really know what their policy is. They may get a letter every quarter, or every year, or something like that, but they don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. They just kind of know that their monthly bills sometime goes up a little bit, from principle entrance, taxes, insurance. They don’t think much about it, but what we find, Joe, is that quite frankly, you have a story that actually talks about that, of why it’s so important to …
You know what, just talk to a few people. Talk to a couple local agents and get a better handle. Make sure that you’re getting the policy that you need. Joe, you had an example that we talked off air, about how important that can be.
Joe Harnist: Yeah, Bryan, so many people don’t necessarily read their policy when they get it initially, and if you’ve been in your home for a while, and you’ve just been accepting the renewals, and they’ve been paid through your Escrow, you don’t look at the renewals necessarily. You don’t pay that close attention to it, so when you’re going to make that big move is a great time to just really dig in and review all the coverages, especially if it’s been sitting there for a number of years, because there are a lot of new coverages and changes in the industry that are of benefit to you.
One of them right of the top of my head, that we offer on every home policy, is personal injury liability, which these days is very important. That liability expands your liability on your policy, to pick up liable slander, false arrest, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, and those are all huge, huge issues with today’s social media. You may not have that on your policy now, because it’s relatively new, and it wasn’t always sold in the past. As the social media era has come about, it’s become more and more prevalent, and more and more important, I think, feel, for people.
Bryan Vogt: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, we, unfortunately, tend to be more sue happy these days. I know everyone talks about that we need to take personal responsibility, but sometimes, unfortunately, we don’t see a lot of that. I’m sure you see less of that, maybe just in the business that you’re in.
Joe Harnist: Right.
Bryan Vogt: One thing I do want to mention though, is we talked about the actual savings, and off air, you talked about on online company. Again, they’re not all bad, but there was an online insurance company, and maybe you can kind of fill us in of the difference in pricing.
Joe Harnist: Yeah, I had a person that was referred to me, either a year or two years ago, and they had purchased, and the person who referred him to me said, “You know, you’re really paying way more than what I think you should be,” in comparison from what he was seeing. I said, “Yeah, I’ll be glad to take a look at it,” and as it turns out, the person had purchased the home coverage through a subsidiary or a connection that an online auto carrier had put them with. When we did the total review of the policy on the home, we come to find out that they’re over insured by a quarter of a million dollars.
We went out. We looked at the house. We measured it. We went to the county and looked at all the square footage, what was in it. We interviewed the client. How many bathrooms? Is the basement finished? The whole thing. We did it as detailed as we possibly could, and there was no way we could get to the replacement value that they had it insured for. It wasn’t anywhere near what the bank was requiring either, so as it turns out, we wrote the coverage. Saved them a lot of money, actually, and then we ended up writing their auto business as well. The money that we saved them on the home, actually paid for their auto insurance for a year. It was unbelievably a huge savings.
Bryan Vogt: That’s the reason why, and you made those good points about that we, you don’t pay much attention to it. When you’re looking to sell, there’s a lot of things going on. I appreciate that, but just another reason why you want to start shopping in advance, and start making sure that you do have the coverage that you’re going to want for your next house, and maybe even for your current house right now. With that said, Joe our segment, our times about wrapped up right here. We’re going to be talking more to Joe in the next segment. You definitely want to stay tuned.