On Wed, 3 Feb 2016 11:21:16 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03
"your best insurance is an insurance broker"
Dealing direct with an insurance company through an agent (like
StateFarm, Geico, Allstate et al) they hold all the cards.
Dealing with a broker - particularly a fairly large broker with a
large "book" of insurance puts some of the cards in YOUR hand. The
broker works for YOU, not the insurance company. An agent works for
the insurance company - not for you. Generally speaking, this means
the broker goes to bat for you carrying a BIG BAT. If the insurer gets
picky or nasty and doesn't cover what they should cover, they stand a
very real chance of not only losing you as a customer, but possibly
hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums when the broker decides
to move a sizeable percentage of their "book" to another company who
is more likely to "play ball" when a client needs help.
I spend about 20 hours a week in a pretty good sized insurance
brokerage where my youngest daughter is also Assistant Operations
Manager, and I see that bat weilded on a pretty regular basis. If one
company won't play ball, there are another 5 or six waiting in the
wings for most policies. There are some risks that only one or two
will cover, or be competetive on - and some companies that they only
write policies with as a "last resort" because they are more
difficult to deal with. - but generally if the CSR gets on the
insurance company's case, things happen - and pretty quickly.
A phone call goes like "how many millions of dollars of insurance do
we have with you? --- and how many claims have you had to pay out?
--- and you want to risk that kind of business by dragging this out
for another month or making the insured jump through more hoops?? I
didn't think so.. We will be expecting the check in the mail. You have
a good day too -"
Or getting insurance for something a bit out of the ordinary for one
of the "programs" - let's say well drillers. The broker calls the
insurer of record and asks "can you cover -------? The insurer says
"it's not something we run into every day - let me check." - and comes
back with something like "What ro YOU think - what is this similar too
and what kind of rating would you be comfortable with - you've got a
pretty good record on this program - your loss ratios are REALLY low -
how does $X per thousand sound to you"?
And the "uninsurable" has just been insured - often for far less than
the customer was expecting - all because he's got the weight of a good
broker (and an affinity group) on his team.
A good broker is worth his weight in gold when you need him!!!
On 2/3/2016 5:56 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Yes. Most of us only see homeowners and high price auto insurance. A
good broker makes sure you have the insurance you need for your
circumstances. Twice I was in situations with large (multi million $)
losses that would have put us out of business if not properly insured.
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 5:56:05 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When you use the title "agent", you need to be more specific. There are
"captive agents" and "independent agents".
According the Investopedia, an independent agent does not work for "the"
"Definition of 'Independent Agent'
An insurance agent that sells insurance policies provided by several different
insurance companies rather than a single insurance company. An independent
agent receives commissions for the policies that he or she sells, and is not
considered an employee of a specific insurance company."
Granted, a "broker" may be even more independent than an independent agent,
and a broker, by law, has a fiduciary duty to the client. However, in some
cases, depending on the relationship between the policy holder and the
independent agent, some courts have ruled that the agent was acting as a
broker and could therefore have a fiduciary duty to the client.
In any case, my agent is an independent and offers insurance products from a
number of carriers. The mere fact that she called me to tell me my rates
were going down by ~40% is enough for me to continue our relationship.
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 11:35:59 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
Not necessarily. There are actual 3 types of people that sell insurance:
As noted here (and mentioned in my earlier response) there is a difference
between a Broker and an Independent Agent.
BTW...I have already sent them an email about the typographical errors in
the section entitled:
"Insurance Agents Vs Insurance Brokers: What's the Difference?"
They need to replace the word "agent" with "broker" and change "are" to
"is" in the first sentence of the second paragraph.
Actually some are meant not to live in a single dwelling. They don't
seem to know what is going on around their place. Some years ago, a
couple won a nice size bungalow on a raffle. All their life, lived
in an apartment. They were so excited to move into nice house. They did
not even last one year living in a house. After ~3 months they went back
to old apartment. Claimed keeping a house was such a headache.
Very true, some people just cannot deal with it.
I am very glad I can do most of my own repairs but have enough sense to
hire a qualified contractor when necessary.
I've been in my house 35 years and it's been long paid off.
The rents have gone up so high around here that if I did not own my own
home I could not afford to live in this neighborhood.
My taxes are less than half of what a small apartment goes for right
Yes, a woman at work has lived in rentals her entire life. Next year
she will retire and intends to go into senior housing subsidized by the
state. Not what I aspire to, but she seems to be happy with her choice.
OTOH, my friend from Brooklyn has lived in apartments all his life.
After he'd beea lawyer for a few years, he wanted to buy an apartment
in Brooklyn Heights (where Patty Duke and her identical cousin lived)
and walk across the bridge to work, but his fiancee had lived in
Manhattan all *her* life and wouldn't agree to that. They ended up
with an apartment on E. 57th and 1st, but because he didnt' work
steady, coudlnt' find a job all the time, with the glut of lawyers in
NYC, they sort of ran out of money and about a year ago moved to a
southern state, where they are renting a small house (with their boxes
all over the place) until they can buy a house.
But they (or maybe he) have so many demands, they can't find a house
that meets all of them. Partly because the kind of house they want
wasn't really built where they live now. I think they want a garage.
They have lots of money now, because their apartment in NYC cost and
sold for much more, even deducting the unpaid mortgage, than a house
in the south costs.
They're in their late 50's and early 60's and I told them to buy a
one-story house, for when they can't make it upstairs. They're both
slim and healthy, but even slim people can get to the point where they
can't climb stairs. Anyhow, I think he's ignoring me on that.
Despite that, you probably have to give him a chance to do so. If
you were the contractor, you'd want a chance to correct your workmen's
Although if you really don't want him to, I suspect you can be
demanding or annoying enough that HE refuses to. I don't mean
calling him a thief, or insisting he comes on Tuesday afternoon
between 2 and 3. But if you give him a list of flaws, real flaws,
not ones you've made up, and say you want them all fixed, he may say
no. To go into more detail I need to know what is wrong with it.
What about it looks bad?
Have other people like friends or neighbors agreed with you that the
whole job looks awful? What's wrong with it? The rows are crooked?
Different colors? What? What kind of roof? Asphalt shingles?
How many years are the shingles guaranteed. When you get an estimate
from the other companies, get one for the same quality shingle. If it
was 25 years, then get 25 years.
So the question is, Is he capable of fixing it right? Is every part
of the roof bad or only parts? Did he tell you, or will he now, of
other roofs he's done. Look at them. Knock on the door and make sure
he actually did them and idn't just take a beautiful house and right
down the address. (When I had my roof done, it was by the same guy
who did the townhouse across the street and the one to the right of
it, and maybe one other, so I saw that he worked well and did a nice
job. I didn't rely on his having a nice smile, being friendly, and
well-spoken. But if your spouse thought that was good enough, don't
fight about it. You'll know for next time. At most we're talking
about 10,000 dollars. )
Stop fighting with each other. Everyone makes mistakes.
Of course they'll come out, and if there were no problems, you
wouldn't be complaining. (unless you're a couple of fuss-budgets,
which you might be for all I know) If they're competent, they'll
And they won't work for free, but they will give you a firm "estimate"
of what they will charge to make your roof like it was supposed to be
with the first roofer. Not better, but the same. If you decide you
want it better, get a separate estimate on that, because the first
one will be your evidence in court. It shouldn't just say "new roof"
but should refer to correcting specific, described problems in the
current roof. It should say what is wrong with the current roof.
If they can't write an estimate t hat includes this stuff, tell them
you won't win in court and you won't have the money to hire them.
Make sure what they say is compatible with your observations. You
don't want them claiming things are bad that your photographs show are
not bad. Take plenty of photographs before starting the second
roofing job. A lot of people seem to not do the second job until
after the lawsuit, supposedly because they haven't got the money. If
your roof isn't leaking and damaging the inside of your house, you can
You could do with two estimates.
Hopefully the cost will be less than the maximum small claims court
verdict in your area. But if the whole roof has to be done, that
doesn't seem possible.
If they have to remove the whole thing and start over
I don't see that. If it's leaking you can testify to that yourself.
If it looks bad, you should be taking pictures. I would take a video
in addition to stills, starting at the front of your property showing
teh whole house including the street number, to prove that it's your
house, and then getting close to every bad area. You can leave all
this on a laptop and bring the laptop to court.
People who use cell phone pictures for lawsuits over 300 seem like
idiots to me. Buy a camera for 150.
You ask them. You have to give them at least one chance to correct
their errors, unless you've got some very good reason not to. What
reason do you have?
See above. What reason do you have?
My guess is that bad finances on their part does not in itself mean
thye are technically incompetent. OTOH, if they hired inexperienced
workers, that would mean that. When the next worker shows up ask how
long he has worked for them, how much experience he has, where you can
get in touch with him. If he appears in court with you as a witness,
you should expect to pay him, but if he just gives an sworn affidavit,
not much (not that he'll be willing to do either of these things, but
if he's angry enough, he might be. Of course if he's too angry, he
won't be believable.)
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