HELP! My Insurance Rates are up!

Expert advice on how to manage your insurance portfolio during years of insurance industry rate increases.

 

Expert advice on how to manage your insurance portfolio during years of insurance industry rate increases.

** Please note that the opinions expressed in the following article are those of Kent & White Insurance **

Atlantic Canada, well realistically the entire world, is entering what the insurance industry refers to as a “hard market”. And it really is that, It’s hard. It is difficult, and hard to talk about. General gist, it means that rates are going up.

We’ve tacked this subject in a previous post about auto rates in the province of NB, but we need to talk about it again. The reality is, rates are continuing to increase on all types of insurance, and no one knows how long this will last.

Hard Market vs. Soft Market: Some History

As with many industries, the insurance industry goes through cycles of hard and soft markets. The industry loves a soft market. During the last one, from 2006 to 2016, insurance rates were low, and competition was fierce. We were able to source fantastic rates for our customers. Life was good.

Unfortunately, the tides began to change in 2016, and we started seeing the market lose some of its softness. Insurance companies began to pay out more and more in losses, and reached a point where many were paying out more in claims than they were collecting in premiums. Most people in the industry agree that the increase in repair costs and the staggering number of claims due to major weather incidents are two of the biggest contributing factors.

How to Handle the Hard Market

Until insurance companies return to a point of profitability, we will see rates going up on both home and auto insurance. Important to remember, however, the insurance industry is open, and still quite competitive. Your hands are not tied in making sure that your insurance portfolio is well managed. We’ve compiled our top four tips to adapt to the current market situation.

  1. Call your broker. There is absolutely no better time to be with an insurance broker than now. With the direct providers, like the banks, you are stuck to their product, and their rate. You are not provided with options. Your insurance broker, on the other hand, can take the time to remarket your insurance portfolio. At Kent & White, we represent some of the largest insurance providers in the country, and always have an option to move your portfolio to another provider. If you are a current customer, call us. We are happy to help you with this! We have an excellent view of the market and can check with almost 10 different companies with one application.
  2. If you are not with a broker, find a good one! We fully admit that this is self-serving, but the advice is good never-the-less. Whether you choose us in Atlantic Canada or would like for us to recommend a fantastic broker in another province, an insurance broker will get you through this market. They will work with you to find the best possible balance between coverage and price, and they can shop your rate for you anytime that you like.
  3. Find a GOOD one! Yes, this is slightly repetitive to our second point, but we cannot stress it enough. Not all brokers are created equal. In our office, one of our core values is around continuous learning. Many brokerages invest in the minimum education requirements for their staff. Kent & White invests heavily in training our people (as do a number of others!). Our team invests in education directly with the insurers, ongoing broker training, and multiple communication tools to assist our brokers in sharing knowledge.
  4. GROUP PROGRAMS! Maybe this should have been our first point, but group programs provide an extremely high level of value! At Kent & White, we have group programs for the Chaleur, Edmundston, and Haut-Madawaska Chambers of Commerce, as well as United Steel Workers (USW) and SOAR. All employee who works for a member company of the Chamber plans mentioned above, or any USW union member, or retiree have access to some of the best rates in the country for them and their family. Many of our new clients are thrilled to find out that they end up qualifying for one of our group programs.

The insurance market will soften again, but our guidance for managing your insurance will remain sound. A good broker will always be your greatest advocate in the industry. We shop the best rates across the country with one application, and we are not limited to one product, or one rate like the direct providers. We are completely independent from your insurance provider, and mandated to represent our clients, NOT the insurer.

As always, we will continue to provide our customers with information that we feel is relevant. Here is a link to some additional reading that may help to explain the current insurance market:

Insurance Business Magazine: Profitability of insurance industry under spotlight in new report

 


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We are hiring! Join our already awesome team!

Bathurst Job Opportunity at Kent and WHite Insurance

Who We Are:

Kent & White Insurance is one of the largest insurance brokers in Northern NB. With our unwavering commitment to the community, and building a comfortable environment for our customers, staff, and our community, we have been ones of the fastest growing brokerages in Atlantic Canada. We are excited to keep growing and looking for the best darn Personal Lines Account Manager to join or team!

The Role:

As a Personal Lines Account Manager, your job is to promote the core values of Kent & White Insurance with our existing client base. With a focus on instilling comfort, you will provide insight and guidance for our personal lines clients when making policy changes, asking for advice, inquiring about claims, or in making the decision to re-market their insurance portfolio.

Our Ideal Candidate:

We are more concerned with your character than current skill sets. We believe that skills can be taught, character cannot be.

As our ideal candidate, you are:

  • Frankly, awesome: you are a nice, hard-working person who is looking to feel more like part of the family than an employee. You’re easy to get along with, and a pleasure for or team and clients to deal with;
    Community focused: you are a person who likes to get involved in the community and takes pride in a company who feels the same;
  • Able to speak up when it counts: You work for your clients. Sometimes that means being an advocate for your client with our insurers. You aren’t afraid to pick up the phone, or exert your influence to make sure that happens;
  • Fluent in our two beautiful languages: You can easily switch between French and English to ensure that our customers are served in the language of their choosing;
  • Pretty bright: You pick up new concepts quickly and are able to apply your knowledge in order to problem solve;
  • Adaptable: You understand that change is a constant and can see the big picture when new processes, or technologies are introduced;

Our nice to haves:

  • Familiar with Microsoft Office suite of products;
  • College or University degree;
  • Two or more years work experience in an office environment.

Our Work Environment:

  • We value hard work, and commitment. We look for people who are looking for a long-term career, with the potential for upward mobility;
  • Our working hours are 8:30 to 4:30 with occasional extended hours during busy season, or to accommodate a client;
  • We are a professional, but friendly office that strives to create an extremely comfortable atmosphere;
  • We are dedicated to ongoing learning, and pay for all Insurance CAIB designations, and additional training;
  • We offer a benefits package, optional RRSP matching, paid volunteer days, and paid vacation.

To apply:

Please submit resumes to Brian Schryer: bschryer@kentandwhite.com


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Get a Rain Check

April showers bring May flowers, as well as a ton of worries! Here in Northern New Brunswick, we’re no strangers to difficult winters, but what about the difficulties that come along with spring? No, we’re not talking about pot holes.

 

Flood insurance New Brunswick

Important to note: this information is based on the interpretation of insurance company manuals by Kent & White Insurance brokers. Certain underwriting conditions and/or restrictions may apply.

This winter has been particularly tough. The massive amount of snow we received has decided to stick around a little longer than usual, but that hasn’t stopped Mother Nature’s scheduled rain fall. Usually welcomed to speed up the snow melting process, this year, excessive amounts of rain fall are weighing heavy on people’s minds due to higher chances of flooding. Are you sure you’re protected?

Our brokers at Kent & White Insurance dug deep into the manuals of our insurance partners, and here’s what we’ve found. Our partner companies offer something called endorsements. In the instance of overland water, they are add-ons to your home policy (for an additional premium) that can broaden coverages for water damage. Although the names of the endorsements vary from policy to policy, overland water endorsements were designed with springs like ours in mind. When you add this package to your home policy, you’re ensuring that any sudden and accidental escape of water from a sewer, sump, septic system, or other entry points due to spring conditions are covered. Here are the top five main differences to look out for from company to company:

  1. Some insurance companies determine eligibility based on specific zones, territories or even distance from a body of water. Make sure to verify that you are meeting the specific eligibility requirements of your insurance company for overland water coverage.
  2. Insurance coverage limits and options can vary quite significantly from company to company. Limits can range from $10,000 to full policy limits. Ask you insurance broker to verify that your limit is adequate for your needs.
  3. Many insurance companies exclude coverage for flood water from bodies of salt water or from coastal waters. Make sure to consider this if you have an existing home, or if you are building a home, near a shoreline.
  4. Some insurance companies will contribute extra funds for you to install a remedial device (such as a backflow valve) in the event of a claim. If you do end up with a water damage claim, check to see if your company contributes with funds for this added benefit
  5. Overland water coverage is sometimes included with sewer backup coverage, or it can be a separate coverage on its own depending on the insurance company. Having sewer backup coverage does not necessarily mean you have overland water coverage. This is something that can be verified with a quick call to your insurance broker.

Here at Kent & White, we know that your property is more than just a location on a map; it’s home-sweet-home. Whether you’re a current client of Kent & White Insurance, or a future client wanting to make sure your property is protected, give us a call or come in to speak with one of our dedicated brokers. We’ll make sure everything in your policy is right as rain!

 


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Fact Checked Insurance Review: What you need to know about car insurance hikes in NB.

If you live in New Brunswick, your auto insurance rates are probably going up. Potentially a lot. Biggest jump in the past decade sort-of a lot.

Average Insurance Rate Increases

Important to note: Posted increases are approved overall average rate changes for private passenger vehicles by insurance company. Your specific policy increase may be higher, or lower than the posted rates.

Every person in our office shares that collective sigh of frustration. We are all clients too.

The silver lining is that consumers are not left powerless. We all have choice.

Our brokers at Kent & White Insurance can help you in this process. Whether you are a current client looking to review your latest renewal, or a future client who would like to benefit from our approach, we are experts at finding that delicate balance between the best coverage and available rates. Unlike the direct insurers, our brokerage has the advantage of shopping your policy with multiple insurance companies, many of which are offering some of the best rates in Atlantic Canada today.

As the dedicated broker for the Chamber of Commerce group home and auto plans for Chaleur(formerly Greater Bathurst), Edmundston, and Haut-Madawaska, we are especially fortunate to see our primary group partner, Travelers, taking one of the lowest rate increases in the province. This is huge for us (and you)! We can continue to offer significant group discounts to most people working for local companies in the above-mentioned regions. You may in fact work for a Chamber member and not even realize it (click here to see if your employer is a member of a Chamber of Commerce: Chaleur | Edmundston | Haut-Madawaska).

For our existing clients, we will continue to do what we do; review your renewals to ensure the best coverage and contact you with any inconsistencies. It is important to review your own renewals as well. If you are not satisfied with your renewal, we will gladly revisit your policy with you to find the best fit.

For our future clients, we can’t wait to meet you! Click here to contact us, or feel free to call us at 1-855-548-8994.


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