Hurricanes and other types of storms can be a problem for people in many areas of our country; those who are directly affected by them, especially multiple times a year, will want to protect their home, business, and assets. In order to do this, they will want to buy property insurance, flood insurance, and homeowners insurance. While insurance companies will not sell policies right before a storm, during a storm, or directly after a storm, there are multiple opportunities for you to sell insurance products and help customers who are affected by major weather events.
Floods can happen almost anywhere in the U.S. at any time, even in houses that have never flooded before. Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, which is why your customers will need a separate flood insurance policy. The problem is, though, that you cannot sell a flood insurance policy right before a storm because the policy will take 30 days to go into effect. If your clients are interested in flood insurance, make it clear to them that the policy will not cover any damage until the 30 days have passed.
Selling Before A Storm
There is one thing you can do for your customers before a storm. If your customers have any existing policies before a storm hits, you can increase their limits and help them save money that way. As long as you are compassionate and tactful, you can use this time to upsell and help your customers get through the tough time after the storm. If a major storm hits, the damages could exceed their limits, meaning they’ll have to pay more money out-of-pocket to make repairs and replace damaged items. If you upsell their policy, they would end up saving money because their increased limits would cover them if they needed to go to a hotel while their house is being repaired, or if they needed to temporarily close or relocate their business.
Keep in mind, though, that insurers will stop selling additional coverage if there’s a hurricane watch, which will typically be announced 48 hours prior to the storm.
Another way you can help customers is by cross-selling in order to make sure they have comprehensive coverage for all types of damage. For example, if they have homeowners insurance, check if they have coverage for wind damage; if they do not, add it, and increase their coverage limits for their home and belongings. The same goes for a business: make sure they have enough property insurance in their BOP, and add professional liability in case they are unable to render their services or need to break contracts because of a storm.
Your customers will be dealing with many emotions with a storm coming their way, especially if it looks like a major storm. In order to keep your customers, and win new ones, you have to be transparent with them. Tell them what they can expect with any new policies, and if you cannot sign them up in time, make sure they know that. Make sure they know if a policy will not go into effect immediately. And most importantly, show them that you have their best interest at heart by providing them with the coverage they really need, and that you are not just trying to make a commission. You know the insurance companies’ rules and regulations surrounding storms, so make sure you provide your customers with all the correct and truthful information.
Selling After A Storm
Some states will not sell certain policies weeks after a catastrophe happens, so you need to be clear with your customers about this. When the time comes that you can add insurance to their policy again, you can discuss options and price, and help guide them to what they will need should another storm or flood hit. Offer to bundle flood or wind damage insurance and add it to their homeowners policy to help them save money. If their current carrier won’t do this, take the opportunity to find another insurance company for them with the same plans and better rates.
Depending on where you live, storms can be catastrophic. Some customers might be unprepared for a major storm that causes damage to their home or business. This can leave them feeling lost and hopeless, but as a good agent, you can change that. You can provide your clients with enough coverage so they are prepared before a storm happens. Make sure you convey to your clients the importance of having enough insurance before a storm actually hits, so they can save money and not lose everything they worked so hard for. Remember, it’s not about the commission, but about compassion.