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What All New Homeowners Should Know About Insurance: An Interview with Jim Wright of Wright Insurance Agency

By Jim Wright

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I have been in the insurance business since 1979 and have had my own agency since 1984. I am a member of SIAA the largest independent agency system in the United States with over 4000 member agencies. We are the largest producing entity for The Hartford and Traveler's Insurance Group. I write primarily personal lines insurance, however I do have some commercial lines clients as well. As a complement to our personal and commercial lines clients we have access to life and health products as well. You could say we are a full service full line agency.

Is there something about getting insured that most new homeowners don't know that they should know?

Most if not all companies require the home to be insured at 100% of replacement as well as updated roofing, wiring, plumbing and furnace on homes older than 20 years.

How would you suggest that a new homeowner approaches "shopping" for home insurance? At what point should they start the process?

Immediately as lenders are very disorientated when it comes to getting the homeowner what they need for a mortgage clause and allowing enough time to secure a policy.

What do you consider "adequate" coverage for a new home and how do you determine the amount?

Again referring to the 100% replacement which is determined by the agent completing a replacement estimator that goes into square footage and the amenities the home has.

Why do home insurance rates/premiums increase? Is there any way to prevent this?

Rates increase based on company experience with claims they have paid out, primarily windstorm and hail. Also rates have fluctuated as insurance companies can no longer buy business. By that I mean they used to write low premiums and would make up the difference through investment income. As we all know that has not been so good recently, so now they have to underwrite and price their product to stay in business.

What are some of the most important decisions that new homeowners need to make about their coverage?

What they want to insure and what risk they want the insurance company to cover, by that I mean what deductible are they comfortable with. The majority of my clients will not purchase less than a $1000 deductible, due to the fact that the premium is more affordable and they can self-insure anything under that amount. Also does the client need any separate coverage for such things as jewelry or fine arts that would need to be scheduled.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The easiest way is to call my office between the hours of9 AM-5PM Monday through Thursday and 9 AM-12NOON on Fridays.You can also take a look at our site www.nshure.com

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