On my way back from a course in Maine one recent Saturday I was contacted by a personal lines client with a story of a mishap and a question of advice.
Their youngster, who has a permit, was backing out of the driveway with her dad in the car. As he said, “BRAKE” she unintentionally hit the gas. The car smashed into their electrical panel box causing significant damage to the vehicle. Sparks were flying from the panel box and service went out to their house. NYSEG had to be called first to turn off the service before the fire department could work their magic and make sure nothing else was at risk.
Thankfully no one was hurt physically. That is certainly a blessing considering the amount of damage that occurred.
The concern they had was if their policy would be cancelled as this was not the first incident? Their thought was maybe they should cancel their policy before the company cancelled them? They had read and heard of others who had been cancelled in similar situations and did not want this to happen to them.
I am honored that they contacted me to talk through the options. With the wonders of cell phones I talked with both the husband and wife as I made my way north that day. They were busy getting electrical supplies, calling the claim into the insurance company and restoring order to their lives. And I was in contact with our personal lines manager who offered very good advice – first things first.
Melissa suggested first they file the claim. Check.
Next we monitor how the claim goes and make sure it gets settled as quickly as possible. We followed up with the client and the repairs were approved. Check.
And then we watch to see what happens with the company as there is no guarantee that the policy will be cancelled. Even if it is we will have plenty of time to advocate for our client and work to replace coverage. Deep breath.
The benefit of having a local agent like Northern Insuring Agency is options between companies and real people that care about you. We return our calls and when a claim occurs we are at our best, advocating for our clients. And if you ever need to come into the office and see us you can do that too. We are not just a 1-800 number.
This may be the last child they are teaching to drive though likely will not be the last mishap. I will keep my cell phone handy and listen with the same compassion as if it is the first time they were calling. That’s what we do best at Northern Insuring Agency.
Deena Giltz McCullough, CIC, CRM GPCC, President & CEO
September 29, 2016