How much does it cost?
The cost of personal property & casualty insurance depends on a variety of factors and varies significantly from person-to-person. Below are five of the most common factors that may have a substantial impact on your premiums:
- Claims Experience – generally speaking, insurance companies surcharge on the previous 3-years of claims history and base their premium rating structures on the previous 5 years of claims history. Some companies will look back as far as 7 years. From an insurance company standpoint, keep in mind that the majority of company’s are “Admitted” carriers. This means that if the insurer has an especially tough year of paying out claims, they can file for a premium rate increase in each of the applicable states where they are writing business. Ultimately, this will trickle down to the consumer, regardless of whether you’ve filed a claim or not.
- Insurance Score – this is another area where your credit history plays a part in the premiums you pay. However, it’s worth noting that pulling an insurance score is considered a “soft” hit and, therefore, does not have an impact on your credit score. Because of this, if you are married, you may want to consider naming the spouse with the better credit score as the first named insured. Some insurance companies will run an insurance score on both spouses and use the partner with the better score to develop their premiums; others will do the opposite. However, in most cases, the spouse listed as the first named insured will be the only one whose insurance score is run.
- Geographic Location – no surprise here, but worth mention. In the case of an auto policy, it is common for those who live in urban areas to pay higher premiums than their suburban or rural counterparts. This is because there is a higher population density (hence, more auto accidents) in urban areas, and a higher percentage of uninsured and underinsured drivers (hence, more accidents with people who can’t pay for the damage or injury they’ve caused). In the case of homeowner’s policies, the homes proximity to a fire hydrant or fire station also has a significant impact on premiums. If the home is over 1,000 feet away from a fire hydrant or over 5 miles from the closest responding fire department, the likelihood of the home sustaining significant fire damage is far greater.
- Age – This is especially impactful on auto policies, where you can often expect the premium for adding a 16 or 17 year-old driver to be an additional 50-100%. Additionally, younger individuals tend to have a shorter credit history, resulting in a lower (and less complete) insurance score.
- Inflationary Forces – just like everything else in the world, property & casualty insurance premiums are reflective of the inflationary environment. As the cost of labor and materials increases year-after-year, your insurance coverages must be increased to reflect the fluctuating costs associated with these items. In the case of auto insurance premiums, consider the costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged vehicle components, including cameras, motion sensors, GPS Systems, Bluetooth, etc. The average cost to replace a damaged automobile is significantly higher than it was only 5-10 years ago. Additionally, with the rising costs of healthcare, the money insurance companies are paying for bodily injury liability and first party medical benefits claims continues to rise.
How much do you get paid?
As an independent agent, Johnson, Kendall & Johnson is paid a percentage of the new and renewal premiums that we place with a given insurance company. As a rule of thumb, you can anticipate JKJ’s compensation to equal (approximately) 15% of the premiums you, as a consumer, pay the insurance company.
From an individual standpoint, JKJ’s employees are compensated via salary, bonus, commission, or some combination of the three. This varies by the individual producer and the arrangement they have made with Johnson, Kendall & Johnson.
Why an independent agent versus a direct writer (Geico, etc.)?
- Depth of options – As an independent agent with no ties to any insurance companies or financial institutions, we represent a variety of insurance companies, versus only working with one. This means we are in the best position to search the market on your behalf to ensure that you receive the best combination of value and premium economies to meet your needs. Our relationships with multiple insurance companies allows us to find the correct product to match your individual needs, versus searching for a way your needs will match a specific product.
- Knowledge of the Marketplace – working with a variety of insurance companies requires us to keep a finger on the pulse of the property and casualty insurance marketplace. This means we are keenly aware of any shifts or advancements in coverage, pricing, or underwriting. Without this broad knowledge of industry trends, our skills and capabilities would be limited to only one (or a select few) insurance companies that we work for or with.
- Relationship with Our Clients – as a privately-owned, single-location independent agency that has operated in the Newtown-area since the late 1950’s, we know what it means to be a part of a community. We pride ourselves in the service we provide and the relationships we’ve built with our clients over the years. We recognize that with so many options to choose from, the value we provide our clients must extend far beyond the initial sale. Just ask one of the many clients who have chosen to place their trust and confidence in us for the past 20+ years.
What companies do you represent?
We have proudly partnered with a select group of insurance companies who have demonstrated significant value to our clients and to our firm over the years. Here is the current lineup of companies JKJ works with in our Private Client Group:
- Nationwide Private Client
- Allied (Nationwide)
- Nationwide Private Client
- Allied (Nationwide)
We are always keeping an eye out for new insurance companies to partner with for the benefit of our clients.
How do you help me during a claim?
While we hope you never have to use it, your insurance policy is something you may have to utilize one day. When that time comes, you can rest assured that your partners at Johnson, Kendall & Johnson have your back.
From explaining coverages and confirming deductibles to serving as your advocate and ally throughout the claims process, the value we provide extends far beyond the initial insurance purchase.
Utilizing our combined experience and knowledge of coverage, underwriting, and claims, your partners at JKJ will serve as the liaison between you and the insurance company. During a claim, our mission is to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your claim is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.