Maine Incidents Show Importance of Diverse Home Insurance Policies

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  • Earlier this month in Maine, a pair of bizarre and uncommon weather-related incidents took place that may have caused significant damage, and highlighted just why it’s so important for consumers to have the right kinds of home insurance. While few in the area likely had plans that specifically covered the events that took place, or would have need to do so under normal circumstances, it might be wise for agents to highlight the many reasons it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    A mid-July week in the Central Maine town of St. Albans was very atypical in terms of normal weather patterns, according to a report from Portland, Maine, television station WMTW. The first was a “microburst” that did some damage around town, and the second was a full-on tornado that did a little more. Now some local residents say that they’ve had significant difficulties in dealing with their home insurance policies.

    What’s the issue?
    Specifically, some residents say that their home insurance coverage providers have yet to sign off on many of the claims they’ve filed related to the damage inflicted on their homes, often because their plans did not specifically involve tornado insurance, the report said.  

    “If a tree falls and it does not hit a covered structure and it does not block a driveway, there may be no coverage to remove that tree,” Mona Freeman, a local insurance agent, told the station. “When we’re talking about summertime, we’re talking about hurricanes, we’re talking about microbursts, we’re talking about wind damage and wind is a covered peril in a standard homeowners policy.”

    When it comes to this kind of coverage in areas where such incidents are rare, the added cost per year is likely to be minimal at best, and as such, it might be wise for insurance agents to highlight the reasons they can be important. Of course, simply encouraging clients to sign up for more types of coverage isn’t always going to be well-received, and consequently, showing the benefits might be able to go a long way toward proving to consumers that they’re actually being looked out for. Those that can create the impression that this is actually beneficial might also end up finding themselves in an improved position overall, because policyholders generally prefer high-quality customer service to simply paying less.