Every year, millions of Americans may have concerns about the amount they have to pay for their home insurance policies, and are on the lookout for ways to cut those costs. But many who choose to do so may actually be hurting their cause because they’re cutting the quality of their coverage. For residents of one city in New Jersey, though, many people may soon start to pay lower bills without making a single change to their plans, and this is something that insurance agents might want to talk to their clients about in the future.
The city of Attleboro, New Jersey, recently had its fire safety rating upgraded to a 3 – on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best – from the previous level of 4, according to a report from the Attleboro Sun Chronicle. That, in turn, is likely to save residents as much as 5 percent on their home insurance bills.
“I am thrilled that our department has made so many strides that have led to this rating increase,” Attleboro mayor Kevin Dumas told the newspaper. “We have made great progress in training, management reorganization, fire prevention and equipment replacement.”
Why is this a good thing for insurers?
If a local fire department can dramatically improve things like its response time, training techniques and so on, that significantly lowers risk for home insurers, the report said. The city recently moved to reorganize how its fire department handled just about everything, which resulted in a huge step forward; data shows the city is now extremely close to obtaining a 2 rating, for which only about 750 fire departments in the country currently qualify.
While it’s obviously not possible for towns to just improve their fire or police departments’ ratings, the benefits are clear. People that benefit from these improvements are likely to be more satisfied with their coverage, even if nothing about it has changed. But for the rest of the country, insurance agents are probably still going to have to do a bit of legwork to make sure that their clients are as happy as possible with their plans, and that they understand them fully. The latter may be crucial to the former, in fact, because data suggests that people actually find good communication and strong working relationships to be more valuable than simply being able to save money.