Too often, high net worth families in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, don’t realize that their personal insurance requires a bit more scrutiny than the average person’s does. The wealthy have more opportunities for savings and frequently miss them by over insuring in the wrong areas. They also tend to put their hard-earned wealth at unnecessary risk by under insuring where it really counts. The Private Client Group at Charlotte Insurance is dedicated helping wealthy individuals fix these inequities by rebalancing their high net worth insurance portfolios. In many cases, we accomplish this with only small increases in overall cost — or with no increase at all.
Where Many Agents Fail
Agents not experienced in high net worth insurance tend to treat the very wealthy like everyone else. Plus, hard-working individuals who have amassed wealth tend to carry the same humility they had when they started their journeys of success. This blinds them to the fact that they aren’t like everyone else anymore. The insurance they carried 10 years ago simply isn’t designed for their current level of wealth.
This isn’t about “special treatment” in the ethical sense, but about the additional options and coverage needs that wealth brings to an insurance program. When you can afford a high deductible in exchange for sharply reduced premiums, it simply makes sense to do it. But agents don’t ask that question when the average client lives paycheck to paycheck, always choosing the lowest deductible possible. It just doesn’t cross their minds that your situation may be different.
Agents that Specialize in High Net Worth Insurance
Individuals working with the average personal lines insurance agent may find that they can afford a 5,000 deductible, yet drive with $500 deductibles, paying hundreds more than necessary every year. With an expensive home, the savings offered by a high deductible are even greater. Considering home ownership is a long-term commitment, saving $900 a year by choosing a high deductible can create substantial value.
Special discounts can also be overlooked. Expensive homes often have security systems, but that’s not the case with an average homeowner. Agents who fail to ask about such features leave wealthy individuals paying more than necessary for their homeowner’s insurance.
Another common mistake lies in considering the type of property a wealthy individual may need to insure or how the property’s value may change dramatically over time. A homeowner’s policy offers limited personal property coverage, so collectibles, antiques and other expensive items are more properly insured under valuable items coverage. Specialty policies are also wise for high value vehicles and jewelry. For an art collection, specific fine arts coverage offers higher levels of insurance. An agent experienced in high net worth insurance will know to re-value fine art every few years to be certain coverage is sufficient.
Choosing the right type of coverage for high net worth families is vital. You may live in a large home or mansion that should be covered by homeowner’s insurance, but the condo you rent in the city needs a different policy. Specialists know that a renter’s policy won’t provide enough coverage for renovations to the interior of the rental. And if you rent your primary residence, a renter’s policy won’t provide full protection for your personal possessions.
Liability is an especially vulnerable area for the wealthy. Not only do they have more assets to protect, but they also are at greater risk of lawsuits. The deeper your pockets, the more likely another is to place a lawsuit. Having the highest available liability limits is vital to protecting your wealth.
And the wealthy often employ workers in their homes, which creates additional sources of liability. Some workers must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. All workers should be covered under Employment Practices Liability Insurance to protect against suits from unhappy workers.
Rebalancing Your High Net Worth Insurance
An agent that specializes in high net worth insurance understands that insuring a financially secure family is akin to insuring a business. It requires a multi-pronged approach of risk management, guidance and mitigation to protect valuable assets.
By evaluating your high net worth insurance program, the Private Client Group uncovers savings you can then apply to properly insuring your valuable items and purchasing adequate liability insurance. We find gaps in coverage that could lead to devastating losses and discover redundant or unnecessary insurance you don’t need. The result is a well-rounded program that provides the most protection for the least cost.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Bob ~ Barely Time.