Know the Lay of the Land: Why being local helps.

Most clients can buy insurance one of two ways.  They can buy direct from the carrier, working with a computer program, or they can go with a local agent.  
A couple of weeks back, we were able help customer get insurance on their dream house…simply because we:

A) Knew the area
B) Had a good relationship with the carrier.

A couple wanted to purchase a vacation home in the Minnesota woods, but of course, they couldn’t complete this without insurance.   However, there was a problem.   The fire department in the township was almost 2 hours away from the cabin.
Under ordinary circumstances, the insurance company wouldn’t even THINK about writing a policy on this place.  The chances of it being consumed by fire before the department could respond were just too great.
Normally, that would have been the end of the story. They would have been denied coverage, and thus, denied that chance to buy their dream getaway home.  
But, because these folks were clients of Fortress, and because Fortress is a local, independent insurance agent, the story didn’t end there.
See, the big national insurance company was only looking at the location on paper.  What they didn’t know was that, while the fire department in the first town was almost 2 hours away, the house was only about 10 minutes from the fire department of the adjacent town.
And, further, because their employees were not in Minnesota, the big company also did not know that BOTH towns routinely respond to fires in that part of the world.
So, while on paper, the house was too far away, in reality, the house WAS covered by a fire department.
Over the years, we’ve built us some trust with this big company, and so we were able to explain to them the reality of the situation.  The company wrote the policy, and our clients bought the house.
We like happy endings.
Staff Writer
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