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Miscellaneous FAQs

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Miscellaneous FAQs provided by The Welch Group.

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Do you take walk ins?

We do, but appointments are preferred. This allows us to spend quality time with all of our clients. In addition, it prevents insureds from having to wait for an Account Manager to become available.

Can you talk to someone else about my policy?

Unfortunately, due to privacy laws we can not, unless that person has a Power of Attorney, and we have a copy of it on file.

Can you backdate my coverage to cover a claim?

No, this is considered insurance fraud.

Can you hold a check for me?

No, the state prohibits us from holding customers checks

Can I move my policy to you, but keep it with the same carrier?

Yes, in most cases you can.

I received notice that my home insurance carrier is going into receivership?

In layman’s terms, this means that the carrier is going into bankruptcy..

Do you write all over Florida?

Yes, we literally have clients from Duval St. in Key West all the way to Pensacola.

Do you write in other states?

No, we do not.

Are your employees The Welch Group employees?

Yes, all of them work exclusively for The Welch Group. However, many of them work remotely.

Why do you have different people who do different things within your firm?

Just like with any team, different people are good at different things. Therefore, we try to have people doing things that best align with their natural skills. After 18 years in business, we have discovered that it provides the best client experience for our customers.

My current agent no longer writes with my insurance company, can I move my policy to you?

In most cases YES. However, many carriers require us to re-quote the home in its entirety as if it was a new policy. The home must now comply with all of the most recent up to date underwriting guidelines to be eligible. In most situations,. Autos can be moved at any time.

I have paid off my Auto/Home, does that reduce my premium?

No, it does not. The insurance carrier still has to make you “whole” at the time of the claim.

Do you have carriers that offer a multi-policy discount if you package them together?

Yes, we do. We even have some carriers that give you a discount if you have multiple policies with our agency, even though they are with different insurance companies.

What is the difference between INDEPENDENT, CAPTIVE and QUASI-CAPTIVE agents?

Independent Agent – Is an agency that can write with whatever insurance carrier they can secure a contract with. In theory, they can place the customer with whomever they would like, since they do not work exclusively for one company, This is The Welch Group’s business model. In this scenario, bigger is better.

Captive Agent – Is an agent where they world directly for one carrier. The largest example of this is STATE FARM. This model was very popular 20 – 30 years ago but is less common in today’s market. Especially in Florida. In this model the agent works exclusively for one carrier, and can only offer one carrier’s product.. Some captives will allow their agents to write with Citizens, the state of Florida’s insurance company, due to the “take out” provision here in Florida.

Quasi-Captive – This is a hybrid of the two above models, whereby, an agent is branded as a captive, but can only broker policies through certain pre-approved carriers. These pre-approved carriers are usually limited to about 2-3 company’s, and are pre-approved by the captive company. Examples of this model are; GEICO, USAA, ALLSTATE EXCLUSIVE AGENTS, FARMERS INSURANCE etc…..In this model, the auto insurance must go through the captive company, while the agent can place the home insurance through one of the limited
pre approved home insurance carriers.

How do I know which one I have?

The easiest way to determine which type of agency you are dealing with is to ask who they write their auto insurance with. If it is with one company, you are dealing with either a Captive Agent or a Quasi Captive agent. Next, ask who they write their home insurance with. If they only have one company you are dealing with an exclusive captive agent in most cases. If they are dealing with 2-3 different home insurance carriers, you are most likely dealing with a Quasi – Captive agent. If they offer you multiplet auto option, and multiple home owner options, you are dealing with a true independent agency.

Is going direct, less expensive?

Very rarely, even though it is marketed that way. If you think about it, a carrier only pays an agent when they place business with them. If they dont place business with them, there is no expense. Vice versa, a carrier that promotes themselves as “direct”, has to advertise enough to attract clients. Not a cheap option, and the carrier has to pay for it regardless of whether or not they attract business. In addition, the carrier still has to pay an “in-house” agent to write the policies. Often times carriers advertise as “direct”, in an effort to get prospective clients to call them. However, in reality they are simply “buying the market”. A business technique that many carriers have used for a long time. This means that they artificially lower their rates to attract people, then increase them incrementally to compensate for the artificially suppressed rates.

A lot of the carriers, who started out as direct have now gone back to the agent model due to the above, again,GEICO is a prime example of this.

I am part of an industry group, and I get a discount if I go through that group or a specific carrier.

This is the case with a lot of clients. The truth is, a lot of companies are friendly with different groups, and offer discounts for them. In addition, just because you are with a group, does not mean that you are getting the best rate. Often times, some of the preferred insurance carriers for certain groups are more expensive than other options. The beauty of having multiple carriers is that you can save your money on your insurance, and do whatever you like with the savings.

There is a brand new company in Florida soliciting me?

This is pretty common here in Florida. Always be careful when dealing with start up companies here in Florida. If companies who have been in business in Florida for over 15 years are unable to remain financially stable here in Florida, it makes it tough on carriers from other starters to write new accounts here in Florida, as well. Also, if their rates are significantly less than other carriers, this can be an indication of a carrier buying the market. Historically, this has been the business model of several of the failed homeowners carriers in Florida.

I called and got voicemail during regular business hours?

Occasionally, we will have an office meeting that goes longer than expected, or everyone is tied up with a client on the phone. While these times are rare. It is best to leave us a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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