Home Insurance Policies, Deconstructed – By Tara MacIntosh

If there is one feeling evoked after meeting Bob Lawrie, President of The Lawrie Insurance Group, it is passion. Bob’s love for what he does, along with his fierce dedication to the insurance industry, his team of professionals and their client base is instantly evident. The Lawrie Insurance Group officially became an independent general insurance operation in 1982. The company has since grown from 5 to 95+ dedicated professionals all sharing this same passion.

Sitting down with Bob took several interesting turns, including an opportunity to discuss the hot Southern Ontario housing market and best practices in the world of home insurance. When thinking about purchasing a home, home insurance might not be the first item that comes to mind but it should be in the top 3 considerations. Home insurance is such an integrated part of home purchasing that new home owners are unable to collect their keys on closing day until the proper insurance policy is in place. Being an active and respected member of the Southern Ontario business community for the past 25 years, Bob and his team of professionals know a thing or two about this subject.

The discussion began with the topic of home inspection. It is recommended that a perspective home owner always include a home inspection as a condition of purchase. The home inspection report is vital when applying for home insurance as it will identify the condition of the foundation, roof, appliances and many other relevant details. Once the home inspection report has been generated, it is recommended to review the results with an insurance professional. An insurance professional will be able to identify any items that will result in high premiums or that will be unable to be insured under standard policy terms.

Once the purchase phase is complete the qualifying process begins for the new home policy. Bob and his team revealed the top 3 deterrents in achieving favourable home insurance premiums. The first and most problematic is a leaky basement or any cracks in the foundation that could cause leakage. A close second is knob and tube, aluminum or other forms of outdated piping or wiring that are not up to date according to current building codes. Lastly, older plumbing is problematic if past leaks have been identified. Additional items that come into play are the condition and age of the roof and furnace as well as any previous water damage or preventative measures in the home against water damage (such as back flow or sump pump).

To be in the best position for favourable insurance premiums it is recommended to look for a house with an energy-efficient furnace, updated appliances and no previous water damage. Efficiencies in the running of the home will ease the process when securing a new policy.

When discussing what are the most important items every new home owner should focus on when it comes to their policy Bob advised there are 3 items that deserve your attention. “First, make sure your policy is written on a guaranteed replacement cost comprehensive form. Next, make sure to review the various limits of liability protection available. Many policies may include $1M or $2M of coverage and the rule of thumb is, the higher the better. Finally, the most important section of the paperwork revolves around limits for water sewer back up and overland water coverage. Most companies are now limiting or removing this coverage all together.”

Throughout the home purchasing process this team will do everything possible to ensure each of their clients are well taken care of. By representing over 60 major Canadian and International Insurance companies on behalf of their clients they have become known for outstanding customer service, providing solid professional advice and the most competitive pricing. It became abundantly clear that creating lasting relationships built on trust is of the upmost importance to Bob and his team.

At Lawrie Insurance Group the coverage options extend well beyond the home insurance realm. When the conversation turned to include other types of insurance coverage, the idea of bundling was raised. The learning is that it is almost always a good idea to bundle insurance policies. The exercise of bundling will save, in most cases, at least 10% and sometimes even higher depending on the number of services in the bundle. The home and auto bundle is the most popular.

The offerings available extend from personal to commercial to employee benefits. On their comprehensive website there is a live chat option that will allow a fast and efficient question-and-answer interaction for any lingering questions. As well, the website is easily navigated to find blog posts and newsletters that cover a wide variety of topics pertaining to personal and financial stability. This group of professionals both understand their business and their clients, which makes for a comforting and professional experience.

Whether in the market for insurance needs, or looking to explore new options, Bob and his team are eager to help.

Bob (left) and Dan (right) of Lawrie Insurance Group.

Over 10,000 individuals, families and companies depend on the specialized services and expertise of the company. In addition to personal insurance clients, their clientele
includes all types of retail, wholesale and manufacturing firms, as well as contracts, associates, professional and service organizations. Business clients range in size from small
family-operated businesses to large international firms. As a full service insurance and financial service brokerage, The Lawrie Insurance Group also have a number of “specialty”
practice groups like construction, manufacturing, realty, transportation and knowledge-based industries. Their very specialized knowledge and experience brings unique risk management expertise and innovative solutions to these sectors.

For more information visit: danlawrie.com