In the world of insurance companies, there are three types of companies to choose from: 

  • Non-Standard – These carriers are a great fit for a temporary season. If your household has drivers with accidents, tickets, DUI’s, SR-22’s, lapse in coverage, these carriers will still offer coverage when others won’t. As you would expect, their rates are fairly steep. The goal is to get back to the Standard market as soon as you can.
    • Examples: DairyLand, Vern Fonk, The General.
  • Preferred – The vast majority of insurance companies operate in this tier and most clients fit here as well – normal homes, cars, umbrellas. These carriers offer very competitive rates as well as great claims support.
    • Examples: Safeco, PEMCO, Mutual of Enumclaw, Progressive
  • High End/Private Client – These carriers cater to the needs of clients in the higher end of the marketplace. This will include clients with homes carrying a $1,000,000 or greater replacement value. This also meets the needs of clients with valuable art, jewelry, antique and other collections.
    • Examples: PURE, Chubb, Nationwide Private Client, AIG

For most clients, the correct choice is obvious. But many times, there is some overlap where a client of ours could be placed with either a Preferred carrier OR a High End/Private Client carrier. Maybe it’s a home with $1.6M replacement cost for example. So the question arises: “If the high end carrier costs more, why should I consider placing my insurance policies with them instead of a preferred carrier?”

  • Think of it in terms of the automobile market:
    • Preferred – Honda/Chevy – Reliable, trustworthy, typically you know what you’re going to get.
    • Private Client – Tesla/Jaguar – Surprising details, features, benefits, support. These vehicles “cost” more than a Honda or Chevy because they deliver more.
  • Value of time
    • Preferred – These carriers do a great job of taking care of their clients. This comparison isn’t about the Preferred carriers doing things poorly, it’s more about the Private Client group being built to go above and beyond in the area of customer service.
    • Private Client – These carriers know there is a high demand on their customers’ time, and they make problems go away. They protect their clients’ time.
  • Attitude
    • Preferred – They will work hard to make it right.
    • Private Client – Their goal is for you to say “Wow, that was amazing, above and beyond”
  • Claims
    • Preferred – Reactive. Very likely going to pay the claim and make you whole.
    • Private Client – Proactive. “Membership comes with a concierge”. These carriers provide highly trained professionals dedicated solely to serving members:
      • Before a claim – They help you implement loss prevention solutions like automatic water shut off systems
      • During a claim – They receive claims and handle many all the way through to close, so you can have a single point of contact— someone there to always support you.
      • After a claim – They help you take steps to reduce the likelihood that a claim will happen again.

There’s a time that’s right for clients to work with any of the three types of insurance carriers, and our Guides at FirstMark will help you find the right fit for your unique needs and values.

Skip to content