Good Insurance: More Important Than Good Fences

Imagine if everyone lived in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Most of the time, we’d all get along. On the rare occasion when a dispute did arise, it would be settled quickly with calm conversation, plenty of goodwill, a minimum of fuss and maybe a slightly corny song to seal the deal.

Unfortunately, no one really lives in such a bucolic setting. In the real world, people bicker, blame, stonewall and sue, even when they like their neighbors and can’t imagine ever acting that way. Because sometimes life happens, and there’s a bill that needs to be paid.

It’s up to you as an insurance agent to make sure your clients understand this—that they are potentially liable for all kinds of situations, even ones that are created by someone else’s mistake. This means you may need to take the blinders off for those who can’t imagine having an issue with their wonderful neighbors.

Here are a few examples you can share of how neighbors can affect each other’s lives:

Property Damage

  • Your dog knocks down the fence between your property and theirs
  • Your neighbor’s tree smashes through part of your roof
  • A pipe in your condo leaks and floods your downstairs neighbor’s place

Personal Injury

  • Your kids are roughhousing with the neighbors’, and one of them ends up needing stitches
  • You’re walking your dog and break an arm after slipping on your neighbor’s unshoveled sidewalk
  • You host a pool party and your neighbor gets seriously injured diving into the shallow end

Other Liability

  • You need to pay legal fees to defend yourself against a frivolous lawsuit brought by a neighbor
  • Your teenage child writes defamatory posts on social media about the kid down the block
  • You serve alcohol at a party and one of the guests causes a serious car accident on the way home

Even with examples like these, some clients may still balk. But it’s important that you help them understand a few things:

  • Even responsible people have accidents.
  • No one expects a good relationship to sour, yet that happens all the time.
  • When determining liability coverage amounts, the question isn’t how much you think you might get sued for, it’s how much you can afford to lose.
  • We have little control over whether something will go wrong or not, but we have complete control over the amount of liability coverage we carry.

They say that good fences make good neighbors. Well, good insurance policies do, too. Hometown Quotes is happy to share best practices when it comes to selling people the right coverage. Give us a call at 1-800-820-2981, and one of our Regional Directors will help you develop the right script to ensure that you are helping your clients to stay fully protected.