Did you know Blakely Walters can help you with your home, auto, and liability insurance policy needs?
Many people mistakenly treat insurance as a commodity that doesn't merit attention when building their financial plan. However, not having a proper insurance plan in place that is intentional, cost effective, and periodically reviewed can create problems with long lasting effects.
For this reason Blakely Walters has had a strategic partnership with Jelms Insurance for over 5 years. Many of our clients have benefited from working with Brian Cichon, owner of Jelms, and appreciate the coordination we can provide in building out an insurance plan with a trusted professional.
Sloan: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you got into the insurance business?
Brian: I am an Arizona native and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I have been married for over 12 years to my wife Alex and we have 3 young children. When I have free time outside of work and family life, you most likely would find me on the golf course. As to how I got into insurance, I was born into insurance! My grandfather was a very successful State Farm agent for 45 years, and I grew up going to his office when my mom worked for him, and then naturally he allowed me to come work in his office around age 15, and it’s the only job/career I have ever had. I naturally love helping solve problems and every client is unique.
Sloan: What are the biggest mistakes you see in home and auto insurance planning?
Brian: They set it and forget it. Most clients don’t actively review and update their insurance as their lifestyles and insurance risks change. I see a lot of clients who are around age 22 who go online and buy the cheapest policy they can get as they leave home and mom and dad’s insurance for the first time. At the time, that’s generally ok. But then over the next 6-8 years as their lifestyle changes, maybe they get married, or buy a home, or have children, they don’t re-evaluate and change their insurance coverage and needs as those changes occur. You never want to find out after a claim has occurred that you didn’t have the proper coverage in place.
Sloan: When do you typically recommend an umbrella policy* for your clients?
Brian: Any client who owns property and/or has assets above their annual pay should have an umbrella. The world we live in today is vastly different than it was when I started in insurance. The cars on the road are fancier, full of back up sensors, cameras, etc. People are using their cars for Rideshare and food delivery. Insurance claim payouts are at an all time high, medical costs continue to rise along with the frequency of lawsuits due to those claims. The $500 fender bender no longer exists like it did 10-15 years ago. On the property side, we use our homes for Airbnb, and more people have dipped their toes into the rental property market as well. All of these changes in how we live our lives present the need for higher liability limits so that when a big claim or lawsuit occurs, you have the proper coverage in place to protect what you have worked so hard for.
*Umbrella Policy: An extra liability insurance coverage that goes beyond the limits of the insured’s homeowners, auto or watercraft insurance.
Sloan: I'm a huge fan of the independent insurance agent model. Can you tell me about the differences between you, and some of your larger competitors?
Brian: I am a huge fan as well, considering my entire youth I envisioned being in the State Farm universe, it was all I knew. The Independent Agent model allows you the client, and me the agent to deliver the best coverage and premium from multiple different companies. When we quote your auto, home, umbrella, or business insurance, we are comparing rates and direct appointments with over 10 national insurance companies. That allows us to almost always find the perfect fit for each individual client. At every renewal or major life change, we review and compare rates from all of our available companies. It doesn’t mean you will switch companies at every renewal, but if a better solution is available as your needs change, we have the ability to easily move a client to the company that best suits their insurance needs at any point in time. When you go with a “captive” insurance carrier or agency, like Geico, State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, etc. the only quotes you see are from that one company. Very few people should or will stay with one insurance company their entire lives. That will usually never result in you getting the best price, and more often than not it won’t allow you to find the best coverage for your needs either.
Sloan: Thank you for your time. We have really appreciated this partnership and the help you've provided our clients.
If you'd like to discuss your home, auto, and liability insurance strategy design you can contact your advisor, or click the "Get Quoted" button below to get started. This link will give you the option to spell out your goals, securely upload your existing insurance information, and organize details we will need to build you a cost effective plan that suits your needs.
Thanks for reading, and as always we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.
Blakely Walters and it’s affiliates receive compensation from Jelms Insurance for coordination of insurance planning and document organization. This is done at no additional cost to participating clients. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC BLAKELY WALTERS is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group, Inc.