In her latest virtual interview, Ashley speaks with Patrick Battle of Keen Battle Mead & Company Insurance. KBMCO has been a highly regarded independent insurance agency in South Florida since 1921, providing broad market insurance solutions for both commercial and personal insurance needs.
Ashley has been referring her clients to KBMCO for nearly 30 years, and truly values her relationship with Patrick and his partners. In this interview, Ashley and Patrick discuss the impact of the current COVID-19 situation and it’s impact on the insurance industry.
Since the viral outbreak, Patrick noted that “COVID and insurance haven’t mixed well together.” As a business, they are managing like most companies – with most of their 40 insurance professionals working from home. “Some are moms and dads home with kids and online schooling,” he said, and “is grateful for all the technology that enables everyone to cope.” Most of his employees should be back in the office as soon as school is over.
As far as their services right now - on top of the current situation - it is now hurricane season in South Florida. Patrick recommends taking this time during the less-active period of hurricane season, during June, July until mid-August, to start reviewing your plans and coverages. KBMCO offers hurricane season information to their clients and encourages everyone to learn more here.
Homeowner insurance is a big part of their business, and right now, he says, it’s been a difficult time for clients. Insurance companies are seeing that there have been a lot of natural disaster over the past 3-4 years, thus a spike in rates.
“In the last 40 years, the insurance industry paid out on average about $19 billion of claims per year,” Patrick said. “But last year, we had $25 billion, the year before that it was $50 billion, and in 2017 we had $100 billion in claims.” And then there was the monster Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas last year, “which shook us to the core here in South Florida. We are so lucky it did not hit us” he said.
Thus his clients – and every homeowner in South Florida – are experiences rate increases. “So, our advice to our clients, and to your buyers,” he said, “is to look at your insurance, get after it early, what can you do to control your premiums, what can you do to control losses.”
Patrick specifically pointed out mitigating water damages, in homes and condos with older pipes. “There are some new technologies now,” he said. Plumbers are now able to help you solve potential water damage problems by installing automatic water shutoff systems.
Being prepared and having an experienced and trusted advisor like Patrick and his company can be an invaluable tool in your home ownership toolbox.
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