May 16, 2021

Courtney Johnson on buying home insurance

Courtney Johnson on buying home insurance

Courtney Johnson is a Business Development Specialist with nuera Insurance. In this episode we talk about purchasing property insurance online from a national insurance brokerage vs local. We also discuss the difference between mutual and global insuranc...


Courtney Johnson is a Business Development Specialist with nuera Insurance. In this episode we talk about purchasing property insurance online from a national insurance brokerage vs local. We also discuss the difference between mutual and global insurance companies.

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Transcript

Adrian:

I'm joined today by Courtney Johnson on the I Love Winnipeg Real Estate podcast. Hi Courtney.

Courtney:

Hi, Adrian. How are you?

Adrian:

I'm well. I'm well and yourself?

Courtney:

I'm great. Thank you. It's Friday. It's beautiful. Can't complain.

Adrian:

Courtney, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and of course the company that you work with, nuera Insurance?

Courtney:

Yeah, absolutely. So, obviously my name is Courtney Johnson and I am the business development manager at nuera Insurance. I have been a licensed insurance broker for four years and nuera Insurance is one of the first digital insurance brokerages in Canada. They have been around for six years this month, actually. So, it's really exciting. And we specialize in property insurance from BC all the way to Ontario.

Adrian:

Now what makes nuera different from a local insurance broker?

Courtney:

So, the big thing that makes nuera different is that we're all online. So, a client can go directly onto our website and they can complete their own property quote in about 10 minutes for a home policy. They get the quote in real time and they get to see what the coverages are. There's no back and forth with their broker, there's no paper forms that they have to fill out. It's a really simple streamlined process to do the quote.

Adrian:

Now what should homeowners consider when choosing an insurance broker?

Courtney:

So, the biggest thing is you want to make sure that your broker is experienced in your area, they're available when you need them, they have good claims services. So, they're setting you up with companies that in an event of a claim, hopefully it never happens, but if it does you're covered and you will have 24/7 access to a claim's adjuster.

Adrian:

When someone does have an insurance claim, do they call you or do they call the company that they're insured with?

Courtney:

So, they can really do either or they can call us because we are open seven days a week, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, mountain standard time. And we can kind of talk them through because sometimes it's a small enough claim that it may not be worth it for you to file it with your insurance company. So, it's good to talk to that insurance professional that knows like, Hey the consequences of you filing this claim are going to result in your premiums going up because you're going to lose that claims free discount that you have. So, maybe it would be better to handle this another way. But if it is in the middle of the night and a pipe burst or something like that, we do have obviously the 24/7 claim's contact numbers for all of the insurance companies that we've partnered with.

Adrian:

Now, can someone expect to get different pricing from an online insurance provider, such as nuera compared to a local insurance broker?

Courtney:

Yeah, absolutely. Being online, we have access to different markets than maybe a local broker would. As an example, we have our in-house Lloyd's of London program. That's called Exhale insurance and they have really, really great rates and that's the biggest thing. The local brokers, I love them and I love that they're in the community, but they might not have access to many markets as someone that's licensed across the country and has access to more insurance companies.

Adrian:

Now why is some home insurance more expensive than others?

Courtney:

Sorry, I don't mean to chuckle. But yeah, there's so many different factors that go into that. So, first is location, location, location, right? Where the property is? Is it close to a river? Is it close to a fault line? Things like that. So, that's the biggest thing is location. Second of all, it's the coverages that you pick, right? What is the value of your home? What would it cost the insurance company to rebuild that? And then the other coverages that you add on like your liability and your additional living expenses, all of that plays into it.

Courtney:

And the other big thing would be your insurance history. So, the longer you've had insurance for the more of a discount that the insurance companies are going to give you as a reward for being consistently insured for all that time. So, if you have zero experience, you're a first time home buyer and it's in a area that has maybe more claims whether those claims are from crime or weather disasters or things like that, it is going to affect the rate. So, there's so many things at play, which is why you should partner with an insurance broker because they're the ones that can guide you through that whole process.

Adrian:

Here in Manitoba, we have I think at least three mutual insurers, which are Wawanesa Mutual, Red River Mutual, and Portage Mutual. And I think the average person doesn't really understand the difference between a mutual insurer and perhaps a major global insurer, such as Aviva or Intact, what is the primary difference between a global insurer and a mutual that we know locally?

Courtney:

I would just say the difference would be that the global companies, the Avivas, the Intacts because they are spread out across the globe, they have the ability to manage their loss ratios better because they have more policies, more people, right? The core principle of insurance is that the losses of the few are shared amongst the many. So, when you're talking about a company like that, their loss ratios are significantly lower because they have so many more people. Where the smaller mutual companies are great and I love them, but their loss ratios might be a little bit higher because their target audience is a much smaller percentage. That would be the biggest difference I would say.

Adrian:

A lot of our listeners are children at heart. Could you perhaps enlighten us to explain what loss ratio means?

Courtney:

Sure. So, loss ratio is just the calculation that the insurance companies use to determine the likelihood of a claim based out of their book of business. So, all insurance companies have a target loss ratio. So, the amount of claims that they're wanting and willing to pay out that year and they want to keep that as low as possible, right? But they're in the business of insurance, so they know that they're have to pay out claims. So, it's just about picking desirable candidates and desirable location to make sure that they have the best portfolio possible.

Adrian:

What do you or nuera love about Winnipeg or Manitoba real estate?

Courtney:

So, I mean I'm not a real estate expert but after doing some research, what I found is that the average detached home price in Winnipeg is a lot lower than in other areas that we see. So, it looks like your dollar really goes a lot further there. But the biggest thing on the insurance side that I would say is that from what I can tell from my years in insurance, is that Winnipeg and Manitoba don't get those crazy bizarre weather disasters like we do elsewhere. You don't have earthquakes, you don't have fires, you don't have hail, you don't have floods, you don't get ice storm, like some of the other provinces do. And I think that that's reflected in the insurance rates that are offered in Manitoba because the rates in Manitoba are so much lower than other places. It's unbelievable. I love rating insurance and Manitoba because it's so easy. Its great coverage and the premiums are significantly lower. So, you guys are really lucky.

Adrian:

Well and we're also lucky that mosquito counts do not affect insurance premiums.

Courtney:

Yeah, exactly.

Adrian:

Courtney, thanks so much for being a guest on today's episode of I Love Winnipeg Real Estate. It's been a pleasure to have you.

Courtney:

Awesome. Thank you so much, Adrian. Take care.

Courtney Johnson

Business Development Specialist