Author Topic: Roll of insurance company and agent, multi-family property  (Read 430 times)


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 137
  • Location: SF Bay, peninsula
Roll of insurance company and agent, multi-family property
« on: December 29, 2020, 03:46:25 PM »
I'm embarrassed not to know this, but I have a question regarding business insurance on a multi-family property.

I don't understand the roll of the agent. I was just sent an offer for earthquake insurance by the insurance company (Mercury). I have carried EQ insurance the past year, having FIRE'd and therefore being much more dependent on the rental income than previously. I intend to continue with EQ coverage. The direct offer from the insurance company (CA law to offer) is about half the premium of what my agent set me up with last year, albeit with higher deductibles. I inquired with the agent about this, asking for a take on the options side by side. I felt the question was dodged and I was told the policy they obtained last year was "quite a bit broader". I also see that the policy they obtained (Lloyd's of London) includes a 7.5% commission.

Perfectly fair to earn commissions for selling new policies. I'm feeling like this is influencing their willingness to talk to me about the newly offered policy.

I guess the question is: how does an agent fit in to the insurance process for multi-family, with these yearly renewals. Do I need to be skeptical about this, or would they have no incentive to counsel me about the direct offer from Mercury (obtained via GeoVera, but offered apart from the agent.)

Thanks for your kind replies - all my other RE experience has been smaller buildings, no EQ, in another state and much cheaper insurance, which I just renewed yearly and never even dealt with agents.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 80
Re: Roll of insurance company and agent, multi-family property
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2020, 08:57:19 PM »
This situation might be a little fishy being that GeoVera (through Mercury) offered a lower price then your current policy.  In my experience, Lloyd's of London polices are very expensive because they mostly are good at covering hard to cover buildings.  GeoVera on the other hand is a more traditional insurance company who looks for buildings they are unlikely to have to payout on.  It wouldn't hurt to pursue GeoVera as you might find that, depending on your property, they revise the quote significantly different then the original estimate.  If they don't you might have a poor insurance agent.


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 4869
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Roll of insurance company and agent, multi-family property
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 05:34:28 PM »
In the auto insurance space, the insurance companies sometimes will offer lower premiums if you buy from them directly vs with an agent. They have to pay the agent remember. I assume this can happen in property insurance as well.

From your perspective, the agent is supposed to help you deal with the insurance company, navigate paperwork, etc.


  • Senior Mustachian
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  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Roll of insurance company and agent, multi-family property
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 06:56:37 PM »
Sorry, I just can't help myself. What kind of "roll" is your agent? Parker House, sourdough or Poppin' Fresh? Seriously, the word is "role". Blame autofill, but please fix it already. It's making me too damn hungry.