Like most Decembers, your clients are deep into the holiday rush. But no matter which holidays your client celebrates, independent agents can use this time as an opportunity to reengage with them and ensure they have safety top of mind.
Most of your interactions involve problems with bills, claims or changes in the household but you can take the initiative to connect with clients about other topics during this season. Whether it's through a direct message or an email newsletter, wish your client a happy holiday season while giving them tips on how to have a safe, healthy and smooth holiday season.
Most homeowners know not to let Christmas trees dry out or to overload electric circuits, but here are three other hazards you should highlight:
1) Beware of the Grinch. If clients plan to travel during the holidays and a package is scheduled to arrive when they are out of town, tell clients to avoid a theft claim—and an empty space under a tree—by arranging for a neighbor to pick the package up for safekeeping.
If a package is left out on the stoop, it may be damaged or stolen. And a lonely package sitting outside signals that the house is empty, making it vulnerable to break-ins. Tell clients to keep a light on a timer at night so the house looks like it is occupied; that way, they can avoid a “Home Alone" moment!
2) Rocking around the front porch steps. Remind your policyholders about ice on their property. It's a frozen pool of liability. If a neighbor or party guest slips on an icy front step and injures themself, the homeowner could be held liable for their medical expenses.
Salt is cheaper than insurance. Spread it on walkways and clear icicles that may have formed on gutters that could potentially fall on guests or damage roofs.
Speaking of icicles, they may look dazzling hanging from a roof, but they can cause ice dams, which cause severe damage to homes by loosening shingles, tearing off gutters, causing paint to peel, ruining attic insulation and more.
3) Before Santa's cookies are left next to the tree. In the midst of hosting and holiday cheer, homeowners can forget basic safety when it comes to cooking. Agents can remind homeowners to keep an eye on food while it's cooking and to remember to turn off the oven or stove.
Prior to hosting a holiday gathering, remind homeowners to check their fire extinguisher is working. Double-check that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly.
The holidays are a great time to pick up the phone or send emails to wish clients a happy holiday season while reminding them about ways to enjoy a safe holiday celebration.
About the author
Bill Martin is the president and CEO of Plymouth Rock Assurance.