The Right Advice to Protect Your Lifestyle


Kelly Klee specializes in advising and finding the right insurance coverage for high net-worth individuals and families. Following is an interview with General Manager John Smith about some of the important insurance considerations that are unique to those in this position.

Q: Why should successful individuals and families be more aware of their insurance choices?
A: Our customers have more exposures. They have more property, more belongings and more to lose if things go wrong.

Q: Why isn’t mass-market insurance the answer for these folks?
A: A lot of times, people will start their careers with little or nothing to protect, so mass-market insurance will meet their needs just fine. As they have more success, they don’t realize that they’ve outgrown their policies. Their mass-market agents may not realize it either, because they either don’t know what they don’t know, or they truly believe the products they offer are adequate. But it’s like the difference between a general practitioner and a specialist—when a medical situation becomes complicated, the specialist is the one to solve it. Our agents have the specialized expertise needed to provide higher-level risk-management advice.

For instance, I worked with a client in Minnesota whose net worth was more than $10 million. He had worked with a mass-market agent for more than 20 years. When we did a review of his policy, we found he was missing some important components, such as guaranteed replacement cost for his home, which was worth more than $4 million. He also lived on a lake and didn’t have coverage for the toys his family used on it. So it was very important to get him up to the correct level of liability coverage.

Mass market couldn’t do it without a significant underwriting process. Even if they could offer an amount close to what he needed, it would have been at a really high price. This is because when people are put into a risk pool, an insurance company can efficiently price coverage based on having others in a similar situation in that pool, too. So an individual in a small pool is going to overpay.

For this client, it made much more sense to switch to one of the high-end insurance carriers that Kelly Klee works with.

Q: So it sounds like having the right liability coverage is an important consideration?
A: Absolutely. A lot of our clients seem to walk between the raindrops—they are hard-working, reliable citizens who make responsible choices on a daily basis. We’re not necessarily worried about them, we’re worried about other people and how they can affect our clients’ lives. Successful individuals can be targets for frivolous lawsuits. The maximum liability offered by many mass-market insurers is between $1-5 million. But if you’re worth more than $10 million and only have $1 million in liability, that’s a problem.

Q: What are some of the other issues unique to this clientele?
A: Our clients don’t live a typical American life. They often participate on nonprofit boards and have multiple homes with expensive finishes and furnishings. Our high-end insurers offer liability coverage for board participation and guaranteed replacement cost on home claims. They also cover things like collections of wine or jewelry or sports memorabilia. And they provide fire protection services for vacation homes in remote areas. The coverage they offer is more thorough and at higher limits.

Q: How would someone know if they’ve outgrown mass-market insurance?
A: It’s an important question to ask. The short answer is, if you’ve thought about engaging a wealth manager or other financial expert to help manage your assets, you should also think about reaching out to an insurance expert like Kelly Klee. We are happy to have a conversation any time, and if we determine that you are a good candidate for our insurers, we will do a thorough assessment of your insurance needs and provide a quote with no obligation.

Q: Any final thoughts?
A: No one wants to think about the bad things that can happen in life, but this is a conversation that needs to be had. With a relatively small investment, you can minimize your exposure to losses by transferring your risk to the insurance company. It’s important to have the right experts giving you advice so you can continue to live the life that you’ve worked so hard to create.

Ready to review your insurance coverage with an expert? Please contact us at 844.885.1600 or email support@kellyklee.com for an easy and thorough insurance checkup.

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