By Sondra Barr
Rebecca Kossmann is passionate about making sure people understand insurance. In the over 18 years Kossmann has been an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual, she’s seen the detrimental effects of having too little insurance or none at all.
“People don’t understand insurance,” says Kossmann. “I try to educate them and have them take a close look at coverage and how it will affect them and their family. Having little to no insurance bankrupts people and they usually don’t understand the full ramifications until they have an accident.”
Kossmann grew up in Illinois and attended college at Northern Illinois University before a visit to Phoenix changed her trajectory.
“I was working in health insurance marketing back home and one of the companies’ competitors was opening up an office in Phoenix and I contacted them,” says Kossmann. Within a year of being hired, the company shuttered their offices, but not before a headhunter reached out to Kossmann to see if she was interested in working for Liberty Mutual.
After five years as manager of Liberty Mutual’s Ahwatukee call center, Kossmann was ready to branch out. “I’m an extraverted person. Being an agent means getting out and meeting people and getting referral sources,” she says. “Plus, the great thing about insurance is that everyone on the planet needs insurance in one form or another.”
Since then, she’s been providing personal insurance lines, including home, auto, life, annuity, motorcycle, and RV.
“Most people’s biggest assets are their homes and I’m always astonished that so many people have no idea how their homeowner’s insurance works,” says Kossmann, who takes the time to explain coverage and find a cost-effective policy to meet her client’s needs, while trying to dissuade them from the cheapest options. “The cheapest thing is not going to rebuild your home in case of a catastrophic event.”
She recounts a personal experience to emphasize why cheaper isn’t better. “A Ford Expedition flipped in front of me as a result of another driver and sprayed my car with battery acid. Thankfully it didn’t land on top of my vehicle. The Ford was totaled, and I had $7,000 in damage to my car from the battery acid. The 19-year-old who caused the accident was liable for $47,000 in damages. He only had state minimum limits at the time, which only gave him $10,000 of coverage. He ended up having his wages garnished to pay it off.”
Insurance companies will do what they need to do to recoup their money, including suing people, garnishing wages, and putting liens on homes, which is why having appropriate coverage is important, according to Kossmann.
Having her efforts payoff is worthwhile, like the time a family’s heirloom ring was stolen and Kossmann had urged them to add a jewelry rider, or when she’s sold life insurance to families who’ve been able to stay in their homes after loved ones have passed away.
Being able to quote other companies is another huge benefit to her clients. “If I quote something with Liberty Mutual and I don’t feel it’s the best rate for a specific situation, I can shop it with other companies including Progressive, Travelers, and Nationwide,” says Kossmann, who’s committed to offering affordable insurance programs to help her clients lead safer, more secure lives.
To learn more, visit libertymutual.com/rebeccakossmann.