Insider Secrets Buying a Home  Home Owners Insurance 

Gain some major insight from the latest Home-and-Seek Podcast brought to you by our CEO Eric Criner  


All right,
good morning,
And,we're super excited to have a friend of ours and a good friend of the Veterans Real Estate Benefits Program
Bryce Palmer on our podcast this morning.
Bryce is out there in that lovely state of Kansas coming to us live over,
the internet.

And,we're glad to have you,

Bryce.thanks for sharing a few minutes with us.
and so Bryce is part of,
the armed forces insurance company,
which I'm gonna let Bryce talk about in just a minute.
but they do amazing work for our veterans and they're really military focused,So we're glad to have you on and thanks for,being on the show,
I appreciate you having me here.

It's,always good to be able to get out and,
talk to,a different group to,
talk a little bit about insurance.
It's not an exciting topic,
but,it is one that unfortunately all of us need myself included.
So it's good to get some good information out there.
Yeah.The only time insurance is exciting is when they need it.
Yes.Then it becomes the most important thing in their life.
so good to have you.
And I was just gonna start out Bryce.
just a little bit about yourself.
And what kind of got you into the insurance business?
Well,like most people,
insurance is never your first,choice of careers.
It's not even your second choice of careers.
I guess it was just opportunity.
So I was transitioning out of one situation where I was actually a small business owner.
had,only I will call it a alternative health care,
chiropractic and other and other avenues and had divested my interest in that and was looking for an opportunity.
An old college buddy of mine reached out and said,
hey,the insurance company,I'm working for a large bank at the time,
was hiring,was ramping up a new insurance group and he remembered my work we did in college on the phones,doing college jobs and thought I'd be good at it.
And I guess that's where it kind of went from there.
It wasn't a dream of mine,that's for sure.Perfect,

It worked out it,it did more than pay the bills and it sent me down a route Ididn't expect.
Well,they're lucky to have you.
you're a great face for the company.
so tell us a little bit about armed forces insurance.
I mean,
who are they?
Why are they different?
so who are we,
where did you know,
where do we start?
Well,I guess I'll just kind of dive in.

So we are one of two insurance companies in the United States that focus primarily or solely on military and veteran families.
we were founded,
over 100 and 35 years ago.
So I think around back in 1887 here where I'm at in
Leavenworth,Kansas or around at Fort Leavenworth.
Everyone knows Fort Leavenworth is the home of the prison or home of the
home of the disciplinary barracks.
But prior to that,it was
an old West army outpost that uh soldiers would come and then,
then go off into the,
essentially the wild West fighting the planes,
wars at the time.
And our,group of officers could not get insurance for their property.
So they got together formed a cooperative um interesting history note.
Captain Arthur macarthur was one of the founders,
his son,Douglas macarthur went on to become general of the army.
So a little bit of history there of where our military routes go.
But yeah,we are,we provide home insurance across the United States to military and veteran families.
And other personal insurance products and then,
personal property around the world.
talk to this just for a second.

Because I think one thing that's really cool about armed force insurance,

not only have they been around for over 100 years,

which proves they're doing something.


Because you can sustain 100 years in business.
you're doing something right.
or you're doing a lot of things.

you also have the ability to kind of broker out your insurance to kind of find out the best carrier
we do.

So we've taken the tac here.

we have our own personal insurance product lines you know,

our own personal policies,

home insurance,

valuable items,

personal property.

And that's really what started us off all those years ago,

but we packed this about 20 to 25 years ago and started offering,

I don't want to see our competitors but started offering solutions through other insurance companies,

national partners.

I'll call them with folks like nationwide and travelers of the

world companies,

everyone's heard of to be able to provide alternate insurance


So we truly shop your your coverage.

We're not just looking at our policies,

we're looking at theirs,

but I think the key is is that if I end up or my team ends up writing an insurance

policy outside of our company,

we handle all the customer service with it so you don't stray from us too far.
we might put you with one company that better serves you based on price and coverages for that region,
but you're still gonna call the same agent back when you got to change your auto or you gotta change something.


Well,you know,

let's kind of jump into the homeowner's insurance for just a second.

I mean,you know,for those listening to this,

I mean,as you may or may not know,

but if you get a mortgage,
you have to escrow and you have to maintain a homeowner's insurance policy and there's different
policies for condos and houses and you know,
there's flood and all that kind of stuff.
but it is part of your house payment and it does affect your budget.
And so it's a really important part of homeownership.
People don't often think about it and they don't realize that that has to be,you know,
there has to be a policy in place before you close because the lender is not that excited about giving you a $300,000 loan on a house that's not insured,
you know.
so you gotta have a policy,
you got to have a policy in place and part of that cost of that policy gets right into your closing costs.
And so it not only affects your cash to close,
but it also affects your monthly payment really from then on out.
And so, you know, it really is an important part of homeownership and it's not usually well understood
and veterans or non veterans really don't think about it until their agent brings it up or their lender brings it up.
And then all of a sudden it's like this little scurrying around.
I got to find a policy.
and it's usually quite often can be a very spontaneous decision and not one that's well thought out.
And if you get a hold of like armed forces insurance,
you can at least give them the,
the information on your home and say shop this,
let me know,give me some quotes and they may not,
you know,you may not be the most competitive but you normally are,
but it's worth checking it out,
you know.And so,you know,I want to get your kind of feedback and that was just kind of a lead in for those who don't understand why insurance
is so important.
I want to talk a little bit about what you're seeing in the,
this kind of insurance business right,
right now with policies.
No,it's a good point.
we get those calls a lot where uh insurance in for,
in the home buying process.
Insurance is usually that almost that last step before the lender gets to clear to
close and the closing date is firm and the say that last
what can happen is,between inflation claims the cost of
goods going up,
insurance costs are going up.
And so when they're estimating out those,
those insurance dollars that what's gonna be part of your loan payment,
some of the numbers aren't accurate.
So families are out there scrambling like you said,
they go to their insurance company,
they get a quote and they realize holy cow,
this is 1000 to 1500 more expensive than I thought it would be.
Maybe even more.
What do I do?
And now they're,
you know,essentially they don't qualify for the loan anymore.

So they run to a quick,

we need a policy fast to get this going and they start shopping,

you know,


which is never a good thing to do for any product.

So yeah,


we're seeing that a lot.

So it's good to get out in front of it early and it's good to shop because it doesn't cost

anything to.

It costs a little bit of time,

but our group tries to make it the easiest thing that you do in the home buying process.

You have a lot of forms,

a lot of questions,

a lot of documents that go back and forth.

I know I just bought a house here about a year,

a year and a half ago.

but if you can get us some basic information,

even five minutes on the phone,

we can start spitting quotes back to you very quickly.

That gives you an idea of where it's at.

And then hopefully,

then once you say yes,

we can get a policy turned around quickly for you and to your lender so they can get you through the underwriter,
just for everybody listening,
you, know the,
the question that comes to your mind.

Well, how do I do this?

If,you go to www.VREB network .com ,

armed forces insurance is listed as a partner and it gives you a link where you can just kind of

go right in there and it goes directly in the armed forces insurance and you can get a quote through

there and then that lets armed forces insurance know that you're working with

it just kind of cements the whole relationship and,

and it keeps it very,

very clean and fast.


and someone from my team will,

work with new home buyers,

especially new home buyers is the key.

Those are the ones that have when you haven't done it before.

And our team,

we've got to go into it expecting a new home buyer never done it before.

We're here to educate.

So we're gonna give them the information,

we're gonna reach out and explain the process.

And then at the,

the best part about it is we take care of it on the back end,

getting all those documents to your lenders.

So your client,

you know,

the home buyer doesn't have to,

it's just one less thing.


And we,love to have you back in the future and talk a little bit more detail about some of these subjects.

But,you know,one thing I'll fill out there is as a real estate broker

is you got to, really challenge your roofs age and you really have to have those discussions about your roof on your


the age of the roof,

you know,

does it have hurricane straps if you're in hurricane state,

you know,

the electrical panel holds the electrical panel.

When's the last time electrical was updated?

I mean,

you may fall in love with the home,

but it may be uninsurable.

So um that might be an extreme,

but it might be very expensive to insure

so you gotta have those in depth discussions um be because when,

when you call any insurance company,

you're gonna have that discussion.

So it's better to find that out during the inspections period and get

that worked out.

And if that roof is 20 to 25 years old,

make it a condition of sell,

make it part of the sale and,

and hold that seller accountable,

who may have had that house for 20 years and enjoyed that roof,

but that roof is shot,

that roof is done.

so hold that seller accountable,

get that roof switched out,

get a new roof,

get the straps,

get it all up the code.

And then when you call somebody like Bryce and armed forces insurance,

the policy is going to be a little bit more reasonable and they'll write the policy versus,

you know,

not having any roof life on your home.


and I'll just touch quick on the roof.

That's one of the,

it's one of the biggest cost drivers on an insurance policy.

The newer the roof,

the oftentimes the less expensive the insurance policy is and it's

probably the number one reason why a house gets declined by an insurance company is because just like you


the roof's too old or in bad shape and they're just gonna say no because the the

the amount of roof claims insurance companies are paying is really stressing the industry

out right now.
Yeah,it's really gotten crazy.
I mean I can talk a little bit about Florida because we see it all the time.
But,if your roof is more than about 15 years old,
you get a letter from your insurance company saying either replace the roof or we're gonna cancel your policy.
so address that roof during the home buying,
it's key if your agent doesn't understand it,
get a roofing company out there
no matter what,to inspect it,

put an age on the roof,

put a life expectancy on the roof,

put a condition on it.

Do not let an agent look up there and say your roof looks fine.

I mean,very few agents have ever put a shingle on a roof.

Correct? So, just do not accept that.

Is that roof looks fine?


Please don't do that for me.


it's so true.
I mean,
if I looked at a roof I could,
it looks good.
And then you get,
an expert up there and they're like,
what are you doing?

it's all right.
And so,
just keep that in mind and then,

we probably don't have time to get into flood insurance,
but we'd love to have you back on another day and talk a little bit more detail about flood
I mean,
if you're in a flood zone that is definitely a subject that you need to understand.
And there's a lot of changes that have happened in the last year on flood insurance as well.
the government is or the,
the National Flood Insurance program has gone to a new model of rating and
determining flood zones and that is a whole,
that's probably a, topic for another day because it would take long for in this to go into.

So we,love to have you back again,

Bryce and talk a little bit,

you know,

pick your brain on the flood and maybe talk a little bit more about,

you know,

the homeowner's insurance.

But, there's a quick,

you know,

arm armed force insurance can also help you with automobile insurance,


o you,

so you can bundle automobile insurance,

homeowners policy,

you can bundle flood in there,

you can put all your insurance needs in there.

and it really helps out and then you got one person to go to,

to take care of all your stuff.

So that makes life easier as well.

And so,you know,

working with thousands and thousands of veterans,

I mean,I constantly get feedback,

because we talked to our veterans after closing and,

and the feedback I get is they like the service they get for armed force insurance.

They like the quote,

the people there know what they're doing.

but most of all they love the pricing.

So again,

I'm not saying they're always the cheapest in the world and I'm not saying that,

but I'm just saying they're very competitive and a lot of our veterans comment on,

you know,

that it helped them qualify as Bryce said,

you know,

the cost of the insurance allowed them to squeak into that

$350,000 house,

which is just right on the margin or 4 50 whatever is on your margin.

so we appreciate you taking care of our veterans and,

we appreciate what you do for our veterans as well.

Of all the other veterans you take care of.

I mean,certainly not all veterans are ours but the clients that we send over to you,

that we give them your information to.

So we appreciate that.

We get a lot of great reviews for armed forces insurance,

for homeowners insurance,

flood insurance,

uh with the veterans real estate benefits,

network clients,

so appreciate all that.

And,so,back about,

I don't know,


20 years ago,

probably close to 30 years ago.

I spent a little time at Fort Leavenworth.

but to clarify,

I was there for Command and General Staff College,

not for any short tour at the prison,

but that prison is,

a Federal Prison is really just a,

a huge building and it is quite an architectural building to look at,

you know.



the f the Federal Prison is,

is quite something driving by it.

It is that old,

I don't want to say,


it's that old government architecture,

very just regal but yet intimidating.

And then the new,

the new,

the new disciplinary barracks that they've recently built is uh quite a,

quite a building as Well,

they've got on the north end of the,

it's interesting,

hings and interesting history here,

that's for sure.

I'm a firm believer if they,

if they had the Fort Leavenworth prison in every big city and people could drive by and see what a big

prison looks like.I think our crime rates would be a lot lower because it's,

it's pretty intimidating.


it's definitely somewhere I wouldn't want to visit.

long term.



but,Bryce again,

thanks for sharing some time with us.

we look forward to having you back,

on another show.

Talk a little bit more about flood insurance drill more into the home,

homeowners insurance and all that kind of stuff.


love to do it and I appreciate your time today.

Reach Armed Forces Insurance through our website at they are listed as one of our partners

Active duty or veteran and need a great home owners isnurance policy contact us today. together we have helped 1000s of veterans


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