Omari J. Faulkner created his company, O. Faulkner & Associates after being devalued at a previous employer and intentionally helping people about the importance of being educated about insurance.
Why is it vital for you to educate people about insurance?
Having insurance can be the difference between financial security and financial hardship. Many times, people are misinformed on the advantages of being adequately covered.
The purpose of insurance is to restore the insured back to their original state prior to a loss occurring. If one is not adequately protected, it may create a situation where the loss adversely impacts the insured and their family.
Tell us about your company.
My company is an independent insurance agency, which means that I control all aspects regarding how my agency is run. I do not have financial backing from major companies, and I make all decisions on how my agency will grow without the influence of “the machine” funding my business venture.
I contract with various companies based on the insurance needs of clients, the partnering company’s reputation within the insurance industry, and specific adversities that the insured may face (credit, prior loss history, payment options, etc.) while attempting to obtain coverage.
What states are you currently licensed?
I am licensed in all states, except Hawaii. As of today, I am only writing business in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, but I will be adding more states in the next few months as my business grows and the demand from specific markets increases.
Why do you think people disregard renter’s insurance so much?
From my personal experience, people think that any loss while occupying the rental property will never occur or that insurance is a waste of money. When discussing personal property coverage for an insured, I always pull from my own loss experience and how insurance helped my brother, and I get back to where we were before our loss occurred.
We had a fire in our apartment because our downstairs neighbor did not clean out the dryer vent. Our apartment was a total loss, which means that nothing was salvageable. Fortunately, we had secured insurance and were able to replace all of our belongings that we were not able to remove before the fire consumed our unit.
Is there a way for someone to get health insurance if they have pre-existing health issues?
Yes, if the consumer gets covered through work or through the Healthcare Marketplace, one will be able to be covered for pre-existing conditions. According to healthcare.gov, “No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started.” Conversely, you can be denied for certain medical procedures under your specific insurance plan.
You quit your job and started your company on faith. Was that scary for you?
Initially, yes. I have been working within the insurance industry for independent agents and major companies for my entire 17-year insurance career. I had gotten tired of making companies money and not adequately compensated for the knowledge that I acquired and the experience that consumers benefited.
After selling $1.1M in new business premium with my previous employer and not making 10% of the profit, I decided it was time to use my talent and skills and make it work for me. After 16 months of being outside of the corporate structure, I now realize this was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I now can have the work-life balance I had envisioned all along.
Thank you for writing the article, “5 Myths & Facts About Auto Insurance” for our readers. What other topics do you foresee writing about in the future?
In the future, I would like to write about the misconceptions of insurance, the benefits of insurance, as well as the various products that are available to consumers. Whether it is for personal or commercial (business) coverage, insurance is an everchanging field where new concepts and coverages are added as new business ventures are implemented, and the market demand evolves.
What are the things we should look for when trying to find the best health insurance?
When shopping for health insurance, the most important things to look for are the premium, the deductible, the in-network doctors available if there is any out-of-network coverage, the maximum out of pocket expense, and if you require medication; how much the insurance will cover for prescriptions.
Omari J. Faulkner is a Contributing Editor with the focus being insurance to include life, home, auto, and more. For more information regarding insurance protections and their myths & truths, contact O. Faulkner & Associates at www.InsuranceFaulkner.com.