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October 7, 2015

Finding advocacy in a time of need

When a fire forced the Primo family out of their home and into temporary housing, our claims & insurance advocacy helped them in their time of need. 

For Diane and Quintin Primo and their three children, their home in Lake Forest, Illinois, is a sanctuary where the busy family of five unwinds and recharges from the demands of their full schedules. Just like any family, home is also where the Primos prefer to celebrate the holidays and spend time making new memories together. But last winter on a sub-zero day, a fire forced the Primos out of their home and into temporary housing for the first time in their lives.

Beyond the expected

The fire that started in the basement boiler room and spread quickly to all three floors of the Primos’ home showed Mr. and Mrs. Primo just how critical it is to have the right insurance team  in place to support them when they need it most. A team of Marsh McLennan Agency Private Client Services (MMA PCS) representatives were with the Primos hours after the fire to discuss next steps. The Primos were impressed with the responsiveness, speed of execution, and objectivity MMA PCS provided.  “Right after we had the fire, I was suddenly hearing many friends’ claims stories all at once and they were not good stories,” Mrs. Primo explains, “[w]e’re fortunate to have a beautiful story to tell.”

Mrs. Primo points out that their insurance carrier and MMA PCS continuously went above and beyond what was expected and impressed them with the high level of attention to detail, personalized touch, and overall support they received every step of the way. One claims representative who stands out in Mrs. Primo’s mind was assigned to get the belongings the Primo family needed on an emergency basis from their home. They gave the representative a list of only the important items, like their youngest child’s favorite blanket. The beloved blanket was not in the room they thought it would be in, but the claims representative had the foresight to look in other locations in the house and found it. It was the attention to these kinds of things that Mrs. Primo can’t be grateful enough for.

Mr. and Mrs. Primo’s first priority was to secure a stable and comfortable living arrangement for their children while their home was being rebuilt. Luckily they have a strong sense of community in Lake Forest and a charitable network of friends who let them move in until they were able to find a long-term solution with the help of the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier then showed their appreciation to the two families who opened their homes to the Primo family by personally thanking them and sending gifts of appreciation.

Rebuilding a unique 30-year collection

The Primo family was able to move back into their home 10 months after the fire, just in time to celebrate the holidays in their own home. When the family had Christmas in their newly renovated home, it looked like their family’s traditional holiday before the fire. Mrs. Primo has collected African-American Christmas ornaments for the past 30 years and had amassed quite the collection. They asked her what she had, and she described everything. She was impressed that the insurance carrier assigned someone to do extensive research and replace her entire collection of Christmas ornaments. Some pieces were very hard to find, but the representative found all of them for Mrs. Primo.

To have things back to the way they were before the fire amazed Mrs. Primo. “A lot of people say that they are going to do things. Our insurance carrier and Marsh PCS stood behind the insurance concept of ‘like kind and quality.’ For us, that is important. You don’t want to feel you are in a lessor place, with lessor quality things, or in a lessor location. You were willing to back us up."

Looking back, Mr. Primo appreciates the thorough analysis MMA PCS provided to find coverage gaps with his previous carrier and ensure he received the right protection for his home and lifestyle when he first became a client. “Through the counsel of Marsh PCS, we significantly reduced our premiums while increasing our coverage. I could not give Marsh higher marks in terms of their assessment and getting the right amount of coverage and carrier in place.”

A connection that touched home

Now more than ever before, Mr. and Mrs. Primo understand the importance of maintaining a solid home environment. This experience has affected their professional lives as well. The couple serves on the board of The Primo Center for Women and Children, a transitional homeless shelter for families in Chicago founded by Mr. Primo’s father. “The emotional aspect of being homeless is so overwhelming — you have no idea what it’s like until you experience it yourself,” Mr. Primo explains.

Mrs. Primo views the entire experience as an important life lesson for their children to understand what it’s like to be without a traditional home. To her, the fire reinforced the importance of what she does at The Primo Center. She knows firsthand that those coming out of a trauma need to be cared for in a positive environment by supportive people.

Mrs. Primo appreciates the fact that she didn’t have to convince anyone to do anything they weren’t already going to do to get her family back to normalcy.

For more information, please request a home quote.