Buying insurance through an agent offers many benefits, but only when you choose the right one. First, choose an independent agent over one that’s employed by a single insurance company so they can access more products for the best rates and coverage.
Even if you already use an independent agent, you’ll want to ensure they’re doing their best to protect your interests. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether your agent is one your side or if you need to look for another.
They Treat You Well
Your agent should listen carefully to what you say so they understand what you value most. They should also make themselves available to you should you have questions or concerns.
At the very least, they should offer timely responses to your phone calls and emails. Reputable agents are usually available for in-office visits too.
If you can’t easily contact your agent, it is best to look elsewhere. Otherwise, they almost certainly won’t be available to you when you need them the most, such as when you need to file a claim.
They’re Positive & Persistent
Your insurance agent should exude the energy and enthusiasm needed to do their job well. If it seems insurance is just their job and not their passion, you may want to look for another agent.
Agents need plenty of energy to sift through the many options available to find what’s best for you. If they’ve lost their zip, they could just sell you what they know best since it is easier.
They Demonstrate Honesty & Integrity
Since you rely on your agent’s expertise and advice, it is very important they’re transparent, forthright, and honest. Check customer ratings and the agent’s license through your state’s division of insurance.
They Have Industry Expertise
Great insurance agents have a comprehensive selection of products and services at their fingertips and can access others difficult to find in the traditional marketplace.
Dedicated agents often seek accreditation or designations in specific areas and functions in insurance too. For instance, if you need business insurance you may want an agent with the Associate in Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designation, because they understand the requirements of insurance clients and your business.
They Tailor Coverage To Your Needs
If your insurance agent is always trying to increase your coverage or sell you another policy without explaining why, they could be more interested in easy sales than what you actually need.
Of course, sometimes it is in your interest to carry more or additional coverage, but your agent should explain the reasons and how their product choices work best for you. They should also offer the best possible coverage within your budget.
If your agent delivers good coverage at competitive rates and you can reach them when you have questions, you can certainly continue using them.
However, too many people automatically renew their insurance coverage and assume they’re well-protected. Take a few minutes to consider what you’re receiving for your insurance dollar. If your insurance agent isn’t really working for you, it’s time to look elsewhere.