5 Tips For Finding the Right Insurance Agent
Finding the right insurance agent can be confusing. If you’re going to trust someone to help protect your family’s financial future, there’s a lot to consider. Having worked with independent insurance agents for centuries, we want to help you find the right insurance agent to meet your individual needs.
Here are 5 insurance agent tips to help you find your perfect match.
1. Ask a trusted source for a recommendation
Asking a friend or family member who they’ve worked with to find their home insurance policy is a great first step. This way, you know ahead of time that the person you choose is someone that has a good reputation for delivering quality advice and service.
2. Ask questions
If you don’t have a personal recommendation, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you meet with the prospective agent for the first time — especially if it is your first time buying a home!
Some things to consider asking:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you specialize in personal insurance or insurance for businesses?
- If I have a loss and need to file a claim, what can I expect from you in the process?
- Is your agency a “captive” agent or are you an independent agent that can offer me choices from a variety of different insurance companies?
3. Look for testimonials
Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc. all offer testimonials of local businesses, including independent insurance agencies. Checking out the insurance agents’ online presence is a great place to start. However, you should take balanced approach to reading these reviews rather than one extremely positive or negative post. Website posts tend to lean towards the negative, so keep that in mind when viewing on-line testimonials.
4. Know what to expect
Independent agents are appointed by insurance companies to represent them and to sell the company’s insurance products on their behalf. The agent is paid a commission for the policies they sell — which is included in the price of the policy. Independent agents do the insurance “shopping” for you once you explain your needs, budget and expectations in terms of service. It is very rare that you would be charged a service fee when working with an independent agent. If your agent charges a fee in addition to receiving a commission, you should be aware of this up front and sign an agreement that stipulates the reason for the fee and your agreement to pay such a fee.
5. How will you know it’s a good fit?
You need to feel comfortable that the person you decide to choose is someone you believe you can trust if that time comes and you need professional service. Insurance is a promise on a piece of paper that you hope you’ll never need to use. However, if you do need to “use” your insurance and file a claim, the agent who sold you the policy is your advocate during the claims process. Knowing your needs, how your policy will respond to your specific claim and how to best protect your property and your rights under the insurance policy is the agent’s job.
After asking these questions of your agent, ask yourself; “Is this a person I can trust to put my interests first when settling my claim?” Trust your instincts and your intuition when considering all of these factors and then your final decision will be an informed decision.
Ready to get started with an agent? Use our Find an Agent locator to get started!