Navigating the insurance industry can be difficult. There are a lot of options that can make the decision-making process confusing and there are a lot of resources, agents and insurance companies, to make it hard to find the perfect one for your needs.
However, with the proper precautions and research you can weed out the options that aren’t right for you and work your way to your perfect insurance solution.
Here are some tips to finding the perfect insurance agent:
First learn the different types of insurance agents and brush up on your insurance knowledge in order to be educated on terms and types of policies that are available. There are three types of insurance agents:
#1) Independent agent: An independent agent has contacts with several different insurance companies and earns a commission from the insurance company.
#2) Captive agent: A captive agent is an insurance agent that writes exclusively with one company and earns a commission from the insurance company.
#3) Insurance broker: For insurance for a small business, owners may choose an insurance broker. An insurance broker represents your company in the local insurance market to find you the best coverage for the best possible price.
Not all insurance companies use agents to sell their products. You can choose to do business directly with some insurance companies, which can be cheaper because the company doesn’t have to pay the agent a commission, but you will be limited to that company’s offerings, which may or may not offer you the best coverage for the right budget.
Ask around and find out why your colleagues enjoy working with their agent. Are they friendly? Are they knowledgeable? How do they handle a claim?
Do some research on the internet for the insurance coverage you think you need. Larger, more reputable companies will show up in the search results first.
Talk with other small business owners or your local trade associations for their advice on insurance needs.
Have conversations with prospective agents and remember that just because you ask for a quote does not mean you have to work with them. Your initial interactions with them is your chance to learn how they work.
Many agents and brokers will have letters behind their names on their business cards, ask them what these letters mean and what they had to accomplish to earn the credentials.
Make sure the agent and the company they are writing your policy with are licensed in your state. You can check company licensing information on the NAIC Consumer Information Source or by calling your state insurance department.
Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective agent to provide references.
Research and ask for referrals for the perfect insurance agent.
It’s important to take the time to do you research and ask for referrals for insurance agents because if you have to file a claim, having a knowledgeable and reliable insurance agent can make a huge difference.
Take the time to learn about their services, ask for references and experience what it’s like to work with them. This way, you will feel comfortable and confident knowing that the agent you selected is qualified and will provide you with top-notch customer service.