THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2015
So you've decided to start the insurance shopping process and have decided you want to use the services of an agent. Good for you!
An insurance agent is more than just a salesperson. He or she is an expert in analyzing risk and finding the coverages that minimize the risks you face. A good agent doesn’t tell you what to buy, but instead presents you a series of options and recommends which option is best for you. You make the purchasing decision(s).
If you decide to use an agent as opposed to buying the coverage(s) directly from an insurance company, what should you look for?
* Tip. First and foremost, the agent must have extensive experience in the coverage(s) you want/need. Insurance is a business of specialists, mainly because it’s next to impossible to understand all the coverages (or lines) that are available. Some agents specialize in selling insurance to businesses. Other agents concentrate on coverages for individuals. If you are running a business, you will want a commercial lines agent to recommend coverages for your business.
Different Types of Insurance Agents
There are, however, different types of agents who sell insurance. Some agents represent only one insurance company. Many of these companies are well-known:- State Farm, Nationwide, Farmers. They are good companies, and their agents are good as well.
Some agents represent many insurance companies. They are called independent agents because they are literally that, independent. Unlike the “captive” agents that represent just one company, independent agents can offer you coverage with several insurance companies.
A good independent agent represents several insurers. If you go to an independent agent, you get options. Coverage options. Price options.
In looking for an agent, you should ask questions. How many auto insurance clients do you have? Homeowners clients? How long have you been an insurance agent? How many companies do you represent? You want the answers to these questions to be “a lot” and “a long time.”
Consider Not Just Agent, but Agency As Well
Note: It’s also important to consider not just the agent, but the agency he or she works for, especially if you need several different kinds of coverage. Say you have an in-home business and you want specialized coverage for it.
The agent who sold you auto and homeowners insurance might not know anything about insuring in-home businesses, but another agent in the office might have a lot of experience in this area. There’s nothing wrong with being a client of more than one agent in the same agency.
Note: You’ll probably be supported by a “team” of insurance professionals from the agency. Most of your regular communication will probably be with highly skilled Customer Service Representatives who are trained in how to handle policy changes, answer questions and support you in the claims process.
If you are considering the purchase of life and/or disability insurance, you should be aware that agents need a different license to sell these coverages than to sell auto, homeowners, renters, umbrella and in-home business insurance.
As such, you may need to find a different agency or a different agent within the same agency to buy these coverages from. If your agent can’t support you, he or she can refer someone to you from inside or outside the agency.
Again, it’s important to buy insurance from an expert in each kind of coverage you need. Don’t settle for anything, or anyone, less.
In Ohio and looking for a great agent? Give Alan Galvez Insurance a call at (937) 592-4871 to discuss how we make the insurance process easier for you. You can also contact us via our website and request a quote. Read our Galvez Guarantee- it's our promise to you. Let us know how we can help you!
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