Choosing The Right Insurance Agent

Personality of the Insurance Agent

Have conversations with prospective agents. Explain your situation and ask for a quote. Simply asking does not mean you have to work with them. This is a chance for you to get a feel for how they work and if you’re comfortable with them.

There are 2 types of Insurance Agents:

A. Independent Agents – These are people who own a small business who represents or an affiliate of a number of insurance companies.

B. Direct Insurance Agents – A direct insurance company sells directly to you without an agent, typically online.

Best choice:

Go with the Independent Agent since they have the opportunity to offer you a best match price and coverage for your needs. They have all the data that they can compare between insurance companies. They sell a variety of insurance and financial products, including property, life, casualty, health, disability and long-term care insurance. They are your one-stop-shop for insurance needs.

2. Credentials

A knowledgeable insurance agent can give advice when deciding what coverage and limits a client needs to protect their family and investments. An insurance agent who have credentials has attestation of qualification, authority or competence, and guaranteed professional in the field of insurance industry.

Nice to Have:

  • CFP – Certified Financial Planner.
  • CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter
  • CPCU – Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter
  • ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant
  • PFS – Personal Financial Specialist
  • CIC – Certified Insurance Counselor
  • ARM – Associate in Risk Management

Licensing

Before buying an insurance from an insurance agent, make sure that the agent has a license to sell insurance. It’s like a patient consulting a doctor and the doctor is required to get a license before they can provide prescriptions. Each state requires insurance agents to hold a license to sell policies. Some states require separate licenses to sell property and casualty insurance versus life and health insurance.

3. Client Feed Backs

While you’re checking whether the agent is licensed, also check to see if they’ve had complaints filed against them. For the company, you can check the NAIC’s CIS or call your state insurance department. The insurance department can also tell you if any complaints have been filed against the agent. You also might check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any consumers have filed complaints – or compliments – about the agents you’re considering.

4. Ask Questions

It is okay to ask questions when looking for an agent. In fact, you should be asking questions when deciding who you want to work with. Some good questions are:

  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • What is your reach? Are you local? Statewide? Nationwide?
  • What is your experience in my industry? How many years have you been writing this type of insurance?
  • Do you have any client references?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many companies do you represent? Which ones?

Of course there are lots of factor to consider when choosing an insurance agent. Take note of the most important things when trusting someone to provide you with the best coverage for your business needs. You always have an option to switch agents, but it is much better to do a research beforehand to find the great insurance partner.

What is Flood Insurance and Why Do I Need It?

What Is Flood Insurance And Why Do I Need It?

Weather can be extremely unpredictable. No matter where you live, protecting your home with flood insurance coverage from a respected insurance agent is highly recommended. Whether you are in a designated flood zone or not, it is important to speak to you insurance agent to find out the best flood insurance protection for you and your family.

Definition Of A Flood

According to the National Flood Ins. Guide from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a flood is short-term situation where land that is two or more acres in size or two adjacent properties that are normally dry are flooded with water. The cause of a flood can be from overflowing rivers and tides, quick accumulation of surface water, mudflows and land collapse due to erosion from waves and currents.

Purchasing a Policy

Many that live near a river, lake or ocean often seek some level of flood insurance for their property. A flood policy insurance protects the structure of the home, property within the home and other possessions that are caused by a flood. The cost of a policy depends on the amount of risk for the home. An insurance underwriter will look at a topographical map and zoning information in order to determine the level of the risk, which will in turn affect the cost.

Why Get a Flood Insurance Policy?

Those that live in high-risk areas within a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program are required to obtain flood insurance. For others, the standard homeowner’s policy does not cover damage due to a flood. This means that a homeowner is at risk to losing everything if a flood occurs. Many prefer to obtain the additional cover to ensure their property is protected from this natural, sometimes catastrophic disaster. For more information contact an agent today.