Are all insurance agents alike? Could just any old agent help you protect your business? How can you find the right broker to work with?
We will try to answer these questions in this article. To get started, here’s a question:
What do you look for in a doctor?
- Would you just pick anyone to go to?
- Or would you want to see a specialist for your health concerns?
- Would you just go to the phone book or on-line and pick the first specialist you see?
- Would you like referrals from friends and family?
- Isn’t it true you want a doctor that takes the time to listen to you instead of pushing you out the door with a prescription?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to have a doctor that understands you and your health concerns?
Just as you would take your time to find the right doctor, accountant or lawyer, it also makes sense to choose an insurance agent for your business the same way.
How do you choose an agent?
1. Talk with them.
The best way to find someone you’re comfortable with is to talk to them over the phone or visit their office.
- Do they take the time to ask you questions about your concerns, needs and what is important to you?
- Or do they do all the talking telling you how great their company is?
- Can they answer all of your questions?
- Do they return your calls and respond promptly with your quotes as promised?
- How do they deal with claims?
Competent insurance agents should be able to answer your questions, help you decide what coverage you need, and offer you insurance products to meet those needs. Ask them also how they deal with claims. Then, decide whether the agencies you contacted are likely to provide you with prompt, quality service on an ongoing basis.
2. Are they looking out after your best interests?
Just as a doctor will suggest how to improve your health with preventive measures like diet and exercise, so too, a good agent will help make suggestions to protect the health of your business.
Here are a few examples:
- How to lower your rates
- How to decrease the likelihood of theft
- How to reduce likelihood of injuries to visitors and workers
- How to reduce other business-related losses pertaining to your industry
3. Choose an agent who knows about your type of business.
Do you want a generalist or a specialist? Here are a few tips that might be helpful:
- Ask friends and colleagues in the same industry about the agent they use.
- Read trade publications in your industry
- Contact your business trade associations to see if they sponsor an insurance program designed specifically for your business.
- Ask your trade association if they have a list of insurers who specialize in your field.
- Talk to your personal agent that provides your auto and homeowners insurance. They might be able to recommend someone for you.
4. Choose an “independent” agent.
Imagine going to a doctor that could only prescribe one medicine for everyone no matter what their problem was. You want the best medicine available for your condition, don’t you? The same thing can happen with insurance agents. Did you know there are 2 different types of agents?
- A “captive agent” represents only one company.
- An “independent agent” represents several companies.
An independent agent can help find the best coverage that you need for your specific situation. He/she is not tied down to only a one size fits all product. They can shop all of the insurance companies and educate you on the pros and cons of each one. Choose an independent agent for the best options for your business.
5. Check their reputation.
What do existing and past clients feel about the service they received? Check the following:
- Google reviews
- Facebook reviews
- Yelp reviews
- Angies List
- Better Business Bureau reviews
We hope that you have found these tips helpful. Why not give insurancehub.com a call today? As an independent agency, we will help match you up with the right coverage that you are looking for!