We all have them, whether real or implied, spoken or thought, shared or kept secret from your partner, accomplished or failed. We have these goals/desires/wants/needs for those we share our life with at home, why not have the same for our professional “Life Partners”? When it comes to choosing your insurance agent the same care and consideration should be used as when choosing your Healthcare, Legal, Mechanical and Child Care Professional. Our business has been providing quality service to clients since 1914, so we know a lot about what it takes to be a good one. Follow the guide below to find the right agent to fit your needs:
What are the two types of insurance agents?
- Captive Insurance Agents-This type of agent sells insurance for one company only and is limited to their products
- Independent Insurance Agents-This type of agent represents polices for a number of different insurance companies and can customize solutions to meet your needs.
How to pick an Insurance Agent:
- Find someone close to home.
- When it comes to the digital age, a subject as complex as insurance cannot adequately addressed via a call center or online chat room. Find an agent who is willing to meet you face to face.
- Find someone with your best interest in mind.
- Some agents represent single carriers-State Farm, Farmers, All State, Etc-and can only place you within their allotted “Box”, often these agencies have high turnover rates so experience is low. An independent agent can customize your solutions based off your specific risk profile, offering multiple solutions to fit your needs.
- Find someone you can trust.
- The nature of insurance requires you divulge personal, financial and health information. If you feel like an agent is just trying to sell you a policy, keep searching. The “Trusted Choice” membership designation ensures a consultative relationship, an agent that can diagnose and remediate your areas of risk.
- What happens if…?
- Ask a claims related question. Who inputs the claims for you? The agent or a 1-800#? Will the agent follow up on claims to keep you posted on the outcome? What are the carriers claims satisfaction ratings? Will the agent go to bat on your behalf if you are unsatisfied with a claim? This could mean moving you to another carrier at renewal!
- Get the full story.
- Does the agent fully explain the coverages, deductibles, exclusions, premiums and terms? When you leave a discussion with your agent you should feel confident in your purchase, with an understanding of your policy. Also, what can you expect from your agent? Will they return your calls, review your policy annually, and be there when you need them?
All too often consumers fall into the trap of making their insurance decision based purely off price. While price is an important component, by no means should it be used as the only deciding factor. The benefits of having an agent who truly understands your needs, the products they represent, is trustworthy, upfront, reliable and honest will far exceed the few dollars in savings price shopping may provide. Would it be wise to let a mechanic try to fix your car with left over parts he has in his shop because he is cheaper or, find one that can specifically order the parts you need and has the knowledge and experience to install them correctly? David Coufal Agency has been building and maintaining quality relationships for 115 years. Call our agency today and speak to our experience independent agents for a free risk evaluation today.