13 Jul

There Are A Few Things You Should Consider Before Choosing Your Insurance Agency

Quick, what’s the difference between these two insurance agencies?  Chances are, you probably haven’t thought about it.  Maybe one is a little closer to you, or seems more convenient—or maybe it’s the one your parents use and you simply never considered shopping around to find something different.  But not all insurance agencies are created equal, and there are a few things you need to take into account before you can know whether or not your insurance agency is providing you with the right kind of coverage.

InsuranceIs your insurance agency going to do the work to find you the right policy?

There are a few different kinds of insurance agencies to choose from, and some might work better for you than others when it comes to finding the right insurance for all of your needs; but what are the different kinds and what makes them different?

1) Captive agent.  A captive insurance agent works for and represents their insurance company.  They receive a commission from the insurance company for the steps they take to secure your policy, but they work exclusively for that one company.

2) Insurance broker.  An insurance broker is specifically dedicated to representing your company.  He or she will search the local insurance market for you to find you the maximum coverage at the best price, and can be very helpful when it comes to finding coverage for more complex insurance transactions; however, since insurance brokers represent you rather than a specific insurance company, they generally charge a fee for their services.

3) Independent agent.  Like captive agents, an independent insurance agent represents a specific insurance company, and thus is commissioned by that company (so there probably won’t be any extra fees).  However, independent insurance agencies carry contracts with multiple insurance companies, which means they are able to choose between those companies to select the best insurance coverage at the most competitive pricing.  Independent agents are designed to help both individuals and businesses find the insurance policies that suit all their diversified needs at the best possible price.

Knowing what kind of insurance agency you are looking at can help you decide if they are going to be able to help you find the coverage you need to keep all your assets protected.

Does your insurance agency have knowledge of your specific needs?

Insurance agencies know insurance; they don’t need to know all the intricacies of your specific business, right?  A lot of people think of insurance agencies this way; however, a lot of people would be wrong.  Selecting an insurance agency that has access to specialists within your industry is an essential asset for any business.

Your agent should have knowledge, understanding, and experience in all the diversities and complexities of the insurance system—that’s a given—but they should also have knowledge, understanding, and experience of your specific business.  He/she needs to know what your assets, liabilities, and risk factors are so he/she can find the coverage that will work best for you.  So don’t be afraid to ask what areas your insurance agency specializes in, or what other types of companies they have provided coverage for.  You can even ask for references, and you can consult with the Better Business Bureau to get a complete understanding of the agency you are considering.

This information isn’t just important to business owners who are looking to provide themselves and their businesses with the proper coverage; individuals looking for personal insurance coverage should ask the same questions.  You want an insurance agency that understands all of your assets, and the risk factors that are attributed to the specific location you are living in so you can be fully protected when you are at home.

How should you go about finding the right insurance agency?

A recent survey indicated that 79% of individuals asked for insurance advice from family and friends.  While this makes for a decent first step, don’t be afraid to do a little research into the agencies they suggest.  Using resources like the internet to dig a little deeper, and asking questions directly to and about that company can help you to keep yourself informed about the decisions you are making.  Finding the right insurance is an important investment, so make sure the insurance agency you choose is going to work as hard as you do.

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