Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “… all men are created equal”; sadly, this is not the case for insurance agents. When selecting an insurance agent, there are several key traits and characteristics to be aware of. Hopefully, you are dealing with a knowledgeable agent who is working for you, not themselves. Not sure? Here are 5 telltale signs it’s time to find a new agent.
1. Your agent is difficult to reach and often takes a long time to respond.
Insurance can be confusing to the average person: seemingly limitless types and amounts of coverages, complex language of the actual policies, making sense of what coverage you need, how to proceed if you have a claim, even what coverage you have. This may seem overwhelming. A good insurance agent is readily available and easy to contact. If your agent takes more than a couple of days to respond to your messages, it may be time to start searching for a new one.
2. Your agent only reaches out when it benefits him.
Insurance is purchased by you, and should be designed for your protection. Over time, your needs will likely change – property values fluctuate, families grow, disasters happen. An agent that is truly working for you will reach out with some regularity to assess your current coverages against your needs, identifying any possible gaps or opportunities to save money.
3. Your agent is difficult to understand.
Technical jargon is common in the insurance industry, but your agent doesn’t need to use it when speaking with you. If your agent is not able or willing to explain your insurance – what’s covered, what’s excluded, and what your deductible or limits are – in a manner that you can understand, find one that can! Is your agent vague when talking about their credentials or experience? They may not be the right person for the job. Insurance policies can be confusing. It is your insurance agent’s job to explain risks and coverages, and help you make an informed decision about your purchase.
4. Your premiums increase with no explanation.
Keeping you in the loop should be a priority for your insurance agent. While premiums do fluctuate, your agent should be available to explain why they have increased. A good agent may provide strategies to lower premiums, or offer comparative quotes while negotiating a better premium. If you are a victim of a surprise premium hike, and you are unsatisfied with your agent’s response, or they only represent one insurance company, consider finding an independent agent with access to more competitive carriers.
5. You don’t know your agent and they don’t know you.
The best insurance agents assess their clients’ financial situation prior to making any insurance recommendations. Your income, assets, and tolerance for risk should be factors in determining what the right coverage at a fair price looks like for you. Also, you should know your insurance agent. At the very least, you should know their name, but you should probably know their credentials and experience also. You’ve worked hard for what you own, and have every right to expect your agent will be able to help you protect it.
Make the Switch.
Changing insurance agents doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If you’re unhappy, start looking for an independent agent in your area, and set up an introductory call or meeting. Your new agent will be able to arrange switching everything over from your old one, so you don’t have to worry about much except maybe filling out a few forms or bringing copies of existing policies with you. With little effort, you could potentially save yourself years of frustration, and some money, with a new insurance agent.
And keep in mind – good value doesn’t always translate to cheapest.
And keep in mind - good value doesn't always translate to cheapest.
The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies, nor does it provide any guarantees. You should read your specific policy for a complete description of coverage.