Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance agents can be some of the most crucial people you'll ever do business with. They will assist you protect your home or business, your assets and your financial resources. The work of an insurance agent has the possible to save you from monetary ruin.

You might go through your whole life time and not need the services of a lawyer. You could die and live and not need to utilize an accounting professional. But you cannot live in "the real life" without insurance agents.

But keep in mind ... it's YOUR responsibility to discover which coverages are right for you.

Have you ever heard a story from a pal or relative who filed an insurance claim, just to find out that the protection their agent guaranteed was not there? I hear those stories ALL THE TIME, and at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME ... AT DECLARES TIME!

I started my insurance profession as a representative in 1973. I kept my agent licenses active up until 1992 when I became an insurance adjuster. During that duration of time, I offered almost every kind of insurance imaginable.

The best agent is a person who has hang out studying insurance, not a person who is a professional in sales. The biggest percentage of insurance agents of all types are sales people, not insurance professionals. Your agent may or may not be a specialist in insurance. You'll need to merely ask your representative exactly what his education level is.

There are a lot of institution of higher learnings that use degrees in insurance today. In our location, the University of Georgia uses degrees in Risk Management and Insurance. It's a pretty well-respected program.

Representatives can likewise end up being professionals in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified Home Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance representatives can achieve the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) professional classification. There are other classifications readily available to agents, but those two are the most widely accepted educational programs.

Agents in the majority of states also need to finish a state-required variety of Postgraduate work hours each year in order to preserve their insurance licenses. The state cancels their licenses if they don't complete the hours.

An agent has a responsibility to you, called the "fiduciary responsibility." That implies that he should keep your financial well-being first in his top priorities. If a representative offers you an insurance coverage since it has a higher commission than another policy, he has breached his fiduciary duty to you.

Representatives generally bring a type of liability insurance called "Omissions and errors" liability insurance. Omssions and mistakes (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's business, or the representative individually, in case a client holds the agent responsible for a service he provided, or cannot supply, that did not have actually the anticipated or guaranteed results. This protects agents and their clerical personnel from liability due to negligent acts, errors and omissions while conducting their business. It will protect the representative from issues like the copying:

1. loss of customer information. The agent simply loses your file, physically or digitally.

2. system or software application failure. Computer system at the agent's office crashes and all data is lost.

3. irresponsible oversell. The representative sells you coverage you don't require, or offers you coverage limits higher than essential.

This is a broad category but requires to be. This might consist of charges that an agent did not sell the correct policy, or the appropriate amount of coverage.

The number 4 example above is the most widespread and most hazardous for representatives. Here's why.

People today have multiple insurance direct exposures, like:

vehicle physical damage

automobile liability

underinsured or uninsured drivers exposures

homeowner physical damage

house owner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based services

life insurance needs

health insurance requires

disability insurance requires

Any among the exposures listed above can effect any of the others. They are intricately woven together in each of our lives.

Any representative doing business in the contemporary world ought to do an insurance analysis of any possibility's present insurance and his future insurance requirements. To cannot do so is an invite for a suit.

What does this mean to you?

: If your agent makes promises to you about protection, and your claim gets rejected, you can make a claim against the representative's Mistakes and Omissions Liability policy. You may need to get an attorney involved, however that just increases the possibility that your denied claim will earn money.

Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL agents offering ANY kind of insurance ought to carry out a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. In addition, I think that an agent needs to thoroughly explain the findings of the Insurance Requirements Analysis to the prospect PRIOR to selling the policy.

Both celebrations. the representative and the policyholder ... advantage in this transaction. The policyholder has a total description of the policy he's buying and its relationship to all his other insurance. The representative sells the ideal protection, and significantly decreases the risk of a claim or claim against his E&O protection for selling the incorrect coverage.

Here's exactly what an insurance analysis procedure should appear like.

1. Personal Info Collection: get as much information about the insured and his relative as possible.

2. Get Copies of Existing Policies: the agent needs to really check out the existing policies.

3. Analyze Insurance Needs: determine the appropriate coverages required and the correct policy limits.

4. Recommendations: what must be acquired and prices.

5. Application and Sign-off Analysis: fill out the application and have the insured sign off on the analysis form.

6. Provide the Policy: A representative should provide the policy in person and describe it again, not simply send you a copy in the mail.

Even after all of the training and education that any insurance representative acquires, the agent is still not a professional in how to deal with an insurance claim. For most representatives, learning the claims procedure would be a waste of commercial insurance lexington sc their time, given that a lot of representatives are not licensed to deal with claims.

Sure ... some agents will be provided a little claims settlement authority by the company they work for. Some representatives will be able to settle claims as much as about $5,000.00, then only in the home side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. For the many part, the insurance business concentrates claims managing with the claims staff members and independent claims adjusters.

The most essential methods you should take from this post are:

1. Interview EVERY insurance agent to discover their level of competence. Only work with the most certified, educated and experienced agents. Let the unskilled agents practice on people who don't care about safeguarding themselves the right ways.

2. Do not always chase after the most affordable premium. You get exactly what you pay for. You 'd be much better served to pay a greater premium if a highly qualified representative looks after you. You do not drive the least expensive car you can find, do you?

3. If you have problems with your agent, never ever be reluctant to call the Department of Insurance of your state. Representatives are controlled for a reason.


Agents typically bring a type of liability insurance called "Omissions and mistakes" liability insurance. Mistakes and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's company, or the agent separately, in the occasion that a client holds the agent responsible for a service he supplied, or stopped working to offer, that did not have the expected or assured outcomes. Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL agents selling ANY kind of insurance should carry out a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to selling the policy. Even after all of the training and education that any insurance agent gets, the representative is still not a specialist in how to deal with an insurance claim. For many agents, learning the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, considering that many agents are not licensed to handle claims.

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