Top 5 Things Insurance Agents Wished Their Clients Knew (But Understand Why They Don’t)
This blog post is not meant to be accusatory or critical. It is meant to be informative and I sincerely hope you take it that way. Insurance is really a unique industry; it is highly regulated yet strangely flexible, and truthfully, I don’t know another business like it. I believe this is the reason that there is so much that the general public does not know when it comes to insuring their business, their home or their life. If there were 5 things I could educate my clients and prospects about when it comes to insurance – without sounding like a know-it-all or a contrarian; these would be them…
1. Shopping: When you “shop” your insurance (i.e. look for another carrier that will give you a better price/better coverage) you should research and select ONE agent to shop for you. I understand the idea that having several different agents all vying for your business might make sense in theory, but the problem is that the insurance world simply does not work that way. If you have several agents working on the case it is likely they will all try to go to the same carriers and ultimately only one can get you a quote from each carrier. Now what you have is a foot race and the end result is rushed, sloppy work. What you really want is one agent who has access to a large scope of carriers. Find an agent you like and trust, and let them shop for you.
- There is No Ballpark: I get that in today’s fast-paced, instant gratification-centric world many people feel they should be able to receive a quick over-the-phone quote based on my years of knowledge and experience. To a certain degree, sure: I can give you that, but really every business is different and your insurance premium is based on so much more than just what industry you are in. We really, truthfully need to know everything about your business to be able to speak intelligently to our underwriters about you and get you the BEST coverage at the best price possible. Rush it or skimp on the details and you run the possibility of hurting your bottom line. Period.
3. Underwriters are People Too: This goes hand-in-hand with #2. As I mentioned earlier insurance is a strange duck. Yes, it is regulated to the teeth; but the people who decide what coverage your business will get and at what price are called underwriters and they are actual, live, human beings! What this means for you is that the more information you give me as your agent, the better I am able to tell your story to the underwriters. The more comfortable the underwriters are with you and your business, the better your ultimate outcome. This is a people business and it’s all about telling your story in the best way possible. So, when I ask you a question please, for the love of Zeus, answer it!!
4. I’m Insulted By Your Lack of Trust: Somewhere, someone told you that when working with a new agent you should white out/black out your premium on your current policy to “make sure you get the best price”. Do you want to know the real reason we ask for your current premium? Look back at #3; our underwriters deal with hundreds upon hundreds of submissions each week, if you don’t trust me enough to give me all the information that I need to do my job do you think that my underwriter is going to take my submission seriously? NOPE! They want to know what you are paying now because if they know they can’t even come close they can tell me up front and we can spend our time more wisely elsewhere. Please trust me.
5. Commission: I think a lot of people are afraid to ask so here is a quick explanation as to how we (insurance agents) get paid. You pay premium, a percentage of that – usually between 10-20% - is paid to the insurance agency. That’s pretty much it. It is up to you to decide who gets that 10-20% of your money. I personally believe that I should earn it and I do that by offering a whole host of free business solutions to my clients. To find out more please check out our website.