Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance representatives can be a few of the most crucial individuals you'll ever do business with. They will help you safeguard your home or business, your properties and your finances. The work of an insurance agent has the prospective to save you from monetary mess up.

You could go through your whole life time and not require the services of an attorney. You could live and die and not have to utilize an accounting professional. But you cannot reside in "the real life" without insurance representatives.

Keep in mind ... it's YOUR responsibility to learn which protections are best for you.

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

I began my insurance profession as an agent in 1973. I kept my representative licenses active until 1992 when I ended up being an insurance adjuster. Throughout that period of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance you can possibly imagine.

The finest representative is an individual who has spend time studying insurance, not a person who is an expert in sales. The biggest percentage of insurance agents of all types are sales people, not insurance professionals.

There are a great deal of institution of higher learnings that use degrees in insurance today. In our area, the University of Georgia offers degrees in Danger Management and Insurance. It's a pretty well-respected program.

Representatives can also become specialists in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Qualified Home Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance representatives can attain the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) expert designation. There are other designations offered to agents, however those two are the most widely accepted curricula.

Representatives in a lot of states also have to finish a state-required number of Continuing Education hours each year in order to keep their insurance licenses. If they do not complete the hours, the state cancels their licenses.

An agent has a duty to you, called the "fiduciary task." That indicates that he must keep your financial well-being initially in his concerns. If an agent sells you an insurance policy because it has a greater commission than another policy, he has actually breached his fiduciary responsibility to you.

Representatives typically carry a type of liability insurance called "Omissions and errors" liability insurance. Errors and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's company, or the agent individually, in the occasion that a customer holds the representative accountable for a service he supplied, or stopped working to supply, that did not have actually the expected or promised results.

1. loss of customer information. The representative just loses your file, physically or digitally.

2. system or software failure. Computer at the representative's workplace crashes and all information is lost.

3. irresponsible oversell. The agent sells you protection you do not require, or sells you coverage limits higher than essential.

This requires however is a broad classification to be. This could include charges that a representative did not offer the appropriate policy, or the appropriate amount of protection.

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

Individuals today have several insurance exposures, like:

vehicle physical damage

automobile liability

uninsured or underinsured drivers exposures

homeowner physical damage

homeowner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based businesses

life insurance requires

medical insurance requires

disability insurance needs

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

Any agent doing business in the modern-day world need to do an insurance analysis of any possibility's present insurance and his future insurance requirements. To fail to do so is an invite for a suit.

What does this mean to you?

: If your agent makes pledges to you about protection, and your claim gets rejected, you can make a claim versus the agent's Errors and Omissions Liability policy. You might have to get an attorney involved, but that just increases the possibility that your denied claim will earn money.

Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL agents offering ANY type of insurance ought to carry out a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. In addition, I believe that an agent must carefully explain the findings of the Insurance Requirements Analysis to the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. When the explanation is total, the agent needs to need the prospect to approve the policies that are offered, and accept the policies and protections that are not offered. "Signing off" simply means that the possibility specifies that the representative has actually explained all protections, and he either accepts or declines any offered protection.

Both celebrations. the policyholder and the agent ... advantage in this transaction. The insurance policy holder has a total explanation of the policy he's purchasing and its relationship to all his other insurance. The agent offers the ideal protection, and significantly decreases the danger of a lawsuit or claim versus his E&O coverage for offering the wrong protection.

Here's what an insurance analysis treatment ought to appear like.

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

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

3. Evaluate Insurance Needs: identify the correct protections needed and the proper policy limitations.

4. Recommendations: exactly what should be acquired and prices.

5. Application and Sign-off Analysis: submit the application and have the insured accept the analysis kind.

6. Deliver the Policy: A representative must provide the policy personally and explain it again, not simply send you a copy in the mail.

After all of the training and education that any insurance representative acquires, the representative is still not an expert in the best ways to deal with an insurance claim. I have actually had great deals of people inform me that they were getting their agent to assist them with their claim. Later, they determined that the representative didn't understand much more about the claims procedure than they did. As I wrote previously, agents can end up being experts, however their proficiency is usually in the sales and needs analysis locations of insurance ... not claims. For most agents, finding out the claims process would be a waste of their time, given that a lot of representatives are not accredited to manage 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 just in the property side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. For the a lot of part, the insurance company concentrates claims managing with the claims employees and independent claims adjusters.

The most essential methods you ought to draw from this post are:

Interview EVERY insurance agent to discover out their level of expertise. Let the unskilled representatives practice on individuals who do not care about protecting themselves the best methods.

2. Don't constantly chase the lowest premium. You get exactly what you spend for. You 'd be better served to pay a greater premium if a highly qualified representative looks after you. You do not drive the cheapest car you can discover, do you?

3. If you have issues with your representative, never ever be hesitant to call the Department of Insurance of your state. Agents are controlled for a factor.


Agents typically bring a type of liability insurance called "Mistakes and Omissions" liability insurance. Omssions and mistakes (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's business, or the agent individually, in the occasion that a customer holds the agent responsible for a service he offered, or stopped working to supply, that did not have the expected or guaranteed outcomes. Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL representatives offering ANY kind Lexington Insurance Agency of insurance should perform a Insurance Needs Analysis for the possibility PRIOR to offering the policy. Even after all of the training and education that any insurance representative gets, the representative is still not a professional in how to deal with an insurance claim. For a lot of agents, learning the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, considering that many agents are not accredited to manage claims.

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