Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance representatives can be a few of the most crucial people you'll ever work with. They will assist you safeguard your property, your properties and your financial resources. The work of an insurance agent has the prospective to conserve you from monetary ruin.

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

Remember ... it's YOUR responsibility to learn which protections are best for you.

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

I began my insurance career as an agent in 1973. I kept my agent licenses active up until 1992 when I ended up being an insurance adjuster. Throughout that amount of time, I offered almost every sort of insurance imaginable. That provided me a depth of experience in insurance sales. All of that experience did not make me an expert in insurance. I learned danger analysis and sales methods. However I do not believe that I ever had one minutes' training in how to handle a claim. When my customers had a claim, I provided the business's contact number and told them to call it in. We occasionally filled out an Acord type, which is a standard market type for suing. That was all we did.

The finest representative is an individual who has invest time studying insurance, not an individual who is a specialist in sales. The biggest portion of insurance representatives of all types are sales individuals, not insurance specialists.

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

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

Agents in most states likewise need to finish a state-required variety of Postgraduate work hours each year in order to keep their insurance licenses. If they don't complete the hours, the state cancels their licenses.

A representative has a task to you, called the "fiduciary task." That suggests that he needs to keep your monetary wellness first in his priorities. He has actually breached his fiduciary duty to you if an agent offers you an insurance policy due to the fact that it has a greater commission than another policy.

Representatives normally carry a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Omssions and errors (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's business, or the representative separately, in the event that a client holds the representative accountable for a service he supplied, or failed to provide, that did not have the expected or promised results.

1. loss of client information. The representative just loses your file, physically or electronically.

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

3. irresponsible oversell. The representative sells you coverage you do not require, or sells you coverage limitations higher than needed.

4. claims of non-performance. This requires however is a broad category to be. This could include charges that a representative did not sell the proper policy, or the correct amount of coverage.

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

Individuals today have multiple insurance direct exposures, like:

automobile physical damage

car liability

uninsured or underinsured vehicle drivers exposures

homeowner physical damage

house owner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based services

life insurance requires

health insurance requires

disability insurance requires

Any one of the 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 ought to do an insurance analysis of any prospect's present insurance and his future insurance requirements. To cannot do so is an invitation for a claim.

Exactly what does this mean to you?

First: If your agent makes pledges to you about protection, and your claim gets denied, you can make a claim against the representative's Errors and Omissions Liability policy. You might need to get an attorney included, however that only increases the chance that your rejected claim will get paid.

Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL agents offering ANY kind of insurance must perform a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to selling the policy. In addition, I think that an agent needs to carefully describe the findings of the Insurance Needs Analysis to the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy.

The insurance policy holder has a complete description of the policy he's buying and its relationship to all his other insurance. The representative sells the ideal coverage, and substantially reduces the threat of a suit or claim against his E&O Auto Insurance Lexington Sc protection for selling the incorrect coverage.

Here's exactly what an insurance analysis procedure must look 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 actually check out the existing policies.

3. Analyze Insurance Requirements: determine the right coverages required and the correct policy limits.

4. Recommendations: exactly what ought to be acquired and costs.

5. Application and Sign-off Analysis: submit the application and have the insured validate the analysis form.

6. Provide the Policy: An agent needs to provide the policy in person and discuss it again, not just send you a copy in the mail.

After all of the training and education that any insurance representative obtains, the representative is still not an expert in ways to handle an insurance claim. I have actually had lots of individuals inform me that they were going to get their representative to help them with their claim. Later on, they figured out that the agent didn't understand much more about the claims procedure than they did. As I wrote previously, representatives can become specialists, but their competence is customarily in the sales and needs analysis locations of insurance ... not claims. For many representatives, discovering the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, since a lot of agents are not certified to manage claims.

Sure ... some representatives will be provided a little claims settlement authority by the company they work for. Some agents will be able to settle claims up to about $5,000.00, then just in the residential or commercial property side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. For the most part, the insurance business concentrates claims handling with the claims workers and independent claims adjusters.

The most important strategies you should draw from this post are:

1. Interview EVERY insurance representative to find out their level of competence. Just do business with the most certified, educated and experienced agents. Let the inexperienced representatives practice on individuals who don't care about securing themselves properlies.

You get exactly what you pay for. You 'd be better served to pay a higher premium if an extremely certified agent takes care of you.

3. Never ever be reluctant to call the Department of Insurance of your state if you have issues with your agent. Representatives are managed for a reason.


Agents generally carry a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Mistakes and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's business, or the agent individually, in the occasion that a customer holds the representative responsible for a service he offered, or stopped working to provide, that did not have the expected or guaranteed outcomes. Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL agents selling ANY kind of insurance must 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 obtains, the representative is still not a specialist in how to handle an insurance claim. For many agents, discovering the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, since most agents are not certified to manage claims.

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