Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance representatives can be some of the most essential individuals you'll ever do business with. They will help you secure your property, your assets and your finances. The work of an insurance agent has the prospective to conserve you from monetary ruin.

You could go through your entire lifetime and not need the services of an attorney. You might live and pass away and not need to utilize an accountant. You can't live in "the real world" without insurance representatives.

Remember ... it's YOUR responsibility to find out which protections are right for you.

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

I started my insurance career as an agent in 1973. I kept my agent licenses active till 1992 when I became an insurance adjuster. Throughout that duration of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance imaginable.

The best representative is an individual who has invest time studying insurance, not a person who is an expert in sales. The largest percentage of insurance agents of all types are sales people, not insurance experts.

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

Representatives can likewise end up being specialists in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified Residential Or Commercial Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance agents can accomplish the Qualified Life Underwriter (CLU) expert classification. There are other designations available to agents, but those two are the most commonly accepted curricula.

Representatives in the majority of states likewise have to complete a state-required variety of Continuing Education hours each year in order to keep their insurance licenses. The state cancels their licenses if they do not complete the hours.

An agent has a task to you, called the "fiduciary responsibility." That implies that he should keep your financial well-being initially in his concerns. If an agent offers you an insurance plan since it has a greater commission than another policy, he has actually breached his fiduciary responsibility to you.

Representatives typically carry a kind of liability insurance called "Omissions and errors" liability insurance. Mistakes and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's company, or the agent separately, in case a client holds the agent responsible for a service he offered, or failed to supply, that did not have actually the anticipated or promised outcomes. This safeguards agents and their clerical personnel from liability due to negligent acts, errors and omissions while performing their service. It will safeguard the agent from issues like the copying:

1. loss of customer data. The representative merely loses your file, physically or digitally.

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

3. negligent oversell. The agent sells you protection you don't need, or offers you protection limits higher than needed.

4. claims of non-performance. This is a broad classification but needs to be. This could consist of charges that a representative did not sell the proper policy, or the correct quantity of coverage.

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

Individuals today have several insurance direct exposures, like:

car physical damage

auto liability

uninsured or underinsured vehicle drivers exposures

property owner physical damage

homeowner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based services

life insurance needs

health insurance requires

disability insurance requires

Any one of the direct exposures noted 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 should 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 lawsuit.

Exactly what does this mean to you?

First: If your agent makes guarantees to you about coverage, and your claim gets rejected, you can make a claim against the representative's Omissions and mistakes Liability policy. You may have to get a lawyer involved, but that only increases the opportunity that your denied claim will earn money.

Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL agents offering ANY kind of insurance need to perform a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the possibility PRIOR to selling the policy. In addition, I think that an agent needs to carefully describe the findings of the Insurance Requirements Analysis to the possibility PRIOR to selling the policy. Once the description is total, the representative should need the prospect to approve the policies that are sold, and sign off on the policies and protections that are not sold. "Signing off" merely implies that the possibility specifies that the representative has described all protections, and he either accepts or rejects any offered coverage.

Both celebrations. the agent and the insurance policy holder ... benefit in this transaction. The insurance policy holder has a complete description of the policy he's buying and its relationship to all his other Auto Insurance Lexington Sc insurance. The representative sells the ideal coverage, and substantially lowers the threat of a lawsuit or claim versus his E&O protection for selling the incorrect coverage.

Here's what an insurance analysis procedure should look like.

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

2. Get Copies of Existing Policies: the representative ought to in fact read the existing policies.

3. Evaluate Insurance Requirements: determine the right coverages needed and the right policy limits.

4. Recommendations: exactly what should be purchased and costs.

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

6. Deliver the Policy: An agent ought to provide the policy in person and discuss it once again, not just 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 a lot of representatives, finding out the claims process would be a waste of their time, since many agents are not certified to manage claims.

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

The most essential techniques you need to draw from this post are:

Interview EVERY insurance agent to discover out their level of expertise. Let the inexperienced agents practice on people who don't care about protecting themselves the right ways.

You get what you pay for. You 'd be better served to pay a higher premium if a highly qualified agent takes care of you.

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


Agents usually carry 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 individually, 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 acquires, the representative is still not a professional in how to handle an insurance claim. For most agents, finding out the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, given that a lot of representatives are not certified to handle claims.

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