Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance agents can be a few of the most crucial individuals you'll ever work with. They will assist you protect your home, your possessions and your financial resources. The work of an insurance representative has the possible to conserve you from monetary mess up.

You could go through your whole lifetime and not require the services of a lawyer. You could die and live and not have to use an accountant. But you can't live in "the real world" without insurance representatives.

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

Have you ever heard a story from a good friend or relative who submitted an insurance claim, only to discover that the protection 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 a representative in 1973. I kept my representative licenses active up until 1992 when I ended up being an insurance adjuster. Throughout that amount of time, I sold nearly every sort of insurance you can possibly imagine. That offered me a depth of experience in insurance sales. All of that experience did not make me a specialist in insurance. I discovered threat analysis and sales techniques. But I do not believe that I ever had one minutes' training in how to deal with a claim. When my clients had a claim, I gave them the company's contact number and told them to call it in. We periodically filled out an Acord form, which is a basic market kind for filing a claim. 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 colleges and universities that provide 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 experts in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance representatives can accomplish the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) expert designation. There are other classifications offered to agents, however those 2 are the most extensively accepted educational programs.

Agents in many states also need to finish a state-required variety of Continuing Education hours each year in order to maintain their insurance licenses. If they do not finish the hours, the state cancels their licenses.

An agent has a task to you, called the "fiduciary responsibility." That indicates that he needs to keep your monetary well-being first in his priorities. He has breached his fiduciary duty to you if an agent sells you an insurance policy because it has a greater commission than another policy.

Representatives normally carry a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Mistakes and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's business, or the agent individually, in the event that a client holds the representative responsible for a service he supplied, or failed to offer, that did not have the expected or assured outcomes. This safeguards agents and their clerical staff from liability due to irresponsible acts, mistakes and omissions while conducting their business. It will protect the agent from problems like the copying:

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

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

3. irresponsible oversell. The representative sells you coverage you don't need, or offers you protection limits higher than necessary.

4. claims of non-performance. This is a broad category however requires to be. This might consist of charges that an agent did not sell the correct policy, or the appropriate amount of protection.

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

People today have numerous insurance direct exposures, like:

car physical damage

car liability

uninsured or underinsured vehicle drivers direct 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 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 representative doing business in the modern-day world must do an insurance analysis of any prospect's present insurance and his future insurance requirements. To cannot do so is an invite for a lawsuit.

Exactly what does this mean to you?

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

Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL representatives selling ANY kind of insurance need to perform a Insurance Needs 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 Needs Analysis to the possibility PRIOR to offering the policy.

The policyholder has a total explanation of the policy he's purchasing and its relationship to all his other insurance. The agent offers the right protection, and significantly decreases the danger 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 Information Collection: get as much details about the insured and his family members as possible.

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

3. Analyze Insurance Requirements: figure out the right coverages required and the right policy limits.

4. Suggestions: exactly what should be bought and rates.

5. Application and Sign-off Analysis: complete the application and have the insured approve the analysis kind.

6. Deliver the Policy: An agent must provide the policy personally and describe it again, not simply send you a copy in the mail.

Even after all of the training and education that any insurance agent gets, the agent is still not a professional in how to manage an insurance claim. For many representatives, learning the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, given that many representatives are not licensed to manage claims.

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

The most important techniques you must take from this article are:

1. Interview EVERY insurance representative to find out their level of knowledge. Only do business with the most certified, educated and experienced agents. Let the unskilled representatives practice on people who don't care about safeguarding themselves properlies.

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

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


Agents normally bring a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Mistakes and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's company, or the representative separately, in the event that a client holds the representative accountable for a service he provided, or failed to offer, that did not have actually the anticipated or promised results. Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL representatives selling ANY kind of insurance ought to 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 representative gets, the agent is still not an expert in how to deal with an insurance claim. For a lot of representatives, learning the claims process would be a waste of their time, considering that the majority of agents are not licensed to deal with claims.

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