Choosing an insurance agent can be tricky. There are thousands of them, if not millions of them, all over the country. Finding the right one for you can be daunting. There are many factors to consider when choosing an insurance agent and it can feel like a real chore trying to dig through all the insurance agent ads to find the one that will take care of you the best. A quick online search or paying attention to the ads around your shopping malls can introduce you to the more active insurance agents in your area, but the best agents come with a referral from a friend or family member. Ask these questions when choosing an insurance agent.
If your agent is an independent agent, they can offer you different quotes from different companies, potentially saving you the most money and finding you the right amount of coverage. The more companies the agent represents, the better they can serve you.
How much is this agent's commission?
Insurance agents often have a commission rate of 7-14% of the total cost of the policy. Make sure you know what the commission rate is for your agent so you can expect the extra charges.
Does this insurance agent come highly recommended?
Usually families stick with the same agent or agent's office for generations. Ask your friends and family who their agent is and you might receive better service as a referral.
Is this agent friendly and knowledgeable?
You want to make sure you feel comfortable asking your agent questions. Can you trust what this agent is telling you? If you get along with this agent from the get-go, that is a good sign. Your agent should be personable, a family friend.
How credentialed is this agent?
Usually behind their desk, agents post their certificates and credentials. They may have a list of letters behind their name on their signage. Don't be afraid to ask them what those letters mean and what they had to do to qualify to have those letters accompany their name.
How many years has this agent been in business?
The world of insurance policies can be tricky to navigate. You want an agent who has been in the business for at least a few years and is up to date on all the laws and regulations. You also want someone who knows how to find the best deals for your family.
Have there been any complaints against this agent?
You can check with the insurance licensing board for your state or even the Better Business Bureau to see if other people have had any issues with this agent. Even a quick Google search of their name would usually bring up any complaints. Look them up on Yelp to see how they treat other people.
Is this agent an independent agent or a captive agent?
Independent agents usually represent more than one company. Captive agents are usually signed to a particular insurance company.