Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance representatives can be a few of the most essential individuals you'll ever work with. They will assist you protect your property, your possessions and your finances. The work of an insurance representative has the possible to conserve you from financial ruin.

You could go through your whole lifetime and not require the services of a lawyer. You might live and pass away and not have to use an accounting professional. However you cannot reside in "the real world" without insurance agents.

Keep in mind ... it's YOUR duty to find out which coverages are right for you.

Have you ever heard a story from a buddy or relative who filed an insurance claim, just to discover that the protection their representative assured was not there? I hear those stories ALL THE TIME, and at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME ... AT DECLARES TIME!

I started my insurance profession as a representative in 1973. I kept my representative licenses active till 1992 when I ended up being an insurance adjuster. Throughout that period of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance imaginable. That gave me a depth of experience in insurance sales. All of that experience did not make me a professional in insurance. I discovered danger analysis and sales methods. However I don't think 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 telephone number and told them to call it in. We sometimes completed an Acord type, which is a standard industry type for suing. That was all we did.

The best agent is a person who has spend time studying insurance, not a person who is an expert in sales. The largest portion of insurance representatives of all types are sales people, not insurance experts.

There are a lot of colleges and universities that offer degrees in insurance today. In our area, the University of Georgia offers degrees in Risk Management and Insurance. It's a pretty well-respected program.

Agents can likewise end up being specialists in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Qualified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance representatives can attain the Licensed Life Underwriter (CLU) expert classification. There are other classifications offered to representatives, however those two are the most commonly accepted educational programs.

Agents in most states also need to finish a state-required variety of Postgraduate work hours each year in order to keep their insurance licenses. If they do not finish the hours, the state cancels their licenses.

An agent has a duty to you, called the "fiduciary duty." That means that he must keep your financial well-being first in his priorities. He has actually breached his fiduciary duty to you if a representative sells you an insurance policy because it has a greater commission than another policy.

Agents normally bring 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 representative separately, on the occasion that a customer holds the representative responsible for a service he offered, or failed to provide, that did not have the anticipated or guaranteed results. This safeguards agents and their clerical personnel from liability due to irresponsible acts, mistakes and omissions while conducting their organisation. It will safeguard the agent from issues like the following examples:

1. loss of customer data. The agent just loses your file, physically or electronically.

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

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

4. claims of non-performance. This needs however is a broad category to be. This might consist of charges that a representative did not offer the proper policy, or the proper quantity of coverage.

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

People today have numerous insurance direct exposures, like:

car physical damage

auto liability

underinsured or uninsured vehicle drivers exposures

homeowner physical damage

homeowner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based organisations

life insurance requires

health insurance needs

disability insurance requires

Any one of the exposures noted above can effect any of the others. They are elaborately woven together in each of our lives.

Any agent doing business in the modern 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 invitation for a lawsuit.

Exactly what does this mean to you?

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

Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL representatives offering 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 should thoroughly discuss the findings of the Insurance Needs Analysis to the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. When the explanation is total, the agent should need the possibility to accept the policies that are offered, and validate the policies and coverages that are not offered. "Signing off" just means that the possibility specifies that the agent has actually described all coverages, and he either accepts or turns down any offered coverage.

Both celebrations. the insurance policy holder and the agent ... advantage in this transaction. 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 right 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 family members as possible.

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

3. Evaluate Insurance Requirements: identify the correct protections needed and the right policy limits.

4. Suggestions: what need to be bought and prices.

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

6. Deliver the Policy: A representative should provide the policy in person and discuss it again, not simply send you a copy in the mail.

Even after all the training and education that any insurance agent gets, the agent is still not a specialist in how to manage an insurance claim. I've had great deals of people inform me that they were going to get their representative to help them with their claim. Later on, they figured out that the representative didn't know a lot more about the claims process than they did. As I wrote earlier, representatives can become professionals, however their competence is customarily Car Insurance Lexington Sc in the sales and needs analysis locations of insurance ... not claims. For many representatives, learning the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, because the majority of agents are not accredited to handle claims.

Sure ... some representatives will be given 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 only in the home side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. For the many part, the insurance company concentrates claims managing with the claims employees and independent claims adjusters.

The most essential strategies you must take from this short article are:

Interview EVERY insurance representative to discover out their level of proficiency. Let the unskilled representatives practice on people who do not care about securing themselves the right methods.

You get what you pay for. You 'd be much better served to pay a greater premium if a highly certified representative takes care of you.

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


Representatives usually carry a type of liability insurance called "Mistakes and Omissions" liability insurance. Errors and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's company, or the agent separately, in the occasion that a client holds the agent 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 offering ANY kind of insurance should perform a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the possibility PRIOR to selling the policy. Even after all of the training and education that any insurance agent obtains, the representative is still not an expert 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, because a lot of representatives are not accredited to handle claims.

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