Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance representatives can be some of the most important people you'll ever work with. They will assist you secure your house, your assets and your finances. The work of an insurance agent has the prospective to save you from monetary mess up.

You might go through your whole lifetime and not need the services of an attorney. You could pass away and live and not need to utilize an accounting professional. However you cannot reside in "the real life" without insurance representatives.

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

Have you ever heard a story from a pal or relative who submitted an insurance claim, just to learn 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 began my insurance career as an agent in 1973. When I ended up being an insurance adjuster, I kept my representative licenses active up until 1992. Throughout that time period, I offered almost every type 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 learned risk analysis and sales techniques. But I don't think that I ever had one minutes' training in the best ways 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 submitted an Acord form, which is a standard market form for filing a claim. That was all we did.

The best representative is an individual who has hang out studying insurance, not an individual who is an expert in sales. The largest portion of insurance representatives of all types are sales individuals, not insurance professionals. Your representative might or might not be a specialist in insurance. You'll have to simply ask your representative exactly what his education level is.

There are a great deal of colleges and universities that offer degrees in insurance today. In our area, the University of Georgia offers 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 Residential Or Commercial Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance agents can accomplish the Licensed Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designation. There are other designations offered to agents, but those 2 are the most commonly accepted curricula.

Representatives in a lot of states likewise need to complete a state-required number of Postgraduate work hours each year in order to keep their insurance licenses. The state cancels their licenses if they do not finish the hours.

A representative has a task to you, called the "fiduciary task." That suggests that he needs to keep your monetary wellness initially in his priorities. He has breached his fiduciary duty to you if an agent sells you an insurance policy because it has a higher commission than another policy.

Agents generally 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 business, or the representative separately, in the event that a client holds the agent accountable for a service he offered, or failed to offer, that did not have the expected or assured outcomes.

1. loss of customer data. The agent simply loses your file, physically or digitally.

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

3. irresponsible oversell. The agent sells you protection you do not need, or sells you protection limits higher than required.

This requires however is a broad category to be. This could 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 common and most harmful for representatives. Here's why.

Individuals today have multiple insurance direct exposures, like:

car physical damage

auto liability

uninsured or underinsured motorists direct exposures

property owner physical damage

homeowner liability

excess liability

businessowner physical damage

businessowner liability

home-based businesses

life insurance requires

health insurance needs

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 lawsuit.

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 versus the agent's Mistakes and Omissions Liability policy. You may 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 should carry out a Insurance Needs Analysis for the possibility PRIOR to offering the policy. In addition, I believe that a representative should thoroughly discuss the findings of the Insurance Requirements Analysis to the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy.

Both parties. the representative and the policyholder ... benefit in this deal. The policyholder has a total description of the policy he's buying and its relationship to all his other insurance. The representative sells the ideal coverage, and substantially lowers the threat of a lawsuit or claim versus his E&O coverage for offering the wrong protection.

Here's exactly what an insurance analysis procedure must look like.

1. Personal Details Collection: get as much information about the insured and his relative as possible.

2. Get Copies of Existing Policies: the agent must in fact read the existing policies.

3. Examine Insurance Needs: figure out the appropriate protections needed and the proper policy limits.

4. Suggestions: what must be acquired and costs.

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

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 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 the majority of agents, finding out the claims process would be a waste of their time, considering that the majority of agents are not accredited to handle claims.

Sure ... some agents will be offered a small claims settlement authority by the company they work for. Some representatives will be able to settle claims as much as about $5,000.00, and after that just in the home side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. However, for the most part, the insurer concentrates claims handling with the claims staff members and independent claims adjusters.

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

1. Interview EVERY insurance agent to find out their level of competence. Only do business with the most certified, informed and experienced agents. Let the inexperienced representatives practice on individuals who Lexington Insurance Agency don't care about protecting themselves the proper ways.

2. Don't always chase after the most affordable premium. You get exactly what you pay for. If an extremely certified agent takes care of you, you 'd be better served to pay a greater premium. You do not drive the cheapest car you can find, do you?

3. Never be hesitant to call the Department of Insurance of your state if you have issues with your representative. 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 customer holds the representative responsible 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 opinion, ALL agents offering ANY kind of insurance need to carry out a Insurance Needs Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to selling the policy. Even after all of the training and education that any insurance representative gets, the representative is still not an expert in how to handle an insurance claim. For many representatives, finding out the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, given that most agents are not certified to deal with claims.

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