Insurance is supposed to be a financial safeguard, but what if the premiums are the bills causing you financial instability?
Shopping for insurance is one of those unpleasant tasks every adult has to deal with. If you play your cards right, though, your independent insurance agent can handle most of the work.
An independent insurance agent works with a wide variety of insurance companies. They can compare all your options and find the best deal and the best plan for your needs. Here’s how to find a great one.
Tips for Finding an Independent Insurance Agent
Your insurance agent needs to be someone you can trust. Use these tips to identify the best one near you.
1: Get Recommendations
Recommendations are the best way to start. Talk to people with the same type of insurance you need, whether it’s home and auto, medical malpractice, or other options.
Ask these people what they like and dislike about their agent. However, don’t use their premiums to estimate your own.
2: Check Up on Their Qualifications
When you have a starting list, do some background checking. An agent needs to have a license in a state in order to become an insurance agent there, but don’t take it for granted. Check with your state insurance office to make sure each agent’s license is valid and current.
In some states, agents need a different license for each type of insurance they want to sell. Find out your state’s requirements.
In some states, you can also see any complaints tied to the agent’s license. This is an easy way to find out about potential problems.
3: Find Out What Companies They Represent
The whole purpose of hiring an independent insurance agent is that they can shop around with several insurers on your behalf. However, some agents work with more companies than others.
It doesn’t make financial sense to work with an insurance agent who only represents a few companies. Chances are that an agent with a larger selection will be able to find you a better fit.
4: Review the Reviews
As helpful as a recommendation may be, it’s one person’s opinion. It’s also important to hear from a wider pool by checking an insurance agent’s reviews.
A great place to start is with Google and Yelp. It’s also a good idea to get more specific. There are platforms that focus on insurance agents alone, like Insurance Schools Inc reviews.
5: Conduct Interviews
When you’ve narrowed your list to two or three top contenders, it’s time to have a chat.
We’re not talking about an hour-long interview session. A simple phone conversation should be enough to ask any remaining questions you have and to see if they seem like the right fit.
Hiring the Perfect Insurance Agent
There are definite benefits to hiring an independent insurance agent, like getting a great plan without doing the legwork yourself. Of course, it’s only a good choice if you can find an agent you trust. The tips above will help.
For more great tips, check out our blog of popular musings.