Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance agents can be some of the most essential individuals you'll ever work with. They will help you protect your home, your properties and your finances. The work of an insurance representative has the possible to conserve you from financial mess up.

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

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

Have you ever heard a story from a friend or relative who filed an insurance claim, only to find out that the coverage their agent guaranteed 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. During that period of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance imaginable.

The best agent is a person who has spend time studying insurance, not a person who is a professional in sales. The largest percentage of insurance agents of all types are sales people, not insurance professionals. Your agent may or may not be a professional in insurance. You'll have to just ask your agent what his education level is.

There are a great deal of institution of higher learnings that use degrees in insurance today. In our location, the University of Georgia provides degrees in Threat Management and Insurance. It's a quite well-respected program.

Representatives can also become professionals in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified Residential Or Commercial Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance agents can achieve the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) professional classification. There are other classifications available to representatives, however those 2 are the most commonly accepted curricula.

Representatives in a lot of states likewise have to complete a state-required number of Continuing Education hours each year in order to maintain their insurance licenses. The state cancels their licenses if they do not finish the hours.

A representative has a responsibility to you, called the "fiduciary responsibility." That indicates that he should keep your financial well-being first in his priorities. If an agent sells you an insurance plan because it has a greater commission than another policy, he has actually breached his fiduciary task to you.

Representatives normally carry a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Omssions and errors (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's business, or the representative individually, in the event that a customer holds the representative accountable for a service he offered, or failed to provide, that did not have actually the anticipated or guaranteed results.

1. loss of client information. The representative merely loses your file, physically or digitally.

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

3. negligent oversell. The agent sells you protection you do not require, or sells you coverage limitations higher than needed.

4. claims of non-performance. This requires however is a broad category to be. This could consist of charges that a representative did not sell the appropriate policy, or the proper quantity of protection.

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

Individuals today have several insurance exposures, like:

auto physical damage

vehicle liability

underinsured or uninsured drivers 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 requires

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

Any agent doing business in the contemporary world ought to do an insurance analysis of any possibility's present insurance and his future insurance requirements. To cannot 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 may 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 agents offering ANY kind of insurance ought to carry out a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. In addition, I believe that a representative ought to thoroughly discuss the findings of the Insurance Needs Analysis to the possibility PRIOR to selling the policy.

The insurance policy holder has a complete description of the policy he's purchasing and its relationship to all his other insurance. The representative sells the ideal coverage, and substantially reduces the threat of a suit or claim versus his E&O protection for selling the incorrect coverage.

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

1. Personal Details Collection: get as much info about the insured and his member of the family as possible.

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

3. Evaluate Insurance Needs: identify the correct protections needed and the right policy limitations.

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

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

6. Provide the Policy: A representative needs to provide the policy face to face and describe it again, not just 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 a specialist in how to manage an insurance claim. For a lot of agents, discovering the claims process would be a waste of their time, because many agents are not licensed to handle claims.

Sure ... some agents will be given a small claims settlement authority by the company they work for. Some agents will be able to settle claims approximately about $5,000.00, and then only in the property side of the claim ... such as a small water loss or a theft. For the many part, the insurance company concentrates claims handling with the claims employees and independent claims adjusters.

The most important strategies you should draw from this post are:

1. Interview EVERY insurance representative to learn their level of expertise. Only work with the most certified, informed and experienced agents. Let the inexperienced representatives practice on people who don't care about securing themselves the proper ways.

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

3. If you have issues with your representative, never ever be hesitant to call the Department of Insurance of your state. Agents are controlled for a factor.


Representatives usually carry a type of liability insurance called "Omissions and mistakes" liability insurance. Omssions and mistakes (E&O) is the insurance that covers the agent's company, or the agent separately, in the occasion that a customer holds the agent Auto Insurance Lexington Sc responsible for a service he offered, or stopped working to supply, that did not have actually the expected or promised outcomes. Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL agents selling ANY kind of insurance must perform 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 agent is still not a specialist in how to manage an insurance claim. For most agents, discovering the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, given that most agents are not accredited to manage claims.

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