Locating an insurance agent is not always as easy as simply looking in the phone book. Before you entrust your financial future to someone you don’t know, there is a history check you should do.
1. Locate a licensed agent: Insurance is a state-regulated product. For that reason, insurance agents must be properly licensed in order to sell it. You can locate a licensed agent on your state’s department of insurance webpage or on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website.
2. Search for complaints: While it is infrequent, there are sometimes agents out there who have a hard time keeping happy customers. Check with your state’s department of insurance to find out if there are any grievances against the various agents you are looking to work with. It is always good to keep in mind that there are two sides to every story, but if an agent has several gripes against them then it’s likely that they are not a good fit for you.
3. Meet each potential agent: Guarding yourself and your family with insurance helps defend your financial standing and keeps you on target toward meeting your objectives. That means that the agent you pick must be able to be conscious of and meet your family’s needs, must respect your wishes and must be someone that you want to spend time with and rely on over the years. Before you choose the agent you want representing your needs with the insurance companies, take some time to talk with them and make sure that you feel certain about their abilities and their level of dedication and that they are someone with whom you want to cultivate a long-standing business relationship.
4. Search for credentials and designations: Any agent can be a great agent-even if he or she has no accreditation outside of the license to sell insurance. But those agents who do have other designations and credentials have taken the additional time to earn that credit. They also may be trained to deal with other aspects of your financial life, thereby creating a more all-encompassing plan of financial management.
5. Look for full disclosure: When you are buying insurance, you will be assessing the offers of several different insurance companies. Your agent should be willing to share information about each agency you look at – and that includes their score with A.M. Best. Before you develop a relationship with an agent, ask them if they will be willing to do so. Bear in mind, locating an insurance agent isn’t just about finding someone who can sell you insurance. It’s about finding someone who is willing to listen to your concerns, understand your needs, and do what it takes to locate insurance policies that fulfill them.