Friday, 27 July 2012

How to Choose Local Insurance Agent

How to Choose Local Insurance Agent?

Life is full of uncertainties and any major event including lose of job, shifting to a new home, buying a new vehicle is enough to trigger proper review of your insurance cover. Our living environment has changed along with our expectations from life. It is important to get the right insurance cover for you and your family. Your insurance cover is the guarantee that you can face any major changes that life throws at you with ease.
Nowadays people prefer to purchase a policy online insurance based on their reviews of other customers. Some consumers even research on a  blog or forum. There is no doubt about the advantages of getting a insurance policy online especially the ease of getting your insurance while sitting in your drawing room. But for the first time insurance buyers it is not advised to go through the process all by yourself. This article will discuss the advantages of hiring a local insurance agent for purchasing the best policy for your family and how these local insurance agents can help in making the most out of your money.

What are the different types of Insurance Agents?

Most of the people are unaware of the fact that there are different types of local insurance agents. Each of these agents has some specific qualities and you can make a choice as per your requirements.
·         Independent Agents: Independent agents are affiliated with different insurance companies and they are best for people having some specific risk cover requirements. These agents receive commission from all the companies they have contract with.
·         Captive Agents: The major difference between independent insurance agents and captive agents is that captive agents are associated with a single company. Just like independent agents, they receive commission from the company. These local insurance agents should be preferred if you are interested in purchasing insurance from a specific insurance provider.
·         Insurance Brokers: Insurance brokers are helpful in complex transactions like getting insurance for your small business. These agents deal in larger markets and they will be your representative for collecting the best quotes for your business. Brokers are generally your best choice simply because they represent more than the average agent or agency.

How to find an insurance agent?

The next step in the ladder is to find a local insurance agent according to your requirements. Some of the best methods of finding an insurance agent are discussed below.
·         Referrals from friends, neighbors, family: Getting referral from your known ones is one of the most common methods of finding an insurance agent. You should focus on important questions like why they recommend a particular local insurance agent or service provider. Is it because of the customer care service, specialty in handling claims, knowledgeable and friendly agent or any other special qualities?
·         Online search: Internet is the new global market and it is best for finding an insurance provider. You can easily find out licensed insurance agents from different companies and contact them accordingly.
·         Local Authorities and Trade Associations: If you are a new business owner, it is best to consult local trade associations for their recommendation. There are some companies working without local insurance agents and you can contact them directly.

Important factors for selecting a Local Insurance Agent

There are some important factors that you should consider before making the final call. Keep in mind that having large number of options is always the best option.

Plan Selection:
If you are looking for family insurance quotes, dental insurance , accident plans, Life Insurance or medicare supplements it is best to find a Local insurance agent with a wide selection.

·         Credentials of Agent: It is best to select a local insurance agent with credentials from major insurance providers. But make sure to ask them that how they earned these credentials and what do they exactly stand for?
·         License: The first thing that you should look out for is the license of the agent as well as insurance provider company. You can easily find such information from the local government bodies and internet.
·         Financial Standings of Company: Make sure to check the financial rating of the company from all the major rating standards. Look out for the ratings of the company and their comparative performance in the market.
·         Ask for References: It is best to ask for references and it will rather make the choice easier for you. Look for references from banks or any other financial institutions.

How to protect yourself from fraud Insurance Agents?

With the large number of insurance agents and providers in the market, the chances of getting into fraud insurance agents are heightened. Some important tips to avoid insurance frauds are given below.
·         The first rule of getting insurance is to avoid giving any personal detail until you are sure about the legitimacy of the provider. Always meet in personal for purchasing an insurance plan.
·         It is advised to maintain proper record of every single document including payment receipt, important paperwork, documents related to insurance and proof of premium payment submission.
·         In case you have not received the hard copy of your insurance policy within 30 days of the insurance, call the company at once. It will help in identifying any potential fraud without further delay.
In the end the most important thing is to do proper research and study of the company before making any choice. Always read the terms and documents before signing. One should always avoid getting too dependent on the agent. After all, it is the insurance cover that provides protection to you and your family. 

   Created By Rocco Solorzano , Managing Broker - Policy Online ©  2012

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