Insurance Agents - How Does Yours Measure Up?



Insurance agents can be a few of the most important people you'll ever do business with. They will help you safeguard your property, your assets and your finances. The work of an insurance agent has the prospective to conserve you from financial destroy.

You might go through your entire lifetime and not require the services of a lawyer. You might live and pass away and not have to use an accounting professional. You can't live in "the real world" without insurance representatives.

However keep in mind ... it's YOUR responsibility to learn which coverages are right for you.

Have you ever heard a story from a buddy or relative who filed an insurance claim, just to discover 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. I kept my agent licenses active until 1992 when I became an insurance adjuster. During that period of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance you can possibly imagine.

The finest representative is an individual who has invest time studying insurance, not an individual who is a specialist in sales. The biggest portion of insurance representatives of all types are sales individuals, not insurance experts.

There are a lot of colleges and universities that offer degrees in insurance today. In our area, the University of Georgia offers degrees in Risk Management and Insurance. It's a pretty well-respected program.

Agents can also become experts in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified 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 available to agents, but those two are the most extensively accepted educational programs.

Representatives in the majority of states likewise need to finish a state-required variety of Postgraduate work hours each year in order to preserve their insurance licenses. If they don't complete the hours, the state cancels their licenses.

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

Representatives normally carry a type of liability insurance called "Errors and Omissions" liability insurance. Errors and omssions (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's business, or the agent separately, in case a client holds the representative responsible for a service he supplied, or cannot offer, that did not have actually the expected or promised results. This secures representatives and their clerical personnel from liability due to negligent acts, errors and omissions while conducting their company. It will protect the agent from issues like the copying:

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

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

3. irresponsible oversell. The agent sells you protection you do not require, or sells you coverage limits higher than essential.

4. claims of non-performance. This needs but is a broad classification to be. This might consist of charges that an agent did not sell the proper policy, or the correct quantity of coverage.

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

Individuals today have several insurance direct exposures, like:

car physical damage

auto 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 noted above can effect any of the others. They are intricately woven together in each of our lives.

Any representative 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.

What does this mean to you?

: If your representative makes guarantees to you about protection, and your claim gets rejected, you can make a claim against the agent's Omissions and errors Liability policy. You may need to get a lawyer involved, but that just increases the possibility that your denied claim will earn money.

Next: In my never-to-be-humble viewpoint, ALL representatives selling ANY sort of insurance must carry out a Insurance Requirements Analysis for the prospect PRIOR to offering the policy. In addition, I believe that a representative should carefully discuss the findings of the Insurance Needs Analysis to the possibility PRIOR to selling the policy. As soon as the description is complete, the representative must require the possibility to accept the policies that are offered, and validate the policies and coverages that are not offered. "Signing off" just means that the possibility states that the representative has described all coverages, and he either accepts or rejects any provided coverage.

Both parties. the representative and the insurance policy holder ... advantage in this transaction. The policyholder has a total explanation 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 suit or claim versus his E&O coverage for offering the incorrect coverage.

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

1. Personal Information Collection: get as much info about the insured and his family members 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 limits.

4. Recommendations: what must be acquired and costs.

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

6. Deliver the Policy: A representative ought to deliver the policy personally and describe it again, not simply send you a copy in the mail.

Even after all the training and education that any insurance agent gets, the agent is still not a professional in the best ways to deal with an insurance claim. I've had lots of individuals tell me that they were getting their agent to assist them with their claim. Later on, they figured out that the representative didn't know a lot more about the claims process than they did. As I composed previously, agents can end up being specialists, but their know-how is customarily in the sales and requires analysis areas of insurance ... not claims. For a lot of agents, discovering the claims procedure would be a waste of their time, since a lot of agents are not certified to manage claims.

Sure ... some agents will be provided a little 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 then only in the residential or commercial property side of the claim ... such as a little water loss or a theft. For the most part, the insurance company focuses claims managing with the claims employees and independent claims adjusters.

The most essential methods you should take from this short article are:

1. Interview EVERY insurance representative to find out their level of competence. Just do business with the most certified, informed and experienced agents. Let the inexperienced agents practice on individuals who don't care about protecting themselves the right ways.

2. Don't always chase the lowest premium. You get what you pay for. If an extremely qualified agent takes care of you, you 'd be much better served to pay a greater premium. You don't drive the most affordable car you can discover, do you?

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


Representatives usually carry a type of liability insurance called "Omissions and errors" liability insurance. Omssions and mistakes (E&O) is the insurance that covers the representative's business, or the representative individually, in the event that a customer holds the representative responsible for a service he provided, or stopped working to supply, that did not have actually the expected or guaranteed outcomes. Next: In my never-to-be-humble opinion, ALL agents selling ANY kind of insurance need to carry out a Insurance Needs Analysis for the possibility PRIOR to offering the policy. Even after all of the training and education that any insurance agent acquires, the representative is still not a specialist in how to handle Lexington Insurance Agency an insurance claim. For many representatives, finding out the claims process would be a waste of their time, because a lot of representatives are not licensed to deal with claims.

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