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Choosing the right Independent Insurance Agent

How important is your insurance agent? More important than you might think. When you go to purchase car insurance, homeowners insurance or life insurance…where do you begin?

First you need to find a local agent. They know the area you live in and the type of risks and/or what can effect your insurance policies.

Now it’s time to check references. Have they been referred to you? Do they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau? Do they belong to professional associations like the IIAB?   How many Insurance companies do they represent? Chances are if they represent several insurance companies – big insurance companies find them reputable and trustworthy to represent their insurance products. Does the Independent Insurance agent offer A+ companies like Travelers, Safeco, Progressive and the Hartford? The answer should be yes. You want a stable insurance company that has been in business a long time and is stable. This way in the event you have any insurance claims to recover, they will pay.

Next step is getting a quote. A good agent will quote your insurance apples to apples. This way you can see if you are truly saving money. Some not so good agents will leave off coverages you currently have and need, to make it appear as though they are saving you money. You don’t want that. You want a good agent that will explain coverages thoroughly before you make your decision.

You also want an Independent Insurance Agent that works for you. This way if your rates go up significantly they can quote you in the other companies they represent to get you the same or better coverage at a good rate. When your agent is appointed to 10 or more A+ companies that is good for you, the customer. This way you can stay with an agent you are comfortable with and trust. In this case, you won’t have to provide a new company with all your information and take a chance on not getting quality customer service.

Do your homework. You don’t want to find out you chose the wrong agent when you go to put in a claim for a loss and realize you do not have the appropriate coverage.
Here is an example: You’ve always had coverage on your homeowners policy for you engagement ring. You loose your ring and your new policy has general jewelry coverage of $1000. Your ring is worth $10,000. You have a $500 deductible. You are now out a ring and will only get $500 for your claim. A good Insurance Agent would have added a rider to your policy for the ring and made sure you had a current appraisal on the ring.

Take your time when shopping for Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Renters Insurance and Life Insurance. These are important decisions that you must make with the help of an experienced, trustworthy Insurance Agent.