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Best Practices When Choosing An Insurance Agent
Choosing an insurance agent is an important decision because it can become a lifelong partnership that either helps you to navigate decisions wisely and save on costs, or fails to provide you with the best information and prices. A great insurance agent will always consider your best interests and stay on top of your coverage based on your unique needs and the needs of your family.

Here are some best practices and considerations to keep in mind:

First, know that there are different ways to get insurance: through an insurance company directly or through an independent agent. When working with one company, you'll interface with a sales team that is tasked with providing only the insurance that that company has to offer. When you work with an independent agent, you're afforded many more choices, because agents are able to provide a variety of insurance policies from numerous companies.

When you work with an independent agent, you're afforded many more choices.
Look at experience & willingness to coach and inform. Before you trust an agent with your insurance policies, inquire about their background in the industry. Do they have a number of years of experience? Do they have happy, long-term clients? Take note on their tone when interacting with them on the phone or in person: do they offer timely, helpful information or do they seem eager to get off the phone and move on to the next customer?
Prepare questions before reaching out. An insurance agent who is friendly and easy to work with should welcome any questions you may have. Here are a few questions to consider asking:

  • What is your experience in the industry?

  • Do you have client referrals?

  • How many companies do you represent?

  • What is your reach -- Local? Statewide?

  • Availability: what should I expect in terms of wait time when I reach out with questions?
Expect customer service even after you've signed a policy. A great insurance agent should stay on top of your needs and continue to offer guidance along the way. If you find that your agent isn't supporting you any longer, it may be time to consider switching to a new agent.

Insurance agents can make life much easier for you and serve as a valuable resource over time. Be sure to pay attention to "soft skills" in this process, as things like customer service and personality can come through in a big way when setting apart 'satisfactory' and 'great' agents.