What do insurance agents do? – How to pick a good insurance agent

by | Oct 10, 2016 | Blog

There are no shortage of insurance policies available for purchase. For individuals, things like auto insurance and life insurance are personal types of coverage that are readily available. Individuals can also purchase home insurance and health insurance to protect their possessions as well as their well-being. Businesses can purchase a wide range of insurance policies to protect it from catastrophic disaster. There’s also specialized insurance that can, for example, protect a restaurant owner from a person who gets drunk at the restaurant and goes out and injures someone. However, with all these types of insurance, many people struggle to understand: “What do insurance agents do?” They may also wonder: “What type of insurance agent is best for a particular type of insurance?”

Representing Insurance Companies

The first thing to understand is insurance agents represent insurance companies. These agents offer the types of insurance policies that the company they represent are selling. However, there are different types of insurance agents, and this is where things get a little tricky.

The Types of Agents

Captive insurance agents represent a particular insurance provider. If someone is looking for car insurance from a major provider of insurance throughout the country, a captive agent is likely who they want to speak with, especially if the person buying the insurance is loyal to a particular brand.

The second type of insurance agent is an insurance broker. These individuals sell insurance just like a captive agent. However, they offer insurance from a wide range of different providers. In some cases, they may provide quotes from major insurance providers. Other times, the quotes may be from smaller more specialized insurance companies.

Why You use an Agent

With the advent of online resources, there is a sizable group of people that may feel that working with an insurance agent is an outdated method for purchasing insurance. The fact is that in some instances, a person can easily purchase insurance from a website rather than actually speaking with an agent.

For example, a common type of insurance, such as car insurance, is fairly simple to buy and can easily be procured through a website. However, for more complicated insurance policies, such as health coverage, life insurance or business insurance, it’s always best to speak with an insurance representative.

A good reason for this is that there are many insurance policies that are extremely complicated. For the average person, understanding all the verbiage that exists in an insurance policy, or understanding and reading every aspect of the policy may be difficult. An insurance agent, whether it’s a broker or a captive agent, can help explain the different types of coverage that is available in a particular policy.

They will also help the purchaser understand the stipulations of the policy and to avoid certain things that could potentially void the insurance policy. With as complicated as certain types of insurance policies can be, having the guidance of an insurance expert is essential. When asking, what do insurance agents do, a simple answer is that they offer practical advice for their different types of clients.

When Insurance Companies go Bad

Most people don’t have a great deal of difficulty with an insurance carrier that they have chosen for as long as they never have to make a claim on their policy. In most cases, simply paying the insurance bill every month in return for documentation of coverage is all that a person needs.

However, if a person with auto insurance happens to have a car accident, and claims are made against the insurance company, this is where an insurance company’s reputation is made or broken. There are many people that have horrible stories to tell about an insurance company they thought was reputable, but when claims had to be paid, the insurance company was less than helpful, paid too little or refused to pay at all.

Do Your Research

It’s important to do some research before choosing an insurance company. For example, it may be a good idea to consider the reputation of the insurance company an agent is representing. With a captive agent, it will be simple enough to investigate one particular company. However, since brokers represent multiple insurance companies, it could take a bit longer to determine the quality of the insurance carriers the broker is representing.

It’s also important to consider how long the agent has been in business. Captive agents and brokers that have years of experience in the insurance industry will often be very helpful in assisting consumers when it comes to purchasing the right type of insurance coverage.

Also look at things like Better Business Bureau ratings to see if the insurance agent has had any complaints lodged against them. It’s also important not just to look at the complaints, but look at how those complaints were resolved by the agent.

A person may also want to consider asking friends and family. Quality insurance providers often find that the bulk of their clients initially came from word-of-mouth recommendations and testimonials. Sometimes, if a person doesn’t know which provider is best, simply asking a friend or a family member may be all that is needed to find the exact type of policy and the exact type of person ideal for the buyer’s situation.

Insurance is important, especially auto insurance. With the likelihood of you being involved in car accidents in the Colorado Springs area, having a quality provider of insurance is paramount. However, if the insurance agent or the insurance company isn’t acting in good faith, regardless of how fastidious you were about choosing the carrier and the agent, you may want to get legal help. Sometimes a lawyer can expedite payments or quickly help you get an increase in your payout from the insurance company. If you’re in a tough situation with your insurance company, and you need some advice, contact Ryan Malnar for legal help today.

A personal injury lawyer with over 10 years of experience, Ryan Malnar serves Colorado Springs with honesty & integrity.