What Should I do if I am Not Happy with My Agent?
Are you sticking with a bad insurance agent because you like the rates you’re getting? Or are you ready to move on, but unsure where to start? Whether it's business insurance, home insurance, or auto insurance, you can move on and still get good prices.
Why Would You Want To Switch Agents?
Why are you considering switching? Here are some common reasons:
- Poor customer service. Do they return your emails or phone calls? Do they send you quotes when they say they will?
- Availability. Does it take weeks to get a response? Do they keep business hours that don’t work for you?
- Incompatibility: Does your agent's personality mesh with yours? Or do they drive you crazy?
- You moved. Maybe you love your agent, but you moved and have to move on. Or they retired and you need to start your search over.
- Inexperience: Is your agent inexperienced? Do you need to find someone more knowledgeable in your specific industry?
We all expect good service in any vendor/customer relationship. If you’re not getting great service or the best rate for your business, it’s time to move on.
What To Expect From a Good Insurance Agent
What should you expect from your licensed insurance agent? What are they there to offer you and your business?
Communication is Key
You should expect any call to your agent to be returned within 24 hours at a minimum. An emergency number should also be provided in the event a claim is necessary during nights, holidays, or weekends. It’s ok if the carrier provides this and not your agent. Just be sure this number is available.
Having an annual review is critical. An annual review is NOT “Here are the latest premiums, sign here.” Instead, you should expect a review of your business. What’s changed? Do you have more locations? Have you hired more people? It’s important that your agent regularly updates these things.
Depending on the type of business you have, the risk your business carries, and how fast your business is growing or changing, we also recommend a quarterly update phone call.
Your Agent Genuinely Cares
Make sure your agent has an interest in your business and your success. Have they visited your site or at least asked for photos of the various equipment and location? Make sure you are introduced to staff that may work on or service your account.
They Bring Value to the Table
A great insurance agent should offer value. What does that mean? Do they find ways to help you save on costs? When you meet with them and update them on changes in your business, do they offer suggestions for insurance? Do they help you protect your business? Everyone defines value differently, so you need to determine what’s important for you to have in an agent.
Does Changing Agents Save You Money?
Changing agents within the same insurance carrier isn’t guaranteed to save you money. Let’s say you work with a State Farm insurance agent. You aren’t happy with the rate you’re getting and are wondering if another State Farm agent can get you better insurance rates. The truth is, insurance companies base their rates on underwriting risks. They can’t negotiate prices on a customer basis. So it's unlikely that a new agent with the same insurance provider can get you different discounts or rates.
This keeps agents from being forced to compete against each other. However, if you believe your insurance agent doesn’t know the options available to you, switching to someone with more experience may benefit you.
Get a New Insurance Agent
If you want to change agents with the same insurance carrier, here are the steps you need to take.
- Have a conversation with the potential agent: Set the expectations of what you expect from an agent or broker and find the right one to fit your needs. They must be someone you can trust and turn to for advice and recommendations important to the success of your business.
- File some paperwork: If this person is a good fit, you’ll need to notify your insurance company. You’ll need to provide your insurance policy number, renewal dates, and likely fill out some paperwork. In some cases, you may be asked why you’re requesting a change. You should not have to talk to the agent you’re leaving.
Once your policy is renewed, all of your insurance information will be transferred to the new agent and your old agent will no longer have access. You can address any questions and claims issues with your new agent.
What if you want to switch insurance companies entirely? Here are some recommendations to make sure the potential new insurance company is a good fit:
- Do your research. Contact at least three different agents to get quotes for your small business. Ask them what their availability looks like, how the claims process works, and if they have special knowledge about your specific industry. Try and find someone experienced who is a fit for your business.
- Meet with prospects. If you find someone who you think will be a great fit, meet with them. Bring your current policy (or email it to them) to get a comparable quote. You can also see what their thoughts are on your current insurance coverage.
- Purchase a new policy. If everything looks good, go through the process to purchase the new insurance policy/policies for your business. Once it is active, contact your current insurance company to terminate the policy.
If you're not set on a specific insurance company, consider working with an insurance broker or independent agent. They work with multiple companies and can get you multiple quotes.
Is it Time to Change Insurance Agents? Give Us a Call
If your current insurance agent isn’t a good fit, you should get someone new. This is your business and you need to partner with an agent you can work with. Complete the form at the top of the page or give us a call at 877-907-5267 to get started with a new agent today.
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