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Know Your Agent

Know Your Agent Before Buying an Insurance Policy - Insurance Policy Tips

It wasn’t all that long ago when we adjusted a claim for a Client whose house burned down, almost to the ground. As it turns out, the insured had NOT talked to his insurance agent for twenty-seven years and the same policy limit that existed twenty-seven years ago was the same policy limit in force at the time of his devastating fire.

The insured had his agent “assigned” by a title company when he bought his home. The agent had not ever called him at all.

While this is an extreme example of an agent-client relationship gone wrong, or at least never started right, think about it for a minute. Do you know who your insurance agent is? Most people do not.

Some insurance agents are like State Farm advertises: “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”. You bowl with your State Farm agent, you go to Church with your State Farm agent. The State Farm agent is your friend and will do anything to help you, until you have a claim. Agents are often powerless when a claim raises its ugly head. We adjusted a claim for a Farmers’ insured whose agent went to bat for his client in a disputed claim and the Farmers agent called us after a while and told us that Farmers was letting him go. That is why you need Brown – O’Haver to adjust your claim. We are your advocate and represent YOUR interests and not the interests of the insurance company.

It is most important that you know your agent and understand where the agent is coming from. Many agents just want to hear the prospective client to say “yes” so the agent gets stuck in the mind-set of offering a cheaper policy instead of teaching the client how to purchase or buy the right policy. They operate under the rule that “No sale equals no commission”. An agent you know well will help you get the right coverage. The agent should not focus on price and neither should you. Insurance often consumes fifteen percent of our budget but insurance is our blind spot. We need insurance to cover us for a potential loss and the potential loss that must be insured is different for everyone. Knowing and trusting an agent, except when the agent doesn’t want you to hire an advocate when you have to present a claim. You see, when you file a claim agents are concerned with their “claims ratio” and many times the loyalty your agent has for you evaporates.

My agent knows me. I trust her and when my truck caught on fire, she quickly advised me she could not get involved in the claim process. If your agent knows you they will have helped you obtain the right coverage. The policies they sell are contracts. Your agent should have studied those policies so that he or she can answer any question you might pose.

Your agent should help you build a plan of protection that will fit your needs. Some people want insurance for “everything”, but they will likely go broke with that mentality. That is another reason to get to know your agent.

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