BEWARE!!! Unfortunately, there are some agents in our area that are less than scrupulous when it comes to selling insurance. The majority of us truly care about the well-being of our customers but the ones you need to look out for are the ones that ask … well, how much are you paying now? If they ask that question before any other, buyer beware! If they are able to get you a “better” price, there are FIVE questions you need to ask yourself (and that agent)!
Are the coverages the same or better than my policy now?
(If you are my customer, feel free to let that other agent copy off the work you and I put into your policy.)
In the last month we’ve had two customers leave our agency for “greener” pastures. Each to a different agency (one local and one internet). In both scenarios, the policy we had written matched their personal situation but the “new” agent reduced the limits of liability significantly (among many, many other detrimental changes). It’s a little-known fact that a lot of insurance companies are now giving better pricing if you come to them with higher liability limits. Conversely, if you then reduce those limits, you might get a better price now, but in six months when you want to start shopping around again, you’ll likely find the prices to be higher than where you before you switched! Please don’t get trapped by this tactic. At Hedges Insurance, we don’t focus on the “sale”; we focus on the long-term relationship and worry about what might happen to you when those bad things happen.
Are the benefits the same or better than my policy now?
If the agent tells you the coverages are exactly the same as what you had before, ask about the BENEFITS! In every policy there can be special coverages not easily seen. It is impossible to know all the intricacies and nuances of any given insurance policy unless you read through the actual contract of that policy. Make sure you know what you’re getting and you aren’t giving up something you don’t want to give up!
What is the financial rating of the company to which you are being moved? And how does it compare to where you are moving from?
You can do this one on your own. Check out any insurance carrier/company and their financial stability rating. There are four, independent rating organizations.
The two most commonly used are:
How quickly and efficiently will this company handle claims whether it’s your fault or not?
When you need to file a claim or have a billing question do you call the agent or the company?
(How much work will that agent be willing to actually do for you?)
Protect yourself and don’t be afraid to ask these questions. Any worthy, moral, responsible agent will welcome these questions. The really good ones will offer the information without being asked!