You know the old saying, You get what you pay for? While it may be true in some situations, it certainly isn’t always the case when it comes to insurance agencies near me. When you’re picking out an agency to handle your auto or home insurance needs, there are definitely things to keep in mind as you’re making your decision—things that can affect both the cost and quality of service you receive down the road. Make sure you follow these steps before you switch your current agency out and make a new one your new insurance partner!
How do I choose the right agency:
One factor to consider when choosing an insurance agency is its reputation. Word of mouth, especially from someone you trust, can go a long way in helping you feel confident that you're choosing a trustworthy insurance agent. If you haven't worked with an agency before, and are worried about choosing one online without seeing first-hand what they offer, get recommendations from friends and family who have used agencies and see if there's one in your area that meets all of your needs. When working with an insurance agency near me, be sure to ask them plenty of questions: how long they've been in business; how many years their agents have worked there; their approach (aggressive or traditional); their experience dealing with similar issues; etc.
Should I talk to an independent agent or call an insurer directly:
An independent insurance agent is an advocate for your family and can recommend coverage that’s best for you, whereas a call center may not have access to all products. However, many companies let you speak with a licensed sales representative right away when you call their 1-800 number. When choosing between these two options, it’s important to find out which one is more convenient and feel out what kind of experience you will have during your inquiry. If you have any specific questions in mind, don’t hesitate to ask! It’s normal to feel a little nervous when speaking with strangers about personal information—and there is nothing wrong with asking questions or using an opportunity like contacting your provider directly or calling an insurance agency near me—to research prices and options.
Weighing in all of these factors—and making sure you find a solution that works for your family—will help you decide what is best for you. If an insurance agency near me sounds appealing, make sure they represent multiple providers and aren’t exclusively tied to one company. This can limit your options and lead to a lower level of customer service. And don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! Independent agents will want you as a client, so you can feel comfortable asking whatever comes up during your phone call or meeting.
How much should I expect to pay in commissions:
If you are comparing insurance agencies, commission rates is a key question. Commissions are paid by insurers for bringing in business, and agencies that have lower-cost carriers often have lower commission rates to make up for it. A low commission rate from an agency that has high-quality insurance may be worth it in the long run, but be sure you know what you're getting into—for example, some insurers might have fine print that means they won't pay commissions when claims come in above a certain threshold. Be sure to do your homework before signing on with an insurance agency near me.
Beyond commission rates, make sure you ask about other fees, as well. Some agencies charge fees for additional services or products, such as credit reports and copy costs for ID cards. Reviewing your account history is usually free, though you may have to pay a fee if you want an insurance quote on short notice. It's also worth asking what happens if something changes with your coverage or billing during your policy period—are there penalties for early cancellation? Again, these little things can make a big difference in terms of value over time.
What services does my agency offer:
General agents can help you with a range of insurance needs. Whether you’re searching for homeowners, renters, auto or life insurance policies, a general agent is your best bet for securing all these types of policies at once—plus any other services you might need in an insurance agency near me. When shopping around for general insurance agencies near me, make sure that they offer these services before signing on. If they don’t, then what are you paying them for?
If you’re looking for general insurance agencies near me that offer specialized or niche products, then you should also ask what services they can provide. In many cases, general agents don’t offer these types of policies—but there are general insurance agencies near me that do.
How are independent agents regulated:
Not every insurance agency near me is created equal. Generally, they are required to carry a certain amount of money in their risk pool in order to be licensed and registered. This pool serves as collateral in case an agent goes out of business without paying claims owed. In other words, your money isn’t safe with any agent who hasn’t met regulatory requirements and can lose your investment—or worse—if something unexpected happens. While most states require that agents file a fidelity bond, meaning they are covered against fraud committed by employees or partners; a few states require additional forms of liability coverage as well.
More insurance agencies are popping up online every day, and it’s now easier than ever to get a quick quote. But with so many options, how do you know where to go? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Before you switch over, ask yourself these five questions: 1) Does your agency accept payments via check or cash? 2) Do they offer free parking for customers at their office buildings?