1. ASK SOMEONE YOU TRUST TO SUGGEST A LOCAL AGENT
Word of mouth can be a great way to find an insurance agent. Ask trusted friends and family members for referrals. However, make sure your pals recommend the agent for the right reasons. Many people prefer to have in-person appointments with their agent, and most agents prefer to know their clients personally. There is really no substitute to having a local agent who is an active member of your community.
2. INTERVIEW ALL PROSPECTIVE INSURANCE AGENTS
It is best to interview two or three agents. Ask them about specifics, as you would with an accountant or lawyer. Talk to them about your situation and see which ones give you the best advice. Once you get the expert on your team, you’re going to have someone who really knows what they’re doing. Your assets will be better protected as a result. There’s nothing worse than finding that a claim isn’t covered properly at the time of the claim.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and to ask about an agent’s experience, If necessary, ask to see a resume. Ask for references. A good agent should have several clients to provide enthusiastic recommendations.
The very nature of the agent-client relationship involves policyholders divulging “all sorts of personal information” to their agent. So, trust and professionalism are important. “If you feel that your agent is simply interested in selling you a policy, you should look elsewhere.”
3. FIND AN INSURANCE EXPERT
Look for agents who are true insurance experts. Such an expert can guide you through how to fill out a claim properly, so you get paid top dollar for your claim.An experienced agent will also be able to make your case to the claims department if you get into a dispute about a claims payment.
A good agent also will keep an eye on how your insurance requirements may shift over the years. Many people don’t realize that their insurance needs may change from year to year, and it is important for your agent to communicate the potential for these changes.
4. CHECK AN INSURANCE AGENT’S BACKGROUND
Make sure an agent’s licensing is up to date and meets state requirements. Also, check for any complaints against an agent. Generally speaking, state insurance offices should have a website where you can check the license status of your agent, and some will also allow you to check if there are any complains.
Remember, the goal is to find an agent who is properly licensed, has a good track record and puts your interests first.