In the risk-prone world of today, insurance is a key investment to make in life, as well as business. Of course, this is acknowledged wisdom and the numbers show that too. According to a report by Deloitte, the Property and Casualty sector in the US insurance market saw a net 66% growth in income to $60 billion in 2018. Further, as per a report by the Insurance Information Institute (III), the insurance industry contributed about $630 billion to the US GDP in 2019, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
But a large industry is also a problem for the customer. Finding the right insurance agency may seem a daunting task as there were about 5,965 insurance companies in the US alone in 2018. Add to that the abundance of insurance agencies and agents.
But you should be able to trust your insurance provider to secure your, as well as your family’s future. It’s never worth being in a hurry to find the right insurance agency. Take all your time to research, review, and evaluate their efficiency in meeting your insurance requirements.
But how do you know if an insurance agency is right for you?
Don’t only rely on brand identity
If the insurance agency is big on brand identity and reputation, you feel an immediate sense of relaxation. This is because the industry biggies basically feed on brand reputation, which you can trust easily. However, an ideal insurance agency is more than its brand identity. It’s also about how enriched its customer experience is and how far they go to meet the specific needs of their customers.
The main problem with big brands is that they have pre-designed insurance packages that cover most of the general needs of the customers. Seldom do they do the extra mile to customize these packages to cover your specific needs. Like your business (or property, car, etc), your insurance needs are also unique and require in-depth analysis to decide on the insurance product that will cover most of the probable risks.
Big insurance agencies often don’t have the process to focus on such specifics. However, a small or medium-sized insurance agency that has garnered a good reputation in the last few years can do that. If you can find an agency that’s ready to hear you out and customize their products according to your needs, you’ll know that they are the right choice for you.
Consider the customer service quality
It’s natural to be anxious when you’re buying insurance. Many people don’t understand all the complicated clauses and requirements even after years of buying insurance and paying premiums without proper guidance. Therefore, it’s important to invest in an insurance agency, with an exceptional customer service system that offers personalized guidance regarding your specific needs, the probable risks and assured benefits, the insurance cover you should choose, its premium, and the assurance of concerned assistance should you have to file a claim. The right agency should be with you throughout your insurance journey and help you overcome all challenges that come your way.
See how they connect with you
Your insurer should be able to connect with you on a personal level, like a financial advisor or an attorney. Instead of leaving you to wait for hours on the helpline system, they should be present when you reach out.
Either a face-to-face appointment or a dedicated phone line should be on their list of customer contact options. Having someone at the other end of the line to listen to you intently, understand your specific problem areas, and provide effective advice on the same is key for small businesses (especially). They should also be available on social media platforms to inform and connect with their customers regularly. If an agency is ready to provide you that level of access, you can consider them ideal for your insurance requirements.
Ask them about their claims process
Don’t hesitate to ask the agency about their claims process. Although most insurance claims processes are lengthy, you should examine the individual processes of agencies and try to analyze how they handle them. In this regard, you should have a chat with the agents and ask them everything you want to know about how they handle each insurance claim and what the chances of those getting approved are.
The more you discuss, the better you’ll get to understand how they help their clients get what they need. The job of an insurance agency doesn’t end with selling their insurance product. They must also help you over the process as you find out if your claims get approved or rejected. Understanding how they handle the lifecycle will help you determine whether an agency is a right fit for your insurance needs.
How flexible and convenient their services are
A reliable insurance agency with customer satisfaction at the top of its priorities will go the extra mile to provide maximum convenience to the insurance buyers. Check if it has the provisions to allow various options for paying premiums? How convenient is their claim reporting process?
This minimizes hassles for most buyers, owing to the busy schedule everyone runs. You have enough on your plate already without adding a bunch of insurance-related tasks to the To-Do list.
One pro tip is, take a look at the agency’s website and read its blog. This will help you understand just how aware they are of the current trends, laws, and regulations and how they look to keep their audience informed regarding insurance issues at the state and federal levels.
You must ask as many questions as you like to your insurance agent. If you are satisfied with the answers, indeed if they make the effort to provide all the answers, you can sense that the agency takes its customers seriously.