Understanding insurance agents and their role in one’s life can be a bit confusing. It seems in the old days (before the internet that is), people had one agent that handled all their needs. Life, fire and auto coverage would all be handled by one agent who would even visit their customer’s home. Now the industry is about five times more competitive with the competition of the internet based insurance companies, where the agent is almost obsolete.
The role of the insurance agent is very important though. The agent works on behalf of the companies offering coverage and is a salesperson. Remember the classic picture of the door to door insurance salesman. Part of his or her salary is based on the commission of sales.
The relationship between the agent and the customer is ideally long lasting and trusted. An agent should have the client’s best interest at heart. Avoiding selling too much unneeded coverage will go a long way to make a client trust the agent.
The salesperson must ask the customers a lot of questions. The customer will do themselves a favor by answering honestly so as to be sure they are sold enough coverage.
This is a regulated industry so it is important to be checking the legitimacy of the agent. Since there are many long-standing agencies, it is best to do business with one of these or any other proven reputable company. Beware of scam artists and crooks in this business and never give your money or information to an agent without first doing your homework on that person or the company they represent.
This industry is also very competitive regarding prices. Do a little shopping a comparing when starting with a company. Though a contract is not usually longer than 6 months or so, it is best to start with a company you will want to stay with for a long time. Rates often go down the longer one remains a customer.
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