One advantage of utilizing an independent insurance agent is that they are a licensed professional. A licensed agent has many legal obligations, such as behaving ethically and acting in your best interest. Many states require agents to pass a licensing exam in order to sell insurance. The type of license an agent needs depends on the products he or she sells. For instance, an agent that sells property and liability insurance may require a property/casualty license.
A license is generally valid for two years.
To renew an existing license, an agent may need to fulfill state continuing education requirements.
Choice of Insurers
Because independent agents represent multiple insurers, they can obtain quotes on your behalf from several sources. Insurance products offered by one insurer may differ in price and scope of coverage from those offered by another. Your agent can help you compare policies and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Independent agents are familiar with the insurers they represent. Your agent's knowledge of insurers' preferences can save you time and effort. They won't waste time submitting applications that are likely to be rejected but will direct your submission to insurers that want your business. If your agent isn't sure whether you meet an insurer's underwriting guidelines, they can ask the underwriter directly before submitting an application.
One benefit of using an independent insurance agency is that you will get help filing claims. If an accident occurs, you can report the event to your agent, who will then notify your insurer. Your agent can help you fill out claim forms and can advocate on your behalf if problems arise. Agents are familiar with claims handling procedures and the amounts typically paid for various types of losses. After your claim is paid, your agent can tell you whether the payment amount seems reasonable.
Agents are trained in risk assessment. For home insurance or for small businesses, they can help you prioritize your risks and determine which are insurable. While many of the risks associated with operating a business can be covered by insurance, some are uninsurable or insurable at a high cost. Your agent can help you decide which risks are worth insuring.
Another advantage of using an independent agent that agents are familiar with the risks in your geographical area. For instance, agents in coastal areas or near rivers are familiar with flood risks and flood insurance. Your independent agent can educate you about the risks in your region and how you can mitigate them.
Insurance is a people business. When you meet with an agent in person, you develop a personal relationship with him or her. Over time, your agent will become more familiar with you and your business and will be able to provide more personalized service. For instance, your agent may contact you when new coverages become available or when prices on certain insurance drops. Your agent will review your coverages prior to renewal and may suggest changes or upgrades. Many small business owners value this individualized attention.
To work with an independent agent, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.