One of the most important insurance questions you need to answer is which agent is right for you. You can shop for insurance on your own, but having a knowledgeable agent help will make the process so much more smooth. And, once you have your insurance, you can take all of your insurance questions to your agent, rather than negotiating all of the red tape that is common in the insurance industry.
First, you need to decide whether you want an independent agent or an agent that works directly for the insurance company. Independent agents are not employed by any particular insurance company, and as such they can provide you with a broader range of products. They can show you policies from a variety of companies, rather than just one. A direct-writing agent works for one insurance company, and therefore can only show you products offered by that one company.
Chances are you will want to use an independent insurance agent. You need to choose several in order to find the right one to fit your needs. You will want to ask your agent for information about the professional associations he belongs to and the designs that he has. This will show you whether or not he knows the industry well.
Next, choose an agent that will act as your active advisor. You may want to put this agreement in writing for your files. You need to be able to go to your agent with all of your insurance questions, no matter how small they may seem to you.
You also want a knowledgeable agent. Ask a lot of questions before you sign up for the policy. Ask detailed questions about the policy, such as how a particular type of claim will work. Before you ask, make sure you know the answer yourself. Then you will know whether or not the agent is knowledgeable about the policy.
You will be working with your insurance agent on a frequent basis. Choose one that you feel comfortable talking with. Personality is important when it comes to choosing an insurance agent.
Finally, choose an agent that will give you everything in writing. As much as you might like to take the agent's word for a particular policy guideline, your insurance company is only required to act upon that which is written in the policy. Never accept a policy on hearsay. Make sure you have the important points in writing, even if you completely trust the insurance agent.