Purchasing insurance policies help protect your happy, healthy life. Without car insurance, you risk fines for breaking the law. Even more importantly, if you’re involved in an accident, you’ll be solely responsible for any damage that happens to your car, property, or someone else.
If you fail to ensure your home, a strong storm can leave you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. At that point, you may not even be able to afford to repair the damage that could cost you your home.
At any rate, insurance is a necessary cost in life. But, just because you need it doesn’t mean you have to settle for a sub-par agency. You can get great coverage, a fair price, and an excellent agent if you know what to look for before buying into any polices.
1. Research, then research some more
The best thing you can to ensure that you make the right decision about a new insurance policy is to do your research. If you’re considering a new agency, or even just adding more coverage to your plan, you’ve probably surfed the web for some advice. But, skimming a few articles won’t help you really understand how your policies work. Take some time to become a part-time insurance expert! You’ll be able to make more educated decisions from here on out.
2. A referral is worth its weight in gold
Thorough internet research can only get you so far. Hearing from your friends or family members about their insurance agency experiences will get you closer to finding the right agency than anything else will. You never know if online reviews are legitimate – but you can count on real life experiences. In looking for a new insurance agency, 79% of consumers asked their friends or family for advice. Instead of having to narrow-down endless options online, you’ll have a few good places to start.
3. Reach out, ask lots of questions
The next logical step is to pick up the phone and contact an insurance agent. The best way to tell if an agent is the right match for you is to talk to one! Here are a few things to ask to your agent to make sure you’re covering all bases:
- What are your credentials? – A good agent will have gone the extra mile to take classes and gain extra accreditations from insurance associations around the country.
- What does your experience look like? – Find out how long the agent has been in the business, how long they’ve been with their current company, and how long they’ve been licensed in your state.
- Do you specialize in certain types of insurance? – While most insurance agents will be familiar with typical coverages like homeowners and auto insurance, they may not be as skilled in more obscure areas. If you need something like farm insurance, it’s best to find an agent that is more specialized.
When it comes down to it, an agency is only as good as the agent they assign you. And that agent is only as good as the way they handle your claims. They can have the best personality around, but if they don’t have experience with atypical insurance coverage or difficult claims, you’ll miss out when it’s most important.
4. Look out for scams
Unfortunately, insurance scams happen. While you’re very unlikely to be scammed locally, you are most at risk online. This is where lots of research about a company comes in handy. Never, ever submit any personal information like your date of birth, address, and social security number online unless you are completely sure the website is reputable. If you feel better calling to submit this information, always do that instead of leaving yourself vulnerable to identity theft.
5. Choose the right coverage
After you’ve taken the right steps to do your research, get some input from your friends, and actually speak to an agent, it’s time to get the right coverage. If you’re happy with the company, start exploring their coverage options. Make sure your agent understands your needs completely. This will allow you to have a better long-term relationship. Getting the right kind of coverage, and making sure you have enough of it, is time well spent on finding a new agency!
Finding the perfect insurance agency for your needs isn’t difficult. It just might take a little more work than signing up for any old policy. Remember, if you’re not satisfied with your current insurance, or you think you can do better, there’s nothing wrong with exploring your options. You’ll probably be glad you did!