Posted on May 17, 2014
Every company needs good insurance advice to protect the financial security of their business. While some companies prefer to research their insurance options on their own, others find the task challenging and time consuming. These individuals seek the expertise of insurance professionals so they can gain valuable insight into the best coverage for their business needs.
Consider the following four points to help you find the best commercial insurance agent for your business.
Insurance professionals are typically strong participants in their local communities and the insurance industry overall. Make sure that the commercial agent you are considering has a good reputation. Ask the agent for referrals from companies they represent. Preferably these referrals should be in the same industry as yours. Call and speak with those company representatives to learn more about the potential agent. Be sure to find out how long the company has been represented by the agent, and ask about the service they have received so far in their relationship.
Insurance Licenses and References
Each insurance agent or broker must be licensed by the state. Call or check the website of your state?s insurance department. Most websites today have an insurance agent lookup so that you can make sure the agent is licensed and also whether there have ever been any complaints or disciplinary actions on record. Also research to make sure that the agency in question has never been sued. A quick internet search by name can usually yield results. Incorporated agencies must file with the state for their corporations so if there are complaints with the attorney general or department of corporations, these departments may also be contacted. If the agent or agency is registered with the Better Business Bureau, their files may also be another resource to consider.
Agent?s Service and Knowledge
You can also evaluate a commercial insurance agent by learning more about their experience and knowledge. They will be happy to sit down with you to discuss their background and how they approach serving their clients. Many agents specialize in different types of coverage so their expertise may be strong in one area of insurance over another. Also evaluate the overall agency itself. Do they primarily represent small or large firms? Do they have many clients in your particular industry?
Look at the company?s website and brochures. Find out their hours of operation and make sure they have a customer service number that is in service and reachable during business hours. You want an agent that is responsive and available when you need them.
Business owners often have a network of associates and friends that can be a resource for information about good commercial insurance agents in the area. Sometimes all you need to do is ask, and you?ll learn more about who they personally use for their business insurance. The local Chamber of Commerce can also provide valuable information about member agents in the community.
While this list is not exhaustive, it offers a start in the right direction of how to find a commercial insurance agent for your business insurance needs. After interviewing and evaluating potential agents with the right qualifications, choose the agent that you feel most comfortable working with. The cornerstone of a successful agent-business relationship is being able to rely on the professional over the long term.