Selecting an independent insurance agent is an important decision. You could end up working with this company for years, if not decades. So you should look for an agency you can trust and respect but also whose personality you enjoy. You also want to find an experienced and knowledgeable agent with integrity, who will go to bat for you when necessary.
Now that may seem like a tall order, but we’re confident that, with the right direction, you’ll find an independent agent who will put you first—and maybe even exceed your expectations. Here are our top tips for doing just that.
6 Tips for Choosing a Good Independent Insurance Agent
1. Understand What Makes Independent Agents Different
Independent agents are often local and licensed and authorized to sell insurance for various carriers. They generally offer several different types of insurance as well. Good agents will do the heavy lifting for you. Just tell them what you’re looking for, and they’ll go out and find it!
For example, if you’re in the market for new auto and homeowners insurance, your agent will make calls, acquire quotes, and give you options from different carriers, including any available discounts for extra savings. You can pick and choose what you like best and leave the rest.
2. Browse the Information Available Online
Be sure to look at an agency’s website, social media profiles, and customer testimonials. Do they have a professional online presence? Do they communicate well with their followers on social media? Do they have good ratings on Facebook and Google? Do they have a legitimate physical address and contact information?
You can also look up an agent on a state insurance office website to see if any complaints have been made against him or her.
3. Get Referrals from People You Know & Trust
Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if any of them work with an independent insurance agent. If they do, do they like who they work with? Why? How’s their customer service? How quick is their response time? How knowledgeable and helpful are they? Are they local? Which insurance companies do they represent? What types of insurance do they sell?
Screening insurance agents via people you already know can be one of the best ways to find a great agent who will serve you well for the long term.
4. Look at Their Credentials & Background
Other than asking about years of experience, a great way to determine an agent’s level of expertise is by asking about credentials and designations. For example, Coverage Direct has employees who are Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU). These types of advanced certifications show that a company is committed to learning and ongoing education and has the expertise that sets them apart from other agencies.
Always make sure an agent is properly licensed to sell insurance in your state. If this isn’t listed online, ask for a copy of the agent’s license so you can see it for yourself.
5. Conduct Interviews with Prospective Agents
We recommend interviewing at least two or three different agencies to find the best fit for you. This is the time to ask your hard-hitting questions. Address any concerns you have and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. Listen to the kind of advice they give you. Ask about their experience and if you can have a list of references.
It’s important to find an independent agent who is honest, trustworthy, professional, friendly, and truly has your best interests in mind from the start.
6. See Who’s Involved in Your Local Community
In today’s digital world, many people are satisfied with communicating via video calls, phone, text, live chat, or email. If you prefer in-person meetings, however, you’ll need to find a local agent. Many independent agents are actively involved in local events and take advantage of leadership opportunities. This shows true commitment to your community.
Coverage Direct is an independent insurance agency in West Des Moines, IA. We pride ourselves on always putting our customers first. If you’re interested in working with us, we’d be happy to answer any questions you have and address all your concerns from the start. Contact us or request a quote online any time.
We offer special insurance rates for EMT professionals—as a way to say thank you for your commitment to public service. Be sure to let us know if you’re a first responder!