In the insurance industry where independent agencies may have access to products of the same insurance companies and can get you similar rates, what is the differentiator factor that you should be looking for when shopping agencies?

      Think about value factors that are important to you. Knowledge and expertise of insurance agents allows you to be less worried when you are on the road. Look for agencies that have been in business for a while and have experienced employees. Before turning to a particular agent or agency look up their ratings online and ask your friends for referrals.

      Price is often a deciding factor, unfortunately, for many people. While you can play around with rates, decreasing or increasing deductibles and coverage limits, think about the risk associated with increasing your portion of the claim and decreasing your protection limits. How safe are you on the road and can you afford to pay that deductible out of your pocket? Based on your record you can determine your risk and whether saving a few hundred and decreasing your coverage is really the best option for you and your business.

      You may also come across agencies that take minimal information and get you rates significantly lower than other companies. This should be a red flag. Companies which are not asking the right questions are probably missing critical information. You could end up with a significantly different bill after all the factual information has been provided, bruising your bottom line. Or, even worse, a huge difference between you being safe on the road with the right coverage and your claim adjuster trying to find coverage after a claim has already been reported- only to figure the hard way that guesswork at the policy purchase stage didn’t do you any favors.

      The Insurance industry is the industry of relationships. Thus, it is not recommended to switch agents or insurance companies just because you can save $100 on your premium. One cannot expect loyalty and VIP treatment if they are bouncing between insurance companies or agents every 6 months. Earning that loyalty is definitely better than saving a few bucks here and there. Insurance providers will fight for your business and often will make price cuts because they want to keep your business. You may also receive better claim experience when you are a loyal client who have been with the same insurer for many years.

 While good customer service is assumed, not everyone provides the service you are looking for. What are the agency procedures when there needs to be a policy change, how fast can they deliver certificates, and most importantly, what happens when there’s a claim? Look for an agency that takes a holistic approach to serving their customers. Make sure they have a support team that can take care of the little things that are so important to your business.

      When you do find that perfect agency, stay loyal and trust them, after all, you worked so hard to find them in the first place! Keep in mind that they may not always be able to provide you with everything you want. A good agent will take the time to consult with you about ways to protect your life and what you can do to maximize discounts. If you did a good job finding your agent you can rest knowing they will do everything possible to make your life easier and give you peace of mind. If you’re looking to switch insurance agencies or just starting up a new business, give us a try. At Choice One Insurance Inc. we take pride in the service we provide and never sell you coverage you don’t need. Submit a quote request via our website or contact us at (503) 387-5211. For more information you can also visit our Facebook PageLinkedIn or Twitter.







About the Author
Anastasiya is our agency marketing director and customer service extraordinaire. She provides service to our clients in three languages and designs all of the promotions, events planning, and social media campaigns. In her spare time she loves to draw and paint and often gets involved in community service projects. You can connect with Anastasiya on LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

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