When choosing the right insurance agent, loving the insurance agency and the location – right where you live in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota rather than across the country – makes all the difference.
When purchasing Home, Auto, Business, Life, Farmer & Health Insurance – finding a good agent or broker to advise you and help you find the right coverage is crucial.
There are different kinds of agents. Some are “captive” which means they can only offer you one insurance company’s products. State Farm, Allstate and other companies use captive agents. Other companies use “independent” agents and brokers to sell their products. Independent agents, like ourselves and brokers can offer you a wider range of options. Insurance is a product where quality matters but it’s very hard to shop and compare insurance policies on your own, it’s often worth having an experienced professional to help you find the right policy and company to suit your specific or specialized needs.
Tips on picking a good insurance agency:
Get Referrals: Ask friends, co-workers or ask for referrals on social media. Asking for recommendations is better than relying on an ad in the local newspaper. People love to refer people with whom they have had a positive experience. Ask what their experience was in dealing with the agent or broker. Were they responsive; able to answer questions clearly; friendly; knowledgeable? If the person had to file a claim, was the agent or broker helpful?
Ratings: Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media tools can help you gauge good service and quality businesses. These sites can be helpful, but a face-to-face with an agent or broker is one of the best ways of figuring out if they will take good care of you.
Personalized advice: A good agent or broker will be familiar with the products they’re selling and explain ways you can tailor your coverage to your specific needs, maximize protection and minimize cost. For example, a good agent will suggest ways you can adjust your coverage to take advantage of discounts (or credits) that insurers give for packaged policies.
Instinct and caution: Consumers occasionally get scammed by people posing as agents who advertise, offer a policy and collect a premium but don’t actually procure a valid insurance policy. Asking good questions, following your instincts and checking license status will help you avoid being scammed.
Questions to ask:
1) How long has your agency been in business?
2) Are you a “captive” or “independent” agent? If independent, how many companies do you represent?
3) If I need to file a claim, what is the process?