|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
Commercial insurance brokers play a key role in the contemporary insurance field. As the main linking agent between the customer and the insurer, these professionals are often instrumental in ensuring layman clients gain an understanding of the intricacies of the field, and of commercial insurance in particular. In a sense, commercial insurance brokers almost transcend their role as salesmen and women to become teachers, or at the very least tutors, providing their customers with information on the highly specialized field they deal with.
Needless to say, this dual role, and the responsibilities it entails, necessitates that professionals in the commercial insurance field have a very specific and distinctive profile, and are able to demonstrate a number of essential qualities for the duties they are called upon to perform. The lines below list three of the most important traits commercial insurance brokers must possess to truly be successful at their job, and give a brief explanation about how and why each of them is crucial to the aforementioned role.
There is little need to explain just why and how empathy is important in a customer-facing job; yet the importance of this quality goes even a step forward in the case of a commercial insurance brokerage role. As noted above, commercial insurance brokers are as much instructors as they are salesmen, and as such, it is paramount that they are able to make customers feel 'safe' and at ease when navigating the complex, intricate and often highly technical field they operate in. This is best achieved by empathizing with the customer, and commercial insurance brokers able to establish a rapport with their clients often find the process of selling them a policy or plan goes off much more smoothly, and with far fewer questions on the part of the customer. The most successful commercial insurance brokers manage to establish a link with their customers, and a large part of this comes down to how much empathy they exhibit.
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
Once again, the importance of being knowledgeable when operating in a field as specialized and technical as insurance almost goes without explaining. Unlike other areas of the business and services world, where customers tend to come in with at least some idea of what they want, customers looking to purchase insurance policies invariably tend to have but the vaguest of notions about what they are after, or what the average plan entails to begin with.
This is where commercial insurance brokers' aforementioned dual role as educators comes in, and this is also why it is paramount that professionals working in this area be knowledgeable about its particularities, as well as those of the field as a whole. Customers looking to buy insurance, commercial or otherwise, expect their brokers to be experts, and it is up to the brokers to live up to that expectation.
It is not enough to simply be knowledgeable, however; knowing the ins and outs of the insurance field can be all but useless if the broker is not able to translate that knowledgeable into language any layman or woman will understand. Clarity is, therefore, the third essential attribute successful commercial insurance brokers invariably exhibit, and a large part of the reason for that success.
As noted above, customers first coming into the insurance field often feel confused, overwhelmed and lost, and commercial insurance brokers who are able to explain the process of buying a policy in a way that is clearly understandable to them are likely to be far more successful getting through to the average customer than those who speak in technical jargon.
There are, of course, other qualities commercial insurance brokers need in order to excel at their job; however, exhibiting the three detailed in the paragraphs above will already constitute an advantage, as well as an excellent basis for success in their field of expertise.
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|