Tips for Selecting a Competent Insurance Agent/Broker
An insurance agent/broker assists in a home or business owner’s purchase of property insurance by determining their insurance needs and finding an insurance plan that best fits their client’s situation. An insurance agent/broker is an important part of any home or business owner’s pre-disaster plan.
Select an agent/broker:
1.) Who understands your vulnerabilities
An agent/broker must understand your unique exposure to elements that may impact insurance coverage. Vulnerabilities may include: weather (hurricane, flood, earthquake, etc.), crime, home-based businesses, ‘high-risk’ businesses, building codes, equipment/machinery, cyber security, personal liability, and more.
Many such exposures require additional endorsements to a standard property insurance policy. Failure to cover all insurance gaps can leave you underinsured or unprotected should a disaster or emergency occur.
Home and business owners may not be familiar with the necessary insurance add-ons to make them compliant or covered for such events; therefore, it is imperative to find an agent/broker who understands your potential exposures and can communicate with you frequently to cover any “gaps.”
2.) Who is in touch with your growth
Whether it’s adding onto your property via renovations, additions, expansions, purchasing new buildings and/or equipment, or downsizing – your agent/broker should be aware of changes to your property as it will affect your coverage.
As a business owner it is critical to protect fluctuation in your expected revenues as your business income coverage needs to be aligned with your expected growth.
3.) With whom you can communicate
When it comes to insurance, most home and business owners prefer working with an agent/broker who is accessible and easy to communicate with, perhaps even local. Coverage can be a complex topic and one that should be addressed at least annually. Therefore, it is important to have a positive working relationship with your agent/broker.
For business owners, it is also helpful if your agent/broker has experience with your industry as they will then have a better idea of what to look for, expect, and predict possible shortcomings. As a client, you should make an effort to help him/her understand your business so you can work together to identify possible solutions.
Understand your insurance agent/broker’s role in the event of a property loss
An insurance agent/broker’s expertise when it comes to selling insurance coverage is a crucial piece to the puzzle of disaster planning for your family or business. However, they are not responsible for preparing your claim after a disaster has occurred. While home and business owners should immediately contact their agent and file a claim post-disaster – there are other professionals who can help with the claims process itself.
It is your responsibility to prepare and document your claim. If you have suffered property damage as a result of a disaster, it is recommended to look into hiring a public adjuster. A public adjuster will estimate, negotiate, and settle your insurance claim for the maximum amount – all while working exclusively for you, the policyholder as your advocate.
This blog was based off of our Property Insurance Roundtable podcast titled, “Expecting the Unexpected” – take a listen here:
For additional information, visit:
- Adjusting Today “Expecting the Unexpected Part of the Unexpected: Surviving Disasters: Natural or Otherwise”
- “A Quick Fix for Identifying Property Insurance Coverage Gaps”
- “Hiring a Public Adjuster – FAQ’s Answered”
- “Do I need to consider hiring a Public Adjuster if my agent says he will help me with my claim?”