An insurance agent, also called an insurance broker in some cases, is the local representative for any number of insurance companies. A legitimate insurance agency must be licensed by a state board before it can legally sell insurance policies to clients.
Generally, an agent works as the local face of a single insurance company, but occasionally an independent agent may work with different companies depending on their areas of expertise and coverage.
Insurance agents can look at police and fire reports to determine if property damage warrants payment.
Most consumers interested in purchasing insurance coverage will only deal directly with a local insurance agent. He or she is authorized to present all available coverage options through the largest insurance company.
Since part of an agent’s salary is based on commissioned sales, they will often offer a one-stop shop for all of the client’s insurance needs.
He or she can sell individual policies for health, life, home, and auto insurance, or offer a package plan that incorporates a combination of these needs.
A good insurance agent can keep track of new developments in a client’s life.
Insurance clients must make regular payments called premiums to the insurance company, so part of an insurance agent’s job is to ensure compliance.
He or she can send reminders of an impending premium payment or notify customers of any proposed rate changes. A good agent can also keep track of any new developments in a client’s life, for example a new teen driver or a new home.
Clients may need to change their coverage from time to time, so the agent will negotiate the new terms with the parent company.
An insurance agent can help the insured over the phone.
Perhaps the most visible part of an insurance agent’s job occurs during an actual insurance claim. After a car accident or natural disaster, for example, clients are urged to contact their local insurance agent as soon as possible.
Claims for insurance benefits must be processed through an authorized agent who can verify the circumstances of the accident or disaster. The insurance agency may send a specialist called a claims adjuster to personally inspect the damage and calculate the value of the claim.
Insurance agents must be licensed before they can legally sell insurance policies to clients.
An insurance agent often acts as an informal arbitrator between the client and the parent insurance company. He or she may know the best ways to file a claim to get the most favorable settlement from the insurers.
Insurance agents help people file claims after a disaster.
Most consumers interested in purchasing insurance coverage will only deal directly with a local insurance agent.
Drivers involved in accidents are often asked to call their insurance agent as soon as possible.