Insurance agents can be some of the most important people you’ll ever do business with. They will help you protect your property, your assets and your finances. The work of an insurance agent has the potential to save you from financial ruin. original site
You could go through your whole lifetime and not need the services of an attorney. You could live and die and not have to use an accountant. But you can’t live in “the real world” without insurance agents.
But remember…it’s YOUR responsibility to learn which coverages are right for you.
Have you ever heard a story from a friend or relative who filed an insurance claim, only to find out that the coverage their agent promised was not there? I hear those stories ALL THE TIME, and at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME…AT CLAIMS TIME!
I began my insurance career as an agent in 1973. I kept my agent licenses active until 1992 when I became an insurance adjuster. During that period of time, I sold nearly every kind of insurance imaginable. That gave me a depth of experience in insurance sales. But all of that experience did not make me an expert in insurance. I learned risk analysis and sales techniques. But I don’t think that I ever had one minutes’ training in how to handle a claim. When my clients had a claim, I gave them the company’s phone number and told them to call it in. We occasionally filled out an Acord form, which is a standard industry form for filing a claim. That was all we did.
The best agent is a person who has spend time studying insurance, not a person who is an expert in sales. The largest percentage of insurance agents of all types are sales people, not insurance experts. Your agent may or may not be an expert in insurance. You’ll have to simply ask your agent what his education level is.
There are a lot of colleges and universities that offer degrees in insurance today. In our area, the University of Georgia offers degrees in Risk Management and Insurance. It’s a pretty well-respected program.
Agents can also become experts in insurance by going through continuing education, such as the Certified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) education program. Life insurance agents can achieve the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designation. There are other designations available to agents, but those two are the most widely accepted educational programs.
Agents in most states also have to complete a state-required number of Continuing Education hours each year in order to maintain their insurance licenses. If they don’t complete the hours, the state cancels their licenses.
An agent has a duty to you, called the “fiduciary duty.” That means that he must keep your financial well-being first in his priorities. If an agent sells you an insurance policy because it has a higher commission than another policy, he has breached his fiduciary duty to you.