What should I look for in a commercial insurance agent or broker?
Value and service are words often bantered around in the commercial and personal insurance world. Well then, just what is value and service as it relates to the licensed insurance professional providing your business with insurance?
At this point, there is no magic wand to wave to produce the ideal agent or broker. An accountant’s business insurance needs will differ from a retail store’s insurance needs and a veterinary clinic’s insurance needs. Instead, let’s turn the focus on what you feel you need to achieve value from your insurance professional and what level of service should be expected.
Has your agent shown a level of expertise about your business as well as business in general? Have they reviewed several options to meet your insurance needs? Are they able to show familiarity with your industry and made recommendations specific to it?
Is your agent or broker genuinely interested in your business and not just the commission? Have they recently toured your facility and inspected the equipment they are providing coverage on? Is your business out growing your agent? Are you and your company relegated to a junior staffer expect at renewal time? At minimum, we suggest at least an annual review face to face.
An annual review is not “Here are the latest premiums; sign here.”
Instead, you should expect a review of your business, what’s changed, and what has changed with your licensed insurance professional.
Depending on the type of business you have, the risk your business carries, and how fast your business is growing or changing, we also recommend a quarterly update phone call. More or less contact needs to be determined by you as the client and not the insurance agent.
The bottom line is to set an expectation of what you want from your business insurance professional and then get mutual agreement when moving forward. Your business insurance professional should be one of your most trusted advisors and not just a transaction.
If you feel like you’re just a number and a transaction, it’s time to look for another licensed insurance professional.