Picking the right insurance can be difficult. The good news is that there are certain steps you can follow to make your decision easier.
If you are here and are ready to work with a reputable and highly experienced bonding and insurance company, call us at Las Vegas: (702) 850-7711 or Memphis: (901) 306-8100.
To learn more about how to choose a great insurance company, keep reading.
1. Choose An Insurance Company Or An Independent Agent
There is a difference between getting insurance directly through an insurance company and getting insurance through an independent agent. So, when you’re looking for insurance, you’ll have to decide which avenue you want to take.
Sometimes people get confused by the difference.
In fact, the two questions we usually get are, “Don’t insurance agents work for insurance companies? Aren’t they the same thing?”
An independent agent (as the title suggests) is an independent agent that sells insurance products for multiple insurance companies rather than just one.
Independent agents make their money from commission rather than an hourly rate or a salary.
The goal of an independent insurance agent is to find a suitable policy for you by sorting through their list of carriers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Companies and Agents
One advantage of working with an independent insurance agent is that they can help you find a low-priced option for your needs. They do this by comparing prices between carriers.
A disadvantage of working with an independent agent is that they may be incentivized to suggest policies to you that maximize their commission rather than truly meet your needs.
This is a significant problem and one of the bigger pitfalls of working with an independent agent, but it’s not the only one.
The Big Drawback
Probably the biggest disadvantage of getting insurance through an independent agent is that they don’t have the same depth of expertise on specific policies that “captive agents” do.
Insurance policies are complex, and learning them takes time and a lot of work.
An agent that works for only ONE company can devote much more time to learning the ins and outs of their company’s policies, whereas an independent agent is forced to take a broader approach with multiple carriers.
Some insurance companies sell both directly and through the help of independent insurance agents.
What We Do
We at All n One Bonding & Insurance are a direct-to-consumer insurance company, meaning we do our own advertising through our website and then sell directly to you when you find us.
One advantage of working with a direct insurance company is that your premium is usually lower. The company isn’t going to be concerned about making up the cost of commission, which translates to you saving money.
A disadvantage of working with a direct insurance company is that you need to rely on their potentially crowded customer service line.
Long hold times and multiple transfers are common, especially for larger insurance companies.
Fortunately, you’ll never have to worry about hold times and transfers when working with us. We are a tight-knit team that is passionate about providing 5-star customer service.
If this resonates with you, call Las Vegas: (702) 850-7711 or Memphis: (901) 306-8100. We are available 24/7.
Side Note: Does Your Agent or Company Have The Appropriate Licensing?
To avoid issues with your insurance, we encourage you to only buy from companies that are licensed to operate within your state.
If you come across an insurance website and like what you see, you can easily check the company’s credentials via your state’s department of insurance website.
2. Compare Prices
Given how many companies are selling insurance today, it’s a good idea to scope out different options and compare prices.
Keep In Mind That Discounts Are Part of Pricing!
We certainly encourage you to ask about discounts.
Some insurance companies offer discounts for the following:
- Families with children
- Renovated homes
- Vehicles that are stored and maintained properly
- People with healthy finances and a good credit score
Improving Your Risk Profile Will Reduce Your Overall Price
Everyone wants to save money on insurance. The big question is how?
Well, in our opinion, one of the most effective ways to get a lower premium is to reduce the risk you present to the seller.
There are many ways you can make yourself more appealing to an insurance company.
For example, if you are looking for auto insurance, you could take a defensive driving course.
Really, what you do depends on your situation. Talk to your insurance company and ask them what you can do to lower your premium.
3. Find A Competent Insurance Agent Who You Get Along With
This is one of the more common sense suggestions that people miss. But working with an insurance agent that you get along with is very important.
When you jive well with your agent, you’re more likely to get a great policy simply because your conversations will go better.
Plus, if your agent likes you, they’ll be more likely to care about your needs and long-term objectives, which is just human nature. You definitely want someone who has a vested interest in finding the right plan for your situation.
A Competent Insurance Agent Can Answer Two VERY Important Questions
Question 1: What Is Your Insurance Claims Process?
This is the question you’d ask to determine whether or not your agent will assist you during the claims process.
Great insurance agents work hard to resolve claims quickly, as well as increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome.
If your agent, however, gives you the impression that you’ll need to fend for yourself, we strongly recommend finding a different insurance provider.
Question 2: How Are Reimbursements Handled?
Getting reimbursed is not always easy, especially if you don’t fully understand the reimbursement process.
The best thing you can do to avoid running into an issue with your reimbursement is to have a conversation with your insurance company about how it will be handled.
4. Choose An Insurance Agent That Gives You Options
When you choose your insurance provider, the more options you have, the better. You’ll want to avoid providers that don’t offer too much in the way of flexibility.
Product Knowledge Is Important
Sometimes all it takes to find the right option is to have a conversation with a knowledgeable agent who can detail the benefits of the product and leverage their advantages.
To learn more about our offerings, including our flexible policy plans, call us at Las Vegas: (702) 850-7711 or Memphis: (901) 306-8100.
5. Pay Attention To The Level of Customer Service
An insurance company or agent worth their salt will put your needs first since their goal isn’t JUST to sell a product or earn a commission. Their real goal is to build a long-term relationship with you.
Building strong relationships through high-level customer service requires a special team of people who are dedicated to listening to what you have to say.
Prompt Responses Are Essential
Relationships are maintained through good communication. If you have a question or a concern, the last thing you want is to wait days before you get a response, particularly if you are dealing with a time-sensitive issue.
In our opinion, insurance companies should respond to your queries within 24 hours or less. All n One Bonding & Insurance, however, exceeds this standard. We answer your questions immediately, as we are available 24/7.
Aspects Your Insurance Agent Will Go Over
When you call us, we will discuss the following topics:
- Policy basics (premium, deductible, etc.)
- In-depth policy questions
- Billing concerns
- Tax questions
- Company values
- Other topics
Reviews Are A Good Indicator of The Customer Service You’ll Get
When you are considering an insurance company, checking out their reviews is a great way to see how they do business.
A quick Google search is very telling.
Does the company have a lot of bad reviews? Does it even have reviews?
While reviews aren’t the be-all, end-all in every situation (most companies get a few bad ones here and there), they are certainly a strong indicator of the type of service you’ll receive.
We have multiple 5-star reviews on Google.
Websites Play A Role In Customer Service
While a website is probably not the most important aspect of customer service (for a smaller insurance company at least), it still plays a significant part.
A website should have clear and easy-to-understand policy information, company details, a payment portal, a contact form, and a phone number.
All of these will help you make an informed decision as a buyer.
Further Considerations When Choosing An Insurance Company
We hope this list makes your search for insurance easier. For further considerations, check out the supplemental information we’ve put below.
Are You Hiring The Company Because of A Good Referral?
The power of referrals can’t be overstated. A good referral can make the difference between a purchase and a pass.
Given how many insurance companies are advertising today, it’s worth asking your friends and family if they have suggestions.
The advantage of a referral is that you get the inside scoop on the company. You know from people you trust how they operate.
Is The Insurance Company Local?
The location of your insurance company is something to consider. While this isn’t a big deal to everyone, some people will want the option to visit the office.
Insurance Company Red Flags
Here are the red flags you should watch out for when looking for insurance:
- They take days to reply to your queries
- They change their original quote
- They contradict themselves regarding their policies
- They won’t answer clearly about how they handle claims and reimbursements
- They are only interested in your demographic rather than YOUR specific needs
- They don’t provide you with an EASY way to file claims