Advice To A Young Insurance Agent

An insurance agent contacted me last night asking for free advice.  He is losing business to another agent in town, and blames it on dishonest behavior by the other agent.Here is my advice:Free advice is worth what you pay...From what you describe you don't have a solid relationship with the buyer.  Price is an easy excuse - my bet is that there … [Read more...]

Bad Insurance Agents

OK, I am catching up on my reading of the insurance information service, FC&S (National Underwriter Company).A few minutes ago I blogged about bad adjusters.  Now its my turn to take a swipe at agents.Here is the question asked:A hit-and-run driver hit a car, which in turn was pushed into a building. The building and the personal property inside … [Read more...]

Agents Who Play It "Safe," Failing Their Clients

A letter to the editor I just sent to an insurance publication... I am reviewing insurance for a client. The agent's renewal review for last year includes a statement that they never recommend limits of coverage. Really? What exactly is your job then? Are you a clerk for the insurance companies? "Here is what we can offer. Buy what you want." … [Read more...]

Scott’s Rules of Insurance – Rule 6 – Your Relationship With Your Agent Is Key

Insurance wiz Howard Candage told me twenty years ago that the most important part of the insurance transaction is an insurance buyer's relationship with his insurance agent.  It must be based on mutual trust and respect.  You should view your agent as a professional, an advisor, a confidant.  If trust and respect are at all missing, it's time to … [Read more...]

Grace By Agents

I am in the middle of a dozen or so bid projects.  The results are coming in.To the agents out there.  Yelling at me when you lose does not make me want to do business with you.I don't think you are cool and I am not intimidated.  I will give you some information but realize that your pissy attitude does not help your case at all.The buying … [Read more...]

Changing Insurance Agents

Earlier this week I helped a client fire their current agent.My client had been working with the same agency for 20 years. In the past 6 years they have had three different service teams from the agency.Other than that, there were no real service complaints.We interviewed the current agent and three others as we tried to decide what to do for the … [Read more...]

Agent Selection in a Bid Process – Case Study

Agent selection is the toughest part of the insurance renewal bid process. However, nobody seems to talk about the actual dynamics of the process. I thought a snapshot of my thoughts and considerations from a current bid project would be instructive.This is typical of the issues and thinking behind assigning agents in an agent selection or … [Read more...]

What Services Should Agents Offer Business Insurance Buyers?

On the Insurance Journal Forum I was asked, "What kinds of stuff makes an insurance consultant stand up and take notice???"My List of Required Actions (Plus) for Agents Serving My Commercial Clients:-Annual review meeting to review coverage (at insured's office, at agent's office, or on the phone).-Presentation of renewal proposals 30 days prior to … [Read more...]

Business Insurance Renewal Truisms

Here are broad ideas I have when looking at the renewal process from the insurance buyer's perspective: - The most important part of the insurance transaction is the relationship the insurance buyer has with the insurance agent.  That being said, few agents have unique skills and resources.  Almost any insurance buyer can easily find an agent who … [Read more...]

Current Insurance Policies and Pricing

I'm working with a client who has upwards of 50 different insurance policies. When I did my first review of coverage, I suggested that the premium on one policy looked high to me.I was assured that the agent was a good guy, and took great care of my client. I continued my review only to find several indications that my client was being taken … [Read more...]