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7 Considerations When Choosing Ohio Insurance Agents

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Ohio insurance agentsWhen you’re shopping around for an insurance policy, one thing is probably on your mind: price. Most people are looking for the cheapest option possible. But choosing an insurance agent is more than just a cost-conscious decision. This choice can impact your life for years to come. Make it wisely, by reviewing all possible options. Ideally, customers want to get the best coverage at the lowest price. The goal is to get the most comprehensive coverage to suit your needs at a competitive rate. The best insurance agents will have a few qualities in common. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when searching for Ohio insurance agents.

1. Agent Type

There are two types of insurance agents: direct writers and independent agents. Direct writers, who are hired directly by an insurance company to write policies just for them, will work just for that one company. Independent agents, meanwhile, work for the client. They are hired by insurance companies on a contractual basis and can often provide you with numerous options that a direct writer may not have the leeway as an employee.

2. Credentials

When meeting a potential insurance agent, ask questions about their experience in various areas, and find out what their areas of expertise are. Look for technical credentials that are marked by letters after the insurance agent’s name — CIC, CPCU, ARM, and CRM. Ask about their education and the number of years they have worked in this particular field of insurance.

3. Type of Insurance

Depending on what kind of insurance policy you are looking for, you may want to find an insurance agent that specializes in a particular type of coverage. For example, if you are a business owner, it makes sense to find an agent that has worked with commercial insurance. Some insurance agents will offer many different types of insurance, while others will be more specialized, so make sure that you find someone who has what you want.

4. Personality

Though this is a professional relationship, his or her character still matters. Verify the insurance agent you work with is someone who communicates well and understands your needs. Look for traits such as honesty, trustworthiness, passion, and enthusiasm. Such qualities will help you feel confident that your agent is there to help you. Plus, customers want to know an agent is readily able to answer questions and make changes as needed.

5. Convenience

While location should not be a key factor, it sometimes plays a role in a customers decision-making process. Many people look for insurance agents who understand the needs of the people who live and work in their neighborhood.  In certain instances, this means finding an agent who services a designated region. And some customers prefer to work with agents in-person while others like to deal with insurance issues online. Consider your preferences and choose an insurance agent who can provide the highest level of convenience. Communicating with your insurance agent should be simple and accessible.

6. Reputation

Before you commit, make sure to do your homework. Check out the agent as well as the agency itself. Start by researching the agency online to see what kinds of reviews other people have left and what kind of press the agency receives. Is it a respected and philanthropic business, or is it embroiled in the middle of a lawsuit? Select an agency that appears trustworthy. Then, search the agent. If you find any social media profiles, you can learn a little more about their online personality and see if it matches up with their professional one. Gather information and find out as much as possible before you commit to working with an insurance agent.

7. Expectations

A smart way to test a potential agent is to ask for a quote right away. See how long it takes to get a response and what the quote includes.  Is the agent passionate about signing you on or just going through the motions? Talk it through and ask about anything in the quote that makes you feel unsure. The agent should give you clear answers and help you understand the terms of the potential policy. Then, ask for a detailed, written quote that can delineate the carriers and coverages to their full extent. A dedicated agent should help you understand the coverage being offered, including what might not be covered by the policy.

Choosing the right agent requires research, but it is worth the effort. An insurance agent does the shopping around to help you save time and money in the future. Over the years, an insurance agency can provide essential protection that fits your budget and needs.

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