A great insurance agent can be one of the most valuable professionals a person can develop a relationship. When I was a young attorney, a client told me to get the best doctor, banker, accountant, corporate attorney and insurance agent I could find and grow old with. He told me I would need each throughout my professional career and personal life. This was fantastic advice.

I recalled that advice while reading Bill Wilson’s post, FAST, EASY and CHEAP. Wilson made this observation when consumers buy insurance based on price and using a website to compare insurance:

Does anyone really care as long as they can complete the unpleasant insurance purchasing task in one minute? Probably not…until they have a serious uncovered claim. Then fast, easy and cheap doesn’t seem that important. As my mentor, the late John Eubank, CPCU, ARM, would always say:

‘The bitterness of no coverage is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.’

Professional Insurance agents strive to keep up and understand an increasingly complex insurance marketplace, listen to learn about their client’s particular insurance needs, develop relationships within the industry and among colleagues and look at themselves as servants to the public providing an extraordinarily important product. A computer cannot replace the human judgement and services provided by such an insurance agent. The relationship between an insurance agent dedicated to providing great service extends long after the insurance product is sold. The professional agent is with his client after losses occur and is constantly preparing and learning about coverages for the next coverage purchase transaction takes place.

The best professional Insurance agents belong to organizations that promote professionalism, and they usually obtain certifications demonstrating competence and a dedication to their work. You will often find they belong to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and similar state organizations. They will have designations such as CPCU, CLI, or ARM. You can tell they care about what they do and that they care about you, your family and your business because of their time and study of your needs. Computers may have lots of information, but computer software does not care nor have human judgement.

Beware of insurance being marketed as less expensive. It is often cheap and often not based upon your insurance needs. Rarely are consumers of insurance in the position to understand the nuances of coverage wording and the reputation of claims performance.

Thought For The Day

“My mother had taught shorthand and typing to support us since my father died, and secretly she hated it and hated him for dying and leaving no money because he didn’t trust life insurance salesmen.”
—Sylvia Plath