Adventures of a Well-Intentioned Insurance Agent

I learned today that the average consumer finds insurance adjusters to be the second least-trusted professionals, beat out in lack of trust by only used-car salesmen. (No offence intended to car salesmen. This was a consumer poll, not my personal opinion. I have a friend who sells cars that is completely trustworthy. But getting back to insurance adjusters…) This stat is not surprising, really. An insurance adjuster’s job is to ensure that payouts by insurance companies are appropriate. To many consumers, that can feel like trimming or eliminating more costs than what is fair, even if that’s not really the case. Claims have to be investigated, and payouts have to be fully validated. If not, insurance premiums would go through roof and cease to be affordable by the average consumer.

The first step in protecting yourself from being left holding the bill when you suffer a loss is to make sure you are properly covered in the first place. You do that, but finding the right insurance agent who you can trust. You need somebody who is going to make sure that you are adequately covered. As for the agent, that’s one of the greatest challenges – simply getting people to think about insurance from a risk vs. reward standpoint. Mostly because people don’t want to think about it at all. Insurance is a bill everyone knows they have to pay, but no one enjoys paying. Write the check, schedule the payment, and don’t give it a second thought. It’s a necessary evil, because when something does happen, you need protection. Cost of premium is important, and you want to keep that down, but not at the expense of having the right coverage for your assets. If you aren’t fully covered, whatever monthly payment you are making is a waste.

I sold an insurance policy this week to a family friend. She told me, “I just want to say that it’s nice to know someone who deals with insurance. It’s like a mechanic, accountant, etc. It’s easy to rip someone off and I thank you for being honest and really helping!” That’s a pretty telling statement. When dealing in an industry that has a lot of grey area, people expect to be ripped off. (Whether it actually happens or not, just like car salesmen, insurance adjusters, and not to mention every single other line of work, there are good and bad apples.) But, that is why I got into the business of selling insurance. Because I want people, my clients, to not feel that way. That’s also why I work with my partners at Compass. We set out to do business differently. To provide the level of service people no longer expect… but all deserve.

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