Shopping for insurance? You may think you’re simply looking for an insurance policy. But, perhaps, what you’re really looking for isn’t a what but a who: Someone you can trust to guide you through the plethora of insurance choices, rather than trying to make sense of all the options yourself online.
That someone is an insurance agent, but there are countless agents out there – not to mention different types. So, how do you choose? Use these four steps to select the type of agent that’s right for you and find one you want to work with to purchase, review and manage your policies on an ongoing basis.
1. Know the Types of Insurance Agents: Captive vs. Independent
Captive, or direct, insurance agents represent only one insurance company, meaning they are employed directly by the company whose products and policies they sell. Any policy he or she sells will be from that company, and that company only. What does this mean for you? Less options.
Independent agents are just that... independent. Like you. They are not employed by an insurance company and are able to write policies from multiple reputable companies. Independent agents are employed by local agencies that are small businesses in your community. What does this mean for you? More options from local small business owner.
Learn about Lakeside Insurance Brokers and how we've independently helped clients for over 25 years.
2. Get Recommendations and Research the Agent/Agency
The best way to predict what kind of service you can expect from an agent is to find out what kind of service he or she has provided in the past. Ask for recommendations from family, friends and neighbors, and then ask for more details.
Once you have a few recommendations in hand, it’s time to research your prospective agents, the agencies where they work and the companies they represent. Here are a few places to check:
- Search for the agent and/or agency on the Department of Commerce website for any complaints, investigations or disciplinary actions against agents, as well as ensure they have an active license. You can likely look up information about various carriers, as well.
- Local chambers of commerce or the Better Business Bureau.
- The agency’s own website, which should outline their services, the types of insurance they offer and the carriers they represent. Lakeside Insurance Brokers only works with the best insurance companies.
- Online reviews, such as on Yelp, for the agency. Hear more about what Lakeside Insurance Brokers clients are saying about us.
3. Interview the Agent
Your research paid off, leading you to an agent in your area who seems like a good match for you. Now’s the time to ask some tough questions to be sure. Tell the agent what you’d like to insure, and ask how he or she would be able to help. If you or a friend has gone through difficult insurance experiences before, ask how he or she would deal with a similar situation. Pay attention to whether the agent offers specific examples or speaks in generalities, as well as to whether he or she is talking about insurance in a way that makes sense to you. You can also ask for references.
A prospective agent may be able to give you a quote at this point. But, what you really want is a sense of how well you could work with this person. Is this someone with whom you can communicate easily and in whom you can place your trust?
4. Why Choose Lakeside Insurance Brokers
You want an agent who is part of your community - who will be there for you personally and isn't a voice in a call center somewhere. Lakeside Insurance Brokers has been serving clients in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area for over 25 years. We have offices in Burnsville and Chanhassen to serve our clients in the communities in which they live. As an independent insurance agency, we will do the shopping for you, building a coverage plan that is personalized for you so you get exactly what you need. We'll walk you through the options available and make recommendations to make sure the things and people you care about most are covered in case of a claim. And, we'll provide support if claim time comes. Our process saves you time and money. Find out why Lakeside Insurance Brokers is one of the top independent insurance agencies in Minnesota today. We look forward to working with you!