The Price is Right - but is the Coverage?

DeForest Group - Monday, December 22, 2014


Independent Agents

Many independent agents have the same carriers. So how are you going to convince your prospective insured that they are better off having you as their representative if the agent down the street is offering the same company as you? Both customers and agents alike often think of price first when it comes to insurance. Doesn’t value sound better than price though?

What does Proper Coverage Look Like?

You can provide more value than your competitor by showing the prospect the importance of having an experienced insurance professional that is making sure they are properly covered. While many agents will provide bare bones coverage so they can come in the lowest, they often do not retain the customer. At some point, another agent will come along and show them that they could have added $100,000 Additional PIP for just $13. Or $50,000 more in Property Damage for $8. Yes, these are real life examples!  I personally have won many customers by pointing out inexpensive coverage that their current agent had not offered them. I have had times where I could not beat a prospect’s current price. I did, however, point out that the current policy was inadequate in certain ways and was able to take it over by Broker of Record. Are there customers that will decline the additional coverages you offer? Absolutely. But when another agent comes along and points out that they do not have that coverage, they may remember they had already been offered it.

But what is the biggest reason for offering higher coverage that is available? Avoiding E&O claims! Those of us who have attended E&O seminars for continuing education credit have spent the class making mental, or even written, notes on what practices we need to change.  Over half of E&O claims are caused by the failure to obtain the proper coverage. The one person you assume will not want higher limits could be the one to sue you. Present the higher coverage and let the insured be the one to decide if they do not want it. You may have an E&O policy, but submit one claim and see how high your deductible goes. Not to mention how a lawsuit can affect your reputation. You worked hard to get where you are, don’t risk losing it all.

- Genevieve Kennedy, Personal Lines Placer/Underwriter

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