Finding an insurance agent can be challenging. Understanding the insurance market is the first step to picking the right agent. The insurance industry is divided into companies that sell property and casualty policies such as auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and flood insurance and life insurers who sell disability, long term care, annuities, in addition to life insurance. Large life insurers include New York Life, MetLife, and Lincoln Financial and large property and casualty insurers include Allstate, Travellers, and Progressive.

file6221263244628Insurance brokers either sell policies exclusively for one company or work as independent agents who sell policies from many insurers. Almost all agents work on commission and commissions vary significantly insurer to insurer and policy to policy. When searching for insurance brokers read reviews to get a feel for whether an independent agent is truly objective or tends to push policies from one company over another.

Insurance agents in the life and annuity field often work with sensitive and confidential information. Getting a number of objectives and independent recommendations for an insurance agent is critical to finding someone who you will get along well with. Take your time to read ratings for agents and learn as much as you can before you make this important decision.

Most people looking for an insurance broker must rely on directories that list only the professional’s name and contact information and are full of paid ads. These directories do not add any decision-making value and only serve to reinforce a large number of agents from which the customer has to choose. An increasing number of customers turn to lead generation websites that list “pre-qualified” insurance agents or “top agents.” In reality, agents on these sites have typically paid a fee to be listed and the site owner does not do any independent analysis to qualify how honest or talented these agents are.

The best way to find answers to these questions is to use a site that provides unbiased reviews and a large database of insurance agents. Look for a site that lets users control the privacy of their reviews as many people are uncomfortable providing a negative review for an agent if the agent can see that they wrote it. Also, look for a site that lets users contact the insurance agent without revealing their contact information. Being able to ask the agent important questions without worrying about getting unsolicited communications from the agent at a later time is especially important. Finally, find a site that lets users create a network of friends and ask friends in their network for a review. Recommendations from friends are always more helpful than reviews from strangers. Take our suggestion, Jessica at Williams Insurance is top notch!