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If you are shopping for competitive rates with great coverage packages, you have options if you live in California. Actually, most States to be exact.
In most cases you will take to online research first. This is a great start to do your first hand study. This initial process will come from what exactly you need. You may have a motorcycle that needs liability coverage only, or a new insurance policy for your brand new vehicle.
There are many insurance product types as you can imagine. There are many more product categories within each main group. For example, using motorcycle insurance as an example, this would be the group, motorcycle coverage.
Within this insurance group will come the individualized product lines. This can mean vintage motorcycle coverage to DUI insurance protection for bikers. But, they all fall within the main category group, motorcycle coverage.
You could even dig a little deeper within each individualized product line. As an example, you can group what type of drivers each bike category group would have.
This means a clean driving record would be grouped into a new classification within this same group.
Not to confuse the main point, there are a lot of different types of policies for many variations of the same risk.
This is why in your search for lower insurance rates, make sure you are looking for a trusted adviser. You will want to choose an agent or insurance broker who fits your personality as well.
This is an important factor if you are looking to bundle insurance products together. For example, you may have a home, business and cars to insure.
Bundle My Insurance
You want to have the convenience of having them all insured under the same umbrella. This is smart for many reasons.
First and Foremost, bundling your insurance products with the same carrier can mean huge savings to you.
So, there is a financial motive for insuring all lines under the same roof.
Another great point to make on this subject is long term relationship building.
Most of us do not think about this factor when comparing insurance rates online or over the phone.
We sometimes forget that we have to have a relationship of some sort with that business, so, make sure you have good vibes.
Good vibes can mean that you entrust the advice and direction your agent or broker is giving you. This comes through experience within the industry. Sometimes you may find a highly experienced advocate in the field, but on a personal level, you can’t stand the individual.
Believe it or not, this happens more times then none. Insurance, unlike other products, requires a repeat of contact between both parties. It is not as though you are buying food at a supermarket, where you buy dinner tonight and are done with it.
Insurance does not work that way. First off, and most obvious, it’s a legal contract, while buying frozen foods at a supermarket is not.
If you view insurance buying in this manner, it will help you find the best insurance provider with the best insurance packages for your needs.
You may have to go through many insurance carriers, providers, agents and brokers to find this perfect match. Even then, you will always want to make sure your current policy is adequate and not leaving you open to any vulnerabilities.
So, now that you understand the importance of finding a great working relationship with your insurance carrier, the search begins.
Keeping in mind of a business working relationship, you want to make sure your are picking the right insurance firm. What this means is deciding on what type of provider you are looking for.
You can either go through an independent insurance agent, who has direct access to many insurance companies. They can either work as an agent or broker, depending on their insurance appointment relationships.
Your other option is to choose a direct insurance carrier. This is where you search for a brand name and go from there. In most cases you can submit an online insurance quote right on the website.
Be careful however when doing this, because, in some cases, not all your reports are being ran at the time of sale. What this means to you is, additional premium costs.
You wouldn’t know about these additional fees until sometime later. This usually will come in the form of an underwriting memo, giving reason to why your new monthly installment or total policy premium has gone up.
This memo will be mailed to your residence on file with the company. Having said that, make sure your mailing address is always up to date with your insurance carrier. You do not want any unforeseen issues to arise without being notified first. The only way for accurate notification is by having your address on record updated as soon as it changes.
You may have failed to include a ticket or accident on your quote, and when the insurance company finally ran your driving report through the Department of Motor Vehicle, it triggered a change to your policy.
Yes, like with any industry, there are negative connotations when it comes to the brokerage world of insurance. In some cases, the opinion is correct. But, insurance agencies and brokerages exist for good reason.
Not all people can qualify for certain tiers of insurance. They may have been denied due to age, driving experience, territory and so forth. This denial can come in the form of not renewing your policy or just charging an outrageous premium so that you will shop elsewhere.
Not all insurance companies want your risk. Yes, they advertise to the majority of the population with national television marketing campaigns. But, that’s all they really are, just marketing campaigns, created to draw in more business.
If an insurance company, irregardless of how big they are on paper, cannot generate new insurance business into their pool, they will not sustain in the marketplace.
This is just how it is. There always has to be a new stream of income or premium to offset any loss or potential loss. Insurance carriers must keep a reserve of money for all policyholders. This reserve is to pay out any claims, no matter how large the claim pool is.
Insurance Regulation and Policy
Most if not all insurance carriers written through agencies and brokerages, are regulated by the State. The department of insurance and the insurance commissioner oversea this area.
This is to ensure that every insured is protected in the event an insurance company becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
It is no different then putting your money into a bank that is FDIC protected. Being federally protected up to 100 thousand dollars to be exact, is reassuring to people. This is why we feel somewhat secure in placing our monies into banks and credit unions.
Staying on the theme of credit unions and banks, let’s use credit unions in the world of insurance. Small to large insurance agencies and brokerages are in some fashion similar to that of a credit union. They are small to provide personalized service, and have a good scope of your accounts and spending habits.
If you wanted that customized financial package, either for a home or college loan, then your credit union may have more options and more flexible guidelines for their users. This is because credit unions want to build off personal relationships. Build long term relationships and offer their members packages and plans, not always available or accessible at other larger financial institutions.
The same applies with insurance agencies and brokerages. They will take your insurance needs into consideration, only after understanding your short and long term goals. If you are looking to bundle business products into your portfolio, this might be your best option.
Your insurance agent can be with you from the very beginning in your life stages. For example, if you are starting your own business, need business liability insurance, they can help walk you through the process.
Insurance Grows With Me
As you grow, and your insurance needs start to change, they will be right there to walk you through to the next level. For example, now your small business is growing and you need to hire help. This help will now involve other requirements. The State of California now requires you to purchased workers compensation coverage.
Staying on point, if you were to grow into a larger group, expanding locations as you grow, then you would need to add on to your existing policy package. This is where having a conversation with what your short term and long term goals comes into play.
If your agent or broker knew going into the quoting process that you were looking to grow your business one day, then the policy of choice would be the most flexible.
There are policies that are restrictive by design. They are many conditions and exclusions to these types of polices. So, if you were to grow under a restrictive type policy, you would be limiting your business needs.
A good insurance adviser would set you up from the beginning with an open insurance policy. They would have known you were coming into a small family inheritance in a month or so, and would be hiring and expanding.
If your agent did not factor that conversation into the policy process, then that is not the agent you want working for you. Fire them, because they are not doing you any favors.
Now, if the agent or broker did disclose the fact you could buy a cheaper policy with more restrictions, and did let you know in advance your growth options would be limited, then the representative did their job.
If you still go with the restrictive policy due to price cost, advised against your agent, then they did their job as well. You need someone who will be honest about your business mapping. You want someone to point you in the right direction for what you are trying to accomplish.
It is important that you share everything upfront with your listed agent. They only know as much as you share with them on certain aspects. The reporting of data from 3rd parties, they have under control.
It’s the bringing of ideas into protection you want to convey.