What to look for in an insurance providerWhether it is your first-time purchasing insurance or you are looking for a new agent, choosing your insurance agent can be difficult. You probably have a list of priorities when it comes to your insurance coverage, you want to find someone who will work with you and explain all your coverage options. You also want to find someone who can offer you the right products and services to meet your needs. With so many options out there how do you pick one and be confident with your choice? Following is a list of items to consider when you are looking for an insurance agent?

Direct Writers vs. Independent Agents. When you look to pick your insurance agent, there are two main options, direct writers and independent agents. The first of these is direct writers, direct writers are hired by an insurance company (like State Farm or Erie). These agents become sales people for the hiring company and only offer insurance for that company. The second option is an independent agent, these agents that work for an agency that represents multiple insurance companies and can offer you insurance from a number of sources. Independent agents, like Gannon Associates, can search multiple companies and carriers to make sure you are getting the best deal and the right coverage.

Availability. It makes sense to an insurance agent close to home but technology does offer the option of working with agents further away. You also want to consider their business hours, do they have 24/7 customer service for after hours and weekends. Do they have a client portal that you can use to do simple tasks when it’s convenient for you? Most importantly, what type of reach do they have. If you relocate, can they still cover you or will you need to find a new agent? You want your insurance agent to be able to service your needs at all hours and be accessible to you when and where you need them.

Knowledge. You are going to want to find an agent who has the knowledge to help you get the right coverage at a competitive rate. One way to learn about an agent’s expertise is to ask specifically about experience and education. Another way to determine an agent’s insurance knowledge is their credentials. Look to see if they list any designations such as CIC, CPCU, ARM, and CRM which can signify a higher level of experience and competence. Having a knowledgeable agent is important because if they are knowledgeable then they will be able to adequately answer your questions. Agents at Gannon’s are licensed and attend regular classes to ensure they stay up to date on industry trends.

Coverage Available. Some insurance agents may be able to offer multiple coverage options while others may be limited. For example, some agents may offer a full line of services – personal insurance, commercial insurance, life insurance, and benefits, others may not have this option. If you own a company and are looking for both business insurance and benefits it probably makes sense to choose a full-service agency and keep everything in one place. A full-service independent agent, like Gannon’s is a great option.

Personality. It is important to make sure that you trust your agent. Is your agent passionate about what they do? Do they have your best interest at heart when it comes to your insurance needs? Gannon Associates has been a trusted member of the community for over 40 years – we have always put the needs and concern of our customers first.

Research. Do your research on any agent you are considering doing your business with. Google the agency, ask friends, family, and colleagues where they have their insurance. Pay attention to reviews and any news articles written about agency. Review their website and social media, look for professionalism and education content. Do you know anyone that have done business with them? Are they active in their community? Do you see any testimonials? If you are considering an independent agency, look at the companies they represent, are they reputable?

Test Them Out. Before you commit to any agent, ask for a quote. This can give you a better idea if they will meet your expectations. Are they efficient? Did they do a good job explaining your coverages and answering questions? What their pricing and service levels are like? If you are considering an independent agent, remember that they work with multiple carriers did they give you several options.

Customer Service. Customer service can separate the divide between a good agent and a great one. Once you have purchased insurance coverage, contact with your agent should not end. This is only the beginning of the relationship, they should be checking in periodically, asking about any changes that may affect your policy. They should be approachable and accessible at any time. Accessibility is important in the event you have a claim at night or on the weekend. Additionally, your agent should also be keeping you up to date on any pertinent changes, new laws, or anything that may affect you as their customer.

Choosing the right agent can be difficult but it is important to have the right person in your corner when it comes to insurance. Your coverage can determine how easily you recover from a claim. The right person will help to make sure you are covered properly at a competitive price.

Gannon Associates is an independent insurance agency representing many of the top insurance companies in the country. We have 12 local offices and our agents are licensed to offer insurance policies just about anywhere in the United States. We offer 24/7 customer service as well as a client portal. Our agents are licensed and attend regular classes to ensure they are up to date on the latest insurance changes and trends. Gannon Associates Insurance is dedicated to providing the best customer service experience possible to our clients. According to our research, you should give Gannon’s a call today at 844-GANNONS!