An insurance agent is a person who works for an insurance business and sells the firm's insurance products. Working with an agent is vital since he or she only sells insurance policies from one firm and is thus unable and unwilling to evaluate costs and features of other products on the market. Agents are not to be confused with brokers (or insurance brokers), who may often compare policies from many insurance providers.
What Does An Insurance Agent Do?
A captive agent is not confined to their office; rather, they sell products on behalf of a single insurance provider (similar to Square One's licensed agents). An independent agent sells products from a variety of insurance companies.
Consider agents to be insurance sales people. Insurance agents are professionals who must pass tests and maintain ongoing continuing education in order to function in their jurisdiction.
Existing policyholders are also serviced by insurance agents. This includes providing insurance advice, analysing policy information, executing policy adjustments and renewals, and whatever else the customer needs. Customer service is a critical component of becoming an insurance agent.
Agents assist existing clients manage their policies in addition to selling new ones. If a customer has to modify information because they've relocated or remodeled their home, the agent will walk them through the process and offer additional coverage. Agents keep meticulous records in order to swiftly and readily locate the information they require to assist their clients.
Insurance Agent Common Duties And Responsibilities
An insurance agent may undertake some or all of the following as part of their daily duties and tasks:
- Lead generation and follow-up, appointment scheduling, identifying client needs, and marketing relevant items are all part of the job.
- Close the deal with present and potential consumers.
- Meet the aims and objectives of the new business's production.
- Provide polite, quick, and accurate customer service.
- Build company referral relationships via networking.
- Input customer quotes and policy renewals.
- Coordination with lenders and mortgage firms is required.
- Assist customers with their insurance claims.
Captive agents work for a certain insurance company and exclusively sell that company's products, whereas other agents operate independently or for a broker and offer products from many insurance firms. Agents who represent numerous firms may be required to become acquainted with a larger range of items from a variety of suppliers as part of their employment obligations.
Additional Insurance Agent Responsibilities
- To learn about new goods and services, attend meetings, seminars, and events.
- Determine premiums and payment options.
- Stakeholders should be kept up to date on the status of efforts.
- Keep track of bookkeeping systems, databases, and records.
- Keep track of insurance claims.
- Meet clients' expectations to ensure insurance coverage satisfaction.
- Continue to educate yourself about the sector and discover new goods and services.
- Comply with all policy requirements.
- Assist customers in resolving any insurance claims.
- Individualize insurance packages to meet the needs of each consumer.
- Ensure that all policy requirements are met, including the completion of the necessary forms.
Insurance Agent's Legal Responsibilities
An insurance agent works for two clients: the insured and the insurer.
The agent's legal obligations to the client stem from
- Common law negligence theories
- An implicit contract to get insurance for the insured
The agent's legal obligations to the insurer stem from
- Common law negligence theories
- The formal contract that binds the agency to the insurer
Common Law Responsibilities of an Agent to its Insured
An insurance agent is required by common law to employ the degree of care necessary to preserve the insured's interests. If the agent's failure to exercise reasonable care results in harm or damage to the insured, the agent may be held accountable for the injury or damage. Of course, the agency is also liable for its employees' and solicitors' careless or fraudulent action.
To hold an agent legally accountable for negligence, the injured party must demonstrate the following: the agent had a legal obligation to the plaintiff; the agent breached that duty; and the plaintiff's damages were approximately caused by the breach of duty.
General Duty to Act Reasonably
This basic need to act properly has been reinforced throughout time by several court rulings describing particular duties of insurance brokers. The following typical legal theories for mistakes and omissions claims show the level of care accepted in common law:
Insurance coverage is being misrepresented
An insurance agent may not misrepresent the presence or scope of a policy's coverage.
Failure to get the needed insurance
An insurance agent who agrees to obtain insurance on behalf of another has an obligation to exert reasonable diligence in seeking to arrange the desired policy.
Failure to advise the insured of the inability to get insurance
As an extension of the preceding idea, an insurance agent has an obligation to quickly notify the insured if he or she is unable to place the desired policy.
What makes a Good Insurance Agent?
A good agent will constantly prioritise their customers' requirements. They may be selling insurance, but their obligation is to offer a policy that suits the needs of the customer without up-selling superfluous coverage.
One of the characteristics of a successful insurance agent is exceptional client service. Some consumers are put off by the process of purchasing insurance; a skilled agent will be able to lead a new customer through their policy and thoroughly explain the ins and outs. Good agents are also highly attentive; if a customer has a question or a problem, they should be able to reach out to their agent promptly and effortlessly.
Finally, competent insurance brokers are well-versed in the insurance products they market. Because of their extensive experience, they are able to give sound advice to clients and respond to their inquiries in a timely and straightforward manner. Insurance agents often sell on behalf of a small number of businesses (if not just one), implying that they have a thorough expertise of the goods they market.