“Selling vs. Solving”

riskMany in our industry refer to themselves as ”Insurance Salespeople” or “Insurance Brokers” as if the objective of their efforts is to sell an insurance policy and collect a commission. Yes, selling a policy is necessary to make a living, but the real objective for the insurance professional is to identify a problem or exposure for the client and solve it through an appropriate insurance product, risk management process, or through a non-insurance mechanism. The focus should be on design and implementation based on need and perceived risk – where the solution to a problem is the implementation of strategies and techniques which may or may not include insurance. All too often it is the peddling of an insurance policy that trumps a well thought out process of uncovering and addressing what really needs to be protected.

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“A Matter of Trust”

trust

The recent episodes of corporate dishonesty and negligence is disturbing and no one wants to be on the short end of a business deception. When one places their insurance with a Firm there is an assumption that there will be an honest and competent approach from those persons protecting your assets. There are several methods to test the credibility and competence of those handling your insurance affairs. The following are some recommendations:

1. Ask someone you already trust and respect to recommend an insurance broker. The recommended party presumably has demonstrated their capabilities through a long term relationship with your friend.

2. Your insurance representative should be financially sound and the minimum recommended ratio of current assets to liabilities is 2:1. Their accountant should verify this.

3. It is suggested that you contact the State Insurance Department to see if there are an complaints about the insurance Firm you are researching.

4. Request that the Firm provide testimonial letters and references for you to call.

5. As a test for competency, research the education of the Firm’s personnel and how many employees are licensed or have advanced degrees in insurance. The Firm should profile their employees and comment on how long they have worked for the Firm.

Insurance is a complex business and it is crucial that you deal with honest and technically proficient individuals that will give you the right counsel. If an insurance Firm is unwilling to provide evidence of their capability, don’t deal with them.

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The author of this blog, Guy Hatfield CPCU CIC, can be reached at 203.256.5660 .

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