As you soak up these last few weeks of summer sun and fun, your mind probably can’t help wandering towards the planning and budgeting you know is just around the corner.
Now is the perfect time to consider what you should be looking for in an insurance provider. Having the right partnership with your insurance provider can pay dividends by saving your institution time and money while securing the best coverages available in the market.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled some tips on what to consider when looking for a new provider OR sizing up your current insurance provider:
1. Direct Writers vs. Managing General Agents – There are two different ways to obtain coverage from an insurance company. A direct writer is a sales representative for an insurance company who only sells that company’s products. Unfortunately, they can’t offer any variety. The independent agent or Managing General Agent (MGA) on the other hand, works for the insured, not directly for an insurance company – so they represent a variety of insurance carriers. The MGA can shop the market and find the best product and a few different quotes for the client.
*Lenders Risk is an MGA
2. Insurance Generalist vs. Industry Experts – A general agent can offer many types of programs across personal and commercial lines. However, an industry expert presents a distinct advantage. If you’re a financial institution, for example, an industry expert understands this is a highly regulated industry and is up-to-date with the market. They will better understand the intricacies of the insurance they are providing to you.
3. Personality Traits & Transparency – It’s important to work with someone you like and who is transparent about why things are priced the way they are. Underwriters are looking at risks, so they can explain that a product is more expensive because you have too much commercial real estate or you’re in a flood zone. A lot of insurance companies or agents hide behind the curtain, giving you a price with no explanation. It’s important to work with someone you can trust, who is open as to what the insurance is and why it’s priced the way it is.
4. Questions to ask when approaching new insurance partners:
– What are your areas of expertise?
– Do you work locally or nationally?
– What is the typical size and scope of financial institution that you work with?
– What is your experience in the FI Industry, and how many years have you been writing this type of insurance?
– Can I have client references?
– How many financial institutions do you represent?
5. Expectations: You are going to be relying on your insurance agents/agency as your industry expert, so a good way to gauge their thoroughness and expertise is by asking them for a quote before you commit to doing business with them. This should give you a good idea of how quickly they can access their insurance markets and how thorough they are when presenting pricing for new products/programs.
6. Detailed proposals: Does your agent quote multiple markets to get you the best product for the best price? Do they put it in a proposal and break down the comparisons? Coverage varies greatly from carrier to carrier, so it’s important to have an actual proposal and recommendations with a variety of options.
7. Time Changes: Make sure to work with an agent who diligently works to make sure you have the best rates and products. Over time, insurance offerings and pricing will change, especially in highly regulated markets, so you want a vendor who is on top of that.
8. Service: Everyone wants to be treated well. If and when you bind coverage, be sure to know if your programs come with a monthly service like tracking or claims handling. Quality customer service is where insurance companies separate themselves. Ask yourself if you feel valued by your current insurance vendor and if they provide the right level of service for your employees.
Have any other questions or ready to talk to us about coverage? Give us a call at 1-888-600-4436.