It seems that people spend more time picking out an outfit than they spend making sure their business and personal assets are covered in case of tragedy. In fact, one study reported that women can spend up to a year of their lives deciding what to wear (and men spend an average of four months out of their lives). But do you spend even 10 minutes choosing your insurance broker?
With valuables that we accumulate throughout our lives, from homes, cars, businesses, and even a wedding ceremony — why don’t we spend more time getting to know who is acting in our best interests when it comes to insurance?
The good news is it’s simple to find a broker that’s right for you. Just ask any potential broker the right questions, such as:
- What geographic and business areas are your specialties? Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all game. Simple facts of geography, such as average weather, common concerns, local trends and even regional historical facts can come into play when preparing policies for business or personal needs. With a specialized broker, you’re getting access to their knowledge and focus in issues that really matter to you — from summer hail storms to winter blizzards.
- How are you keeping up with changing regulations? Any broker that’s worth their salt knows to keep a weather eye on the horizon when it comes to federal or state regulation changes. You can’t expect things to stay the same, so at PayneWest we always keep close tabs on what might change and keep our clients apprised of changes we might suggest making in the coming year.
- How have you solved problems like mine previously? Are you looking to make changes in your employer benefits packages? Or just shopping around to see what’s out there? You’re likely coming to the table with a problem that needs a solution. Don’t expect us to take the easy route. We’re here to bring our years of problem solving experience to the table, and we’ll speak up if we see a misstep in the works. Your successes are our successes, after all.
- Can you give me a few client references? You’d ask for references if you were hiring a new employee or patronizing a new business, so why not ask to speak with satisfied clients of your insurance broker? We’re happy to put you in touch with clients who are thrilled with our work for them and who trust us with their most precious assets.
- Can we meet face-to-face? We love to travel and our specialists put the pedal to the metal more times than they can count. We’ll always come to your doorstep, your boardroom or even your field to see where you work and show you how we work best.
- Can you break all that down for me? Insurance can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. You should feel your broker has explained everything completely, and in a way that makes sense for you. Needing a guide in the form of an accomplished broker isn’t a bad thing, it’s an absolute necessity.
- What questions do you have for me? It’s important to know that insurance isn’t a one-sided conversation, either. You want your broker to be just as knowledgeable and invested in your concerns as you are. They should ask plenty of questions and never stop getting to know you.
“Insurance is a language we don’t speak everyday unless we’re in the industry,” Dan McMahon, PayneWest Benefits Planning sales executive says. “Trying to shop, understand and place coverage that will best serve your needs is impossible to do if you don’t have a professional guiding you through the process. The components are far too complex to do on your own with any assurance that you are adequately covering the risks.”
McMahon notes that when it comes to choosing a broker for a company, you should look for someone who asks about:
- Company culture,
- The desired outcome for their benefits package,
- Who will share ideas of new programs and platforms that are available in the market,
- Who they feel will truly partner with them, and
- Who will help them strategically plan for the future instead of simply bringing them a renewal increase each year.