What is an Insurance Agent?
In the context of insurance distribution, an insurance agent is an insurance intermediary who, by virtue of one or more agreements or powers of attorney, carries out insurance distribution activities on behalf of one or more insurance companies.
An intermediary registered in the “agent” category must also specify whether he or she will act as a tied agent for one or more insurance companies.
An insurance agent, also called an insurance broker in some cases, is the local representative of a number of insurance companies. A insurance agency that is legitimate must have a license that is state board approved before it can sell insurance policies to customers legally. An agent typically works as the face that is local of a single insurance company, but sometimes an independent agent may work with various companies depending on their areas of coverage and expertise.
Most of the consumers are interested in purchasing an insurance coverage that will only do dealings directly with a regional or local insurance agent. They are authorized to present all coverage options available from the larger insurance company.
Sales agents typically earn a commission on the insurance policies they sell, providing an incentive to offer a one-stop shop for all of a client’s insurance needs. This may include selling individual policies for auto, home, life and medical insurance, or offering a package deal that incorporates multiple types of coverage.
Insurance customers are required to make regular payments called premiums to the insurance company, so part of an insurance agent’s job is to ensure compliance. He or she may send out reminders of an impending premium payment or inform clients of any proposed rate changes. A good agent can also keep track of any new developments in a client’s life – a new teenage driver or a new home, for example. Clients may need to change their coverage from time to time, so the agent will negotiate the new terms with the parent company.
What does an insurance agent do?
One of the most visible parts of an insurance agent’s job happens during an actual insurance claim. Following a auto accident or even a natural disaster, for example, clients are asked to contact their local insurance agent as soon as possible. Insurance claims must be handled by a licensed agent who can verify the circumstances of the accident or disaster. A specialist called an adjuster may be sent by the insurance agency to personally inspect the damage and calculate the value of the claim.
An insurance agent is often a go-between for the client and the parent insurance company. He or she may have knowledge of the best ways to present a claim in order to receive a good settlement from the insurers.
The differences of an insurance agent and of an insurance broker
Unlike an insurance broker, an insurance agent specifically works for only one company. They receive a commission in proportion to the premiums collected by the company they represent.