Shopping insurance plans can be complicated—not only do you have to navigate all the different options, plans, and companies, but oftentimes you’ll have to translate those into real-world scenarios, and in the end not know if you are fully covered or not.
It’s for this reason that having an insurance agent is beneficial. Not only will you have a pro on your side to help you determine what coverage is best for you and your family, but you’ll also have someone by your side in case something happens and you need to take advantage of your insurance plan.
The first step in this process—before you even select an insurance provider, in many cases—is to schedule a consultation with them. In this initial meeting you’ll be able to ask questions, explore plan options and learn more about the company—and the agent—you are engaging to help you with this very important financial decision.
What should I plan on for a consultation meeting?
Once you’ve scheduled your consultation meeting, there are a few things that you should do in order to prepare for it, to take full advantage of your time with your (potential) agent. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind and get ready for your first meeting.
Do your research
Doing a bit of research is the first step to any meeting with your insurance agent, and the initial consultation is no different. You’ll need to be able to verbalize what pieces of your life you want to insure (home, cars, businesses or other property), as well as know what kind of coverage and/or how much budget you can put toward this risk mitigation. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online to help you think through these questions and a number of calculators that can help you get a rough idea of how much coverage you can afford. Finally, research the company that you are meeting with. Do they provide all the different types of coverage you may need? What are their values? These things are important as you search for an insurance provider who will be a partner with you in your journey.
Build a list of questions
As you go through the research process, it’s bound to bring some questions to the surface. How are these two plans different? What would it cost if I increased this coverage, but not that? Should I move all our property to one company? All of these are questions that your agent can help guide you through to find a solution that matches your needs, but only if you remember to ask them. While you’re doing your research, keep a small notebook handy to catch all the things that come to mind, and take that with you to your meeting to ensure you get all the information you need.
Gather your paperwork
Before you meet, it’s important to have any relevant paperwork pulled together so that you can use the time together to move toward finding solutions, but this may mean you need to put a few things together, first. Here is a quick guide of things to get together, depending on the type of insurance you are considering.
Automobiles and Other Vehicles
- Drivers license and Social Security Number
- Automobile registration info
- Information about drivers (age, gender, driving record)
- Information about your vehicles (age, value, accident record, make, model, and year)
House or Apartment
- Age of home
- Foundation structure
- Additions (trampoline, swimming pool, alarm systems, new additions)
Health or Life Insurance
- Age/Gender of those covered
- Medical history and current conditions
- Personal habits (like smoking)
- Debt and Income (for life insurance)
- Risk assessment
- Number of employees and type of work
- Property, including building, equipment, and lease or own status
- Type of business (to determine liability or risk)
- Key Employees (what employees does the company want to cover?)
Consider service, not just price
While a lot of your first meeting may focus on price and the details of your coverage, make sure you are also considering the service you will get as a customer. How do their claims processes work? Will an agent be available to you for any questions along the way? How easy is it to change coverage in case of a shift in your needs? All of these things—and how they are answered—will help you determine if that specific agency is a good fit for you as a client.
No matter what type of insurance you are considering, Penny Insurance is available to you as our next customer. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.