Don’t Be the Insured Who Cried Wolf
by Bo Kitchen
Unfortunately, there are quite a few insureds in the marketplace today that, when it comes to their insurance, live by the old adage that “more is better.” What we know is that there is no advantage to using multiple agents to shop, bid and quote commercial insurance in Atlanta. In fact, doing so is actually detrimental in multiple ways.
For instance, the main purpose of an insurance agent is representing the insured in the marketplace. What makes the agent and insured relationship successful is the ability of the chosen agent to determine the exact class for a particular risk and then to match that risk with a carrier with a corresponding “appetite.” When the consumer is busy running from agent to agent, “shopping and quoting”, they may not have enough time to spend with the agent. A good agent will need time with the consumer to learn their business and determine all details and aspects of the risk to create a comprehensive insurance program. So, what happens? The insured ends up only having time to give partial information to multiple agents instead of picking one or two qualified agents and giving them all the time and resources they need to effectively place the risk.
Another negative outcome of the shop, bid and quote approach is that markets get blocked. When there are multiple agents out in the marketplace quoting the same insurance risk, the markets or carriers get inundated with multiple submissions. Basically, the first agent to get an application into a carrier reserves the right to be the only agent that can get a quote for that particular risk. However, two agents can approach the same carrier with the same account and receive two different outcomes. The agent that gets the most detailed information, understands the risk best, and is able to discuss it in detail with the underwriter, can generally get the optimal quote, whereas a lesser qualified agent who is simply saturating the market may not even get a quote, let along the best one. It takes an agent time to gather data, prepare complete applications and present an account to an underwriter. An insured can miss out on the most qualified agent getting the best quote if the less qualified agent submits the account first.
Lastly, the worst case scenario in a shop, bid and quote situation is when agents get so caught up in the competition that they send applications to all carriers to purposely block the markets for all other agents. This ultimately ruins any chance for the insured to get the risk management program they could have received.
Basically, don’t be the insured that “cried wolf.” Since only one carrier can write the business per year, the market is left with multiple other carriers who received submissions and used time, manpower, money and resources to produce a quote that never gets written. When this happens to a carrier year after year and they don’t write the business, they will eventually put the submissions from the repeat “shopper agents” at the bottom of the stack or throw them out. Then, when the insured finally does find a good agent and wants to use that carrier, they won’t be able to.
Instead of shopping, bidding and quoting, do research, get a referral from a credible source, and interview agents up front to find the perfect one. Yes, interview an agent; after all, they are working for you. An agent should be one that you trust to get the best coverage for your business, and one that you don’t want to leave.
Contact Risk & Insurance Consultants today to find an agent for you, and don’t be the insured that cried wolf. Just call 404-459-5975.