Many times I am asked “What sets my agency apart from others”. Over the past 5 years I have truly struggled with what honestly sets me apart from the other Agents out there that offer the same things I do. We all offer “free” quotes. Well, lets be honest, who charges an individual for a quote? Would you pay for a quote? That’s just a silly thing we as salesmen/woman have been trained to say.
We all have to conform to the same Texas Department of Insurance Regulations, and Federal Guidelines; so nothing special there. Sure you have the few agents out there that will tell you “oh, that agent isn’t following guidelines” or “that policy doesn’t meet the state qualifications”. We are all mandated by the same law, so we are all held to the same rules. If you feel you are being sold a policy that is not meeting state/federal guidelines, you should always get a “second” opinion. We do this for our medical decisions, why not do this for our insurance needs? There are also tools online for you to see how the insurance company is rated, like AM Best. You should always research your insurance companies in the same way you research your physicians.
One day during my lunch break, I saw advertised “Same Day Auto Coverage for $29.99”. My instant thought was do people really fall for that? Many companies across the state offer same day coverage and we can all get your premium down very low; but at what cost? By lowering your premium this much and you actually qualifying for this coverage you have to really give up some things. By paying $29.99 per month you are basically covering your auto at the state minimums and typically you are not covered for uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage. This is a big deal and as your agent, it is our job to make sure you understand the coverages you are and are not purchasing.
So, again the question is “What sets apart my agency from the others”? I feel it comes down to the Agency Service you receive. When you call your agents office do you feel your agent is going above and beyond to meet your needs and assist you with your problems? Sure you can pay $64 per month for your coverage, over paying $76 per month; but what service do you receive? Do you have to call a toll free number to get questions answered or can you text your agent and get a response? Do you have to conform to their office hours or can you call when you get off work and get an answer from your agent? Or, do you have to wait on hold and get someone on the other end of the line that does not know you? So I propose the following question in exchange…. “What is your time worth?”
We all put price tags on our hourly wage when we are working for our employer. We claim its our “self-worth”. Why not put a price tag on the hours you spend getting issues resolved with your insurance company or even on the hours you spend shopping for insurance? What if it was as simple as texting/emailing your agent with your questions or concerns? A simple text/email could take all of a maximum of 5 minutes (depending on how slow/fast you type emails/texts). You then get a response within a reasonable time from your Agent/Broker. The key to this is set expectations with your Agent/Broker, be direct (not rude) in your email/text stating what you need and when you need a response by. This allows the Agent/Broker to prioritize your request along side the other requests he/she is receiving.
Does this mean you shouldn’t call your Agent, absolutely NOT. Your agent welcomes your call and looks forward to visiting with you. As agents/brokers, we enjoy hearing about your kids, pets and just your life in general! We also enjoy you to come by and drink coffee with us! This is how we get to know you and know what you need in order to service you accurately. Technology isn’t made for everyone; so what if you could stop by and your Agent show you how to have easy access to your policy on your phone or smart device? These are valuable assets to make not only your Agent work for you but also your policy!
What sets my agency apart from others, reality is there is only one thing that sets any agency apart from another, SERVICE.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. – Mahatma Gandhi