Is Your Insurance Agent Just Another Vendor?

is your insurance agnet just another vendorInsurance Salesman. Now that’s probably not exactly what my parents had in mind for me as they sent me off to college many years ago. After over 30 years in the financial services industry, I didn’t see this type of career coming either! A “sales” position in general carries a certain stigma with it. As a lending institution that has relationships with numerous vendors, do you think of your insurance agent and agency as just another vendor or a trusted business partner? 

As the great Vince Lombardi said, “It takes months to find a customer....seconds to lose one.” I believe that vendors you deal with will come and go, but business partners are in the relationship for the long haul....through good times and bad--kind of like a marriage, come to think of it!

Let’s look at some events and characteristics that should shed some light on which relationship you have with your agent.

The Application Process

There had to be something you heard from the agent that gets you to this point, or you’re filling a quota, whatever the case might be. The vendor will take the information you provide and give you a “cookie-cutter” quote straight off the assembly line with little or no input from you. In contrast, a business partner will consider this a collaboration process from the word go. There will be a lot of communication back and forth so the agent can tailor the program to meet the unique needs that each lender has and/or wants. Keep in mind, the partner will rarely have the lowest price but will ensure the highest value. 

Read our article: Does your force-placed “CPI” and insurance tracking program meet your goals regarding member relationships?

After the “Sale”

Well, now you’re partners, but are you really? The vendor will quickly move on after the conquest of a new customer and receipt of the premium. The next time you see or hear from him or her will probably be right before the next renewal. A partner will normally hand-deliver the policy whenever possible, go over it with all the appropriate people and get to know everyone who could be involved with its administration. That typically goes from C-level all the way to the accounts payable folks. The partner will also be accessible when you need them. If you’re waiting more than an hour or two for an answer to a question you’re probably dealing with a vendor.

The Claims Process

Most vendors don’t like to get involved when the going gets tough. Denied claims will happen. A partner will always get in front of a potential issue through clear communication and work with you throughout the claims process. Open communication lines are key to any successful partnership, and not only for claims but for all potential obstacles, including rate increases. The vendor will send you a letter, while the business partner will make a visit or pick up the phone to discuss all the options that make sense for the parties involved.

Read our article: A Custom Approach to Mortgage Portfolio Solutions Makes the Difference

At Unitas Financial Services, we strive to be your trusted business partner, not just another vendor. If you’d like to learn more about our agency, our values and our products, please visit our website, click the 'Let's Talk' button below or feel free to give us a call to get in touch with call one of our highly qualified product advisors...or sales agents! 

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