While there are numerous ethical and reliable agencies in the industry; there unfortunately agencies who do not conduct the best business practices. Things like conducting illegal financial advising or charging high undisclosed fees. Some things to check for in your agency/agent are as follows:
Is the agent who is soliciting a policy adequately licensed by the appropriate insurance authority in that state?
While an agency may posses an agency license; that does not imply that every individual that is acting as an "agent" in an agency is licensed. Not only is that illegal, but most importantly it means they don't have the knowledge or expertise to be insuring your valuable assets. You can search any producer for free on the SBS Producer Lookup tool and search by name to verify their legitimacy.
Is the agency/firm offering a suspicious amount of services that don't fall within the scope of an insurance license?
It is pretty common for insurance agencies to offer additional services. Typically, multi service agencies are legitimate and have jurisdiction to perform certain services like taxes or business registrations (Although be weary; not all places are well versed on those areas either). The biggest red flags to look out for are agencies that claim to do services that are out of line for a business that solely holds an insurance license. This can be risky for a consumer to entrust and take legal advice from individuals who are unqualified and are not business law attorneys.
Especially be weary if they advertise "business advice" and are not a business law firm/attorney. This could be a costly mistake. There may not be the same legal safeguards in place that there would be if you go to a certified professional for a specific service need. While a agent may claim to be backed for any negligence by an Errors and Omission policy; lawsuits arising against the agency/agent outside of insurance services may not be covered on a standard insurance agent E&O insurance policy since the services are not insurance related. Overall, its best to go to an expert that is dedicated to a certain area of expertise and have certifications to back them up to get the best quality of service like a CPA or business attorney for additional services.
Are you receiving a receipt every time a payment transaction takes place and disclosed all charges?
It is vital to ensure you are being disclosed what exactly your full premium is on a policy and any additional charges the agency is collecting that is not a part of the premium especially if it is an excessive amount than a standard fee amount for that certain policy. Its common practice for agencies to charge policy fees for their services however; it should always be verbally disclosed and amount should be agreed upon by consumer before collecting funds. Transparency is key to maintaining a good client/agent relationship and you deserve to know what you are paying.
Conexion Insurance Agency is dedicated to being your agency of choice! We are centralized on insurance and only insurance. We personally believe this gives us the opportunity to be refined and focused on just protecting your interests which makes us that much more reliable to handle your insurance needs.