Welcome to South Florida! We have amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and you’re going to love it here! You may have just moved, or are thinking about it, but one of the first things on your agenda, even before you start looking for a home, is to find an insurance agent in the area. In Florida, being an insurance agent is a licensed profession, and there are tools at your disposal to make sure that you find the right one before you commit to purchasing your insurance from them.
Tips for Finding Your Insurance Agent
If you know people in the area, or can join a forum or message board for locals, ask them who they get their insurance from and what they think of their agent. You are not just buying a product from them, you are essentially hiring them to help you protect your assets. It should be as well-thought out a decision as hiring a lawyer or other professional. Think of it like a job interview, with you doing the interviewing.
What to Expect From an Insurance Agent?
- A license in good standing is just the very beginning of your search.
- A good agent takes the time to understand your big picture and what you need to cover, and has a firm grasp on the insurance products at their disposal that will help you get where you want to be.
- Check the agents and their companies out online, and then find out what their clients say about them on social media and review sites. The Better Business Bureau and the Rip-Off Report can be a big help, too. However, keep in mind that you need to read reviews with a critical eye. Reviews are, after all, opinions. Some people can never be satisfied, and will complain about anything. Generally if you read a review and think it’s too good to be true or too bad to be true, you’re going to be right.
If you’re looking for an independent agent, you should find out what carriers they represent, and their range of products. Then ask about their service.
- How do they assist customers with their claims?
- Do they offer online claim filing?
- Can you one-stop all your insurance needs with them?
- Can you get a discount for bundling plans like homeowners/life/auto?
- Will they tip off on how to get discounts by making improvements to your home like security systems, wind mitigation, and other fixes?
- Will they remind you to review your coverage annually to keep pace with your needs?
- Do the carriers that they represent have enough in the way of assets to cover claims resulting from a major event like a hurricane?
It doesn’t matter if you are settling in for a lifetime or are just a short term transfer to Florida, you need the best coverage that you can get. Do your homework and then meet and greet your insurance agent before you get settled into the area, then you’ll be confident that you’re getting the best coverage possible from someone you can trust.