Author Topic: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?  (Read 483 times)

Duke03

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Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« on: May 23, 2021, 11:31:55 AM »
I've been using the same insurance agent for the past 15 years.  He's a family friend and a broker so he will shop my insurance needs across several product lines and will recommend the best coverage at the best price.  I will periodically check what I'm paying with some other companies that he doesn't sell through, but he's always the cheapest....with the lowest deductibles etc.  In the past year he has brought in a young family member to work in the office.  I've met him seems like a nice guy.  I think the older agent is grooming him to take over eventually, but for now the younger guy is selling his own line of insurance through a well known national company. The issue started the last time I was up for renewal.  My normal agent called me and said that he ran both my home and auto and also let the new guy run it.  He said the new guy came back about $300 a year cheaper and that I should go with him this go around and my normal agent will try to run it again next year.  I informed my agent that I wasn't worried about saving $300 and my peace of mind is easily worth more than that when it comes to being properly insured.  He assured me to switch and save the money.


The issue is that 3 weeks ago I bought my wife a new car.  I called the agent and told him to let me know what the new rate will be as I just pay in full once a year and will cover any increase in premium.  He called me back the next day and said good news the rate didn't increase at all.... I didn't think this was right so I went to the insurance company's web site to do my own checking.  Right off the bat I noticed he updated the new car on our policy, but he also doubled our deductible...  I quickly called the 1-800 number and explained that a mistake must have been made, but didn't really put it on the agent and they lowered our deductible and took a payment for $80 over the phone, because that was increase of adding the new car to the policy.  I would have been extremely unhappy if something would have happened and I find out our deductible is twice as much as it should be.

I haven't said anything, but going forward I don't think I can trust this new guy any more.  It has also made me start shopping around for insurance again.  If I move my auto policy to a different company I will save about $400 a year.  I'm paid in full and I'm sure he will sustain some type of charge back on commission if I switch.  I can't find any homeowners insurance that comes close to my current rate so will probably leave it till that is up for renewal.  Am I wrong for wanting to switch agents and companies over this issue?

cool7hand

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 11:40:00 AM »
I'd feel exactly the same.

norajean

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2021, 02:08:13 PM »
Insurance agents are like financial advisors - they are no longer required, relevant or useful. Most people can get what need need directly through the internet. Fire him!

kina

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 03:06:03 PM »
If your 'old' agent is also a family friend, then I would contact him and tell him why you are leaving. He probably would like to know the new associate has 'different' ways of doing things.

Sibley

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 03:36:16 PM »
What the new guy did is unethical. He changed the terms of your insurance without your permission. Depending on the state laws, he could actually lose his insurance license for that. I would drop that new guy in a heartbeat and I probably would get out of the office entirely because if your agent is in the same office you can't be positive the new guy couldn't do anything.

I once had my insurance agent merge my policy and my roommates seperate policy into one. With her name as the primary insured. They got a blistering phone call once I realized what they did, made them seperate the policies, told them they were on thin ice with me, and if they screwed up ANYTHING else I would be switching. About a year later they made a mash of things when I got a different car, and I actually went to another State Farm office, told them things were messed up, I needed them to straighten everything out and they were my agent now please make that happen. Got an email from the old guy a while later asking why, and I told him. I'm not an unreasonable person, but I do expect competence.

Zamboni

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 04:24:36 PM »
That's an easy decision to switch, but you could tell the family friend why in the end so he knows what is going on (if he doesn't already). Perhaps a teachable moment for the kid?

It's hard to compare insurance policies apples to apples. They tend to have slightly different parameters. That's why you valued your friend as a broker . . . he was doing that for you as far as you know, and you trusted him to do it. Now you don't trust that office, so you've completely lost what was valuable about working with him in the first place.

It's not uncommon for this type of thing to happen. We had to switch dentists for a similar reason. We loved our dentist for many years, and he also played tennis with my Dad, but the guy who took over his practice when he retired was an asshole and mean to everyone in our family at their next check ups, so we switched. Easy decision.

reeshau

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 05:50:22 AM »
That's an easy decision to switch, but you could tell the family friend why in the end so he knows what is going on (if he doesn't already). Perhaps a teachable moment for the kid?

It's hard to compare insurance policies apples to apples. They tend to have slightly different parameters. That's why you valued your friend as a broker . . . he was doing that for you as far as you know, and you trusted him to do it. Now you don't trust that office, so you've completely lost what was valuable about working with him in the first place.

It's not uncommon for this type of thing to happen. We had to switch dentists for a similar reason. We loved our dentist for many years, and he also played tennis with my Dad, but the guy who took over his practice when he retired was an asshole and mean to everyone in our family at their next check ups, so we switched. Easy decision.

+1

Transitions are hard in a small business, particularly when the transition is within the family.  You are the customer, so you don't owe them your business when they jeopardise their service to you.  As a family friend, or as a trusted advisor, explaining your decision is the most valuable thing you can do.  You also have found you can save money now, which is also valuable information.
Since you still have your homeowner's through them, maybe they will earn your business back on the next try.

Separately, I'm also interested that you still feel you are getting cost savings shopping your policies separately.  I just recently added auto to my homeowner's (was temporarily car-less moving back to the US) and literally got my auto added, with the total cost less than just homeowner's alone, after the multi-line discount,

Malcat

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Re: Losing faith in an Insurance agent?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 05:56:49 AM »
You don't need a reason to change insurance brokers, providers, whatever.

Don't let the fact that you talk to an individual fool you into thinking that your relationship with this company is any different than any other business that you purchase from.

You don't need an excuse to shop at a different clothing store, you don't need an excuse to shop at a different grocer, you don't need an excuse to change cell phone carriers, or buy a different brand of cell phone, you don't need an excuse to switch streaming services.

So why do you feel the need to have a good enough reason to switch insurance brokers?

It's a business, you are a client. Leave if you feel like it. They don't need to have done something "bad enough" to leave if that's what you want to do.