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Insurance Agent Ice Breaker Questions

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Judge Fite - Mesquite

Earlier today Nancy Moeller posted a blog article called Questions to start a conversation. It included a great group of questions to ask when you meet people to help you start to build rapport. I thought I would answer the ones directed to an insurance agent.

At a networking event talking with an insurance agent, I (Nancy Moeller) might ask:

•   What are the biggest changes you've seen in the insurance industry this year?

One of the major insurance carriers we (Judge Fite Insurance) represent has been re rating all their current customers on their credit scores and in too many cases they have increased the customer's premiums by hundreds of dollars.  It been a great thing for my company because we have taken a proactive approach and we have been able to move our customers to other insurance carriers at much lower rates.  Makes us look good!

And then there has been a lot of questions and interest in Flood Insurance.  North Central Texas has experienced a lot of flooding and there has been a fair amount of advertising on TV about flood insurance.  We have been able to write a lot more flood insurance this year as a result.

•   What is the biggest single tip you would give a new business owner?

Let an insurance agent who knows commercial insurance work up a very broad and complete quote to cover their business.  Then pick what coverage they can afford.  The rest can be a road map for future coverage that can grow with the growth or profitability of their business.

•   How does the state determine the minimum insurance amounts?

Who knows ..? a Weegie board?  For Texas a good web site to visit to learn about insurance and rates is the Texas Department of Insurance site at www.tdi.state.tx.us/.

•   How do you respond to someone who wants to under insure?

 Well first we try to show them why it is not a good idea.  Most listen, learn and do the right thing.

But if they still want to under insure then we try to figure out their understanding of self insurance.  Are they a sophisticated insurance buyer who understands, can handle the financial hit of a loss and they are willing to sign a release from our company then we will work with them.

If they just refuse to listen, they argue with us or they are just too cheap then we let them go down the road.  We don't need the E& O risk to cover their loss when they complain later about how we did not tell them about the risk and cost.

•   How do you think the housing market is affecting your industry?

Because a lot of my company's new business is agent and loan officer referral based we are experiencing a decrease.  The down turn has helped us to refocus our efforts on our current client base where it belongs anyway.

We have increased our communication with our current customers to review their current coverage, offer other coverage options, review possible discount options, and to make sure they know they can contact us anytime as an information resource anytime the need comes up.

Bruce Erickson

Real Estate Broker / Insurance Agent

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