Is Switching Insurance Agents Difficult?




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Many business owners often dread the thought of switching insurance agents or brokers, especially for complex accounts with numerous vehicles, certificates, or intricate policies like professional liability or E&O insurance. This apprehension is understandable since the human brain generally resists change, and switching business insurance to a new broker can feel daunting.

Is it really difficult to switch to new insurance agents for your business insurance?

How do you make the process less difficult or scary? It shouldn’t be difficult to switch over to a new broker if you and that broker have done your homework. This is true for both small business accounts and large ones.

Of course, the larger your account, the more complex things will be. Here’s a process and some “homework” you and your new insurance agents should consider.

First, start the renewal process early. This is true whether you’re renewing with your current agent or seeking new insurance agents. Typically, agents start the renewal process 90 days in advance, but more complex businesses might need 120 days.

Often, business owners move to new insurance agents because they feel like they’ve outgrown their current situation. Poor service, delayed responses, and general frustration prompt them to seek better solutions.

Second, gather data. Yes, the dreaded applications, forms, and supplemental info requests are a pain, but they’re necessary for new insurance agents to do the best job possible.

Handing over current policies isn’t enough. Not digging into the info puts you at a disadvantage.

Third, prepare for the transition by involving all the “stakeholders” in your company. Accounting and finance need to be involved in the billing process. The person handling certificates of insurance should prepare a list of all active certificate holders requiring replacement certificates upon renewal.

Get that information to your new insurance agents well in advance if you need specific wording or endorsements. Ensure your safety and risk control manager or team actively engages with the new broker and identifies the risk control projects for the coming year.

Lastly, verify all the details in the proposal to ensure accuracy. Changes may have occurred since you started the process, so before binding the new policies, make sure everything lines up to avoid last-minute emergencies.

Switching shouldn’t be a hassle if you’re working hand in hand with the agents you’ve selected as your broker of record on your renewal.

It’s different from what many business owners do today—sending their account out to bid and selecting the broker with the lowest price. This can turn the switching process into a nightmare. Bidding out a program doesn’t make sense; using one broker on your next renewal is a better approach.

If you’re not satisfied with your current insurance agents, finding the right broker and switching makes sense. Small business owners shouldn’t find the process too challenging, but the more complex your business, the more time and effort needed to make this change painless.

If you’re in the market for new insurance agents and unsure where to turn, reach out for a conversation. No high-pressure sales, just a conversation to see if we’d be a good fit for you and your business.

Thanks!

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