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    Insurance Carrier Service Centers: Where is my Agent?

    Posted by Brad Hancock on Aug 23, 2023 8:43:13 AM

    Today, we're diving into a significant shift within the insurance industry landscape that you should be aware of. While we're excited to share some insights about a growing trend affecting independent insurance agencies – particularly the larger agencies that might be catching your attention, we are worried about your particular insurance policy.

    When we talk about these larger insurance agencies, we're referring to the national behemoths, the ones with those three-word names that span both domestic and international policy servicing. There's an interesting development happening among these giants, and it's about their approach to small business units. And it is likely not great for you and your business.

    A Shift in Approach

    More and more of these prominent insurance agency management teams are making moves to offload their small business units. What does that mean for you, the local small business owner? Well, it translates to a shift towards third-party processing companies or bringing these small business services in-house to carrier servicing centers. Names like The Hartford, The Travelers, and CNAs have their own servicing centers – essentially, a one-stop-shop where clients can dial a 1-800 number to have their policy needs addressed, from service requests to adjustments and more. It sounds great on the surface to have unlimited access to a service center, but there are some hidden trade offs that your insurance agent may not be telling you up front.

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    The Hidden Trade-offs

    As convenient as this may sound, there's a trade-off that's important to consider. The most significant downside is the potential sacrifice of your personal agent-client relationship. That unique point of contact you're used to? It might be replaced by a 1-800 number and a rotation of service advisors. These "advisors", although well-intentioned, might not have the prior familiarity with your business – which can be quite a drawback for your business.

    Every time you call, you might find yourself talking to a new person, and they're largely reliant on your existing policy to understand your business and provide recommendations. This loss of continuity can impact your insurance strategy significantly.

    Insurance Carrier Service Centers: Where is my Agent?

    The Role of Your Dedicated Insurance Agent

    This is where having a dedicated independent agent comes into play. Your agent is not just a voice on the phone, but a partner who understands your unique needs and the lines of insurance that you need. Especially in situations involving claims or essential decisions, having a knowledgeable insurance agent by your side is invaluable.

    Let me share a real-life example. We recently encountered a situation where a long-term client's policy had been renewing automatically for several years. There was an occasional call and interaction with an off-shore service center that was an agency partner of a large firm. The business owner was relying on someone with no knowledge of their building types, business type, or operations to make sure that their policies with the insurance companies were being handled correctly. An assumption was made.

    Upon closer inspection of this policy, our agent realized that the square footage of their buildings was inaccurately documented. This clerical error, which the service center had no way of verifying or interpreting, left this business owner in a situation that left them severely underinsured. Imagine the shock – if a loss had occurred to those buildings, the client would have been underinsured by a substantial amount and unable to properly rebuild everything that they've worked so hard for.

    Why Choose an Independent Agent?

    It's vital to recognize that service centers, while generally efficient, are primarily focused on their own interests and profitability. Their internal KPIs matter more to them than you being able to rebuild or replace everything. They might not always have your best interests at heart. On the other hand, your local, independent agent is your advocate, working tirelessly to ensure you're adequately covered and well-informed of not only the type of insurance that you carry, but that it's enough if the worst happens.

    So, if you find yourself being nudged towards one of these third-party processing centers or even a carrier service center within a larger agency, consider an alternative. A local insurance agency who will always return your call and work on your behalf. Insurance For Texans is here to offer you a different perspective – a personalized, client-centered approach that ensures your insurance needs are met comprehensively. Since we're an independent agency that represents many different insurance companies, we work on your behalf and not some big corporation.

    How We Can Help

    Whether you're unhappy with the impersonal handling of your account or simply looking for a more personalized touch, we're here to serve you. Our commitment is to review your insurance policies regularly and tailor them to your evolving needs. Insurance isn't just about coverage; it's about trust and partnership.

    Reach out to us at 469.789.0220, or you can hit the button below. We're excited to discuss your insurance requirements and work together to secure your future. Remember, with Insurance For Texans, you're not just a policy number – you're part of our community.


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    Topics: business coverage, commercial property values, Business Owner, Commercial Insurance, basics of business insurance