My Insurance Agent Retired – What Do I Do?
Insurance agents are awesome. (Check out these 10 reasons why.) They save you money, explain complicated fine print, and double check that nothing falls through the cracks.
And over the years, you’ve probably developed a tight-knit relationship with your agent. So what happens when they retire?
Who do you call for insurance help? Who do you go to when you need to make a claim? What’s next?
There are 5 potential things you can do when your insurance agent retires:
- Do nothing.
- Go to a captive agent – for example, a State Farm agent that only sells State Farm insurance.
- Ask your retiring agent for a recommendation.
- If the agent is part of an agency, interview other agents there to find one you like.
- Find a brand new insurance broker.
For obvious reasons, doing nothing shouldn’t even be on your radar. But surprisingly, this happens the majority of the time (at least for a while).
Doing nothing is easier, and it doesn’t require any of your time. Until you need an agent.
Go to a captive agent?
A captive agent is an agent who only sells their company’s insurance. For example, an agent who works for State Farm only sells State Farm insurance.
The problem with this is that you literally have one option when it comes to your insurance.
It’s like if Walmart only sold Great Value brand groceries. Where’s the variety? What if I want to compare the ingredients list on different brands? What if another brand is cheaper?
You need options. That’s why a captive agent is a no-go.
Ask your retiring agent for a recommendation?
Many agents will likely have a plan for you. They’ll either assign a new agent to you or they’ll recommend a new agency or brokerage.
If they’re taking the time to set that up, it’s worth sticking with their recommendation for at least a year. See how the new agent treats you, and if you’re happy with him or her, then you’re all set!
If they don’t check on you or do an annual policy review, it might be worth looking around for a new agent.
Interview other agents from their agency?
If your agent works for an agency, they likely have coworkers who are also agents. If you like the agency, call and ask if you can interview the other agents.
If that’s a little too involved for your taste, look them up on the internet. You’ll likely find social media profiles or a bio on the agency’s website. This can give you a good idea of what the person is like and how they do business.
Also look for Facebook reviews, Google reviews, or testimonials on the agency’s website. If you can find testimonials with the agent’s name listed, they’re probably a good catch!
Find a new broker?
A broker is basically the opposite of a captive agent. Brokers represent a variety of carriers and can price shop against them when looking for insurance.
To use our grocery store metaphor again, it’s like walking into a Super Target and having lots of brands to choose from. You can compare prices, quality, and so on.
If your agent didn’t make any suggestions, they don’t work for an agency (in other words, they’re independent), or you don’t particularly like any other agents in their agency, it might be a good idea to look for a new broker.
We are a little bit biased here at Medicare Allies and think you ought to give us a try, but doing online searches can also be of use.
Your broker should have industry experience, and it’s always nice to see if they keep up a blog. That’s a good sign that they’re active and care about educating their clients. It’s also important to interact with the staff. Start up a chat or call them to get a feel for what they’re like.
The saying is often true – go with your gut! If the staff feels genuine and honest, talk to them about your insurance situation.
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