Are You Willing To Risk It All?

The correct answer, by the way, should be ‘no!’ If you answered anything else, then you need a twelve-step gambling program, and a strong cup of coffee.

Being in business, as the previous two sections have mentioned, is risky. There are a lot of unknowns in the world and, some of them come on two legs and are either litigious, or scrupulous to a fault. Either scenario, potentially, spells disaster.

So, into this mix, I complete the trifecta of ‘professionals you need, who aren’t you’ with the insurance carrier. Insurance is your way of defending against many unfortunate realities in the cold, cruel world. Theft, acts of nature, accidents, lawsuits, Weird Uncle Pete – all of these are very real, and can affect your business to its demise in the drop of a gavel. Why risk all of that?

A good insurance agent should be well-established. That’s a must because, even though those green ones need business to build their practice, I personally want someone who’s been around the block. My personal preference, of course – I don’t want to get sued, here.

They should also work for a firm, or represent firms, in the case of a brokerage, that meet with your needs, desires, and policies of social responsibility. I once learned the hard way what a bad insurance agent can do to your pocketbook. And it was expensive in more ways than I care to let on. After that experience, I learned my lesson… sort of. I asked for referrals, and received one from a trusted friend. While his experience with this individual had been ‘fine’, mine was ‘not fine’.

It was at this point, as I was growing older, wiser, and – most importantly – more jaded, that I re-assessed the whole insurance phenomena. I interviewed a few and, in the end, chose the son of a former employer. I chose him not only because I had a good referral, I also chose him because even though he was a Nationally Recognized Top Performer for one of the single largest agencies on the planet, he was also a guy who gave me an hour of his time to answer my questions, and pose his own. This guy was – without a doubt – the guy for me.

To this day, I’m still with this firm, and still in semi-annual contact with my carrier (or more, if need be.) The business has since transferred to a new agent, as the old one moved up to VP status in the home office. When this happened, I re-assessed my decision via interview, once more, and felt comfortable with the level of professionalism and clarity that this new agent brought to the table. That was seven years ago, and I don’t regret a day of it. Can you say the same?

In the end, insurance needs to be right for you. I actually know that I pay a slightly higher premium than I might with other carriers. I also know, however, that when I need them – 24-7 – they’re there for me. How? Because the business I run, coincidentally, has the same carrier. And while I’ve never needed them (knocking on major wood, here), the business I work for has. And you know what? They were awesome in action. I didn’t even need to think – they had professionals for that. In the end, I was covered, safe, and satisfied.

So – for a third and final time – interview, get comfortable, and make sure you choose the carrier who is right for you – with an agent to match. Make sure they understand your needs. Make sure they’re privy to your finances, to a degree, so that they may recommend the levels of insurance necessary to keep you out of trouble. A good agent will be able to explain in clear and concise terms why you need said insurance in said levels. A great agent will be your partner in business, and call or write now and again to make sure you don’t need a check up. At least, mine does. Does yours?

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~ by digitalninjasmedia on April 15, 2012.

 
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