Questions not to ask your Agent

Great topic!

One big question you should never ask is: “should my 17 year old be listed on the policy?” if you mention him/her the agent has an obligation to list them on the policy because the child is now an additional risk to the policy itself.

Now not telling the agent about a teen driver is also a bad idea, your policy might not go up for the time being, but if your child gets into an accident and hurts someone the insurance company might have the right to deny paying the claim. They will cut you a check for the premiums paid and void your policy due to misrepresentation. Very tough to fight because when you sign a policy application there is a clause about drivers in your hoesehold, and how they need to be listed on your policy unless they carry their own liability insurance. in case of a minor accident they will most likely pay the claim and then they will charge you a pretty penny to add your child to the policy including backdated premiums.

Another question not to ask your insurance agent is: “can you take this payment check but hold on to it for a couple of days till I have funds in my account?” many agents (the 1 company agents) have what is called “binding authority” so their actions are the insurer’s actions, when they take a payment you just paid the insurer, the receipt for the payment indicates that you paid your premium that specific day, and insurers have now in place rules that if a check is processed in the system that check needs to be deposited within 24hrs or the agency falls out of compliance.

Always think before you ask, “if someone asked me this question would I be suspicious of their intent?” or “Does it even make sense for me to ask this question”

Let me give you and example of the last point I just made, what would you expect an agent to do if you went to his or her office and asked “I want a reduction in premium but I don’t want to change anything on my policy”… people ask this question all the time and expect an answer and are upset when the answer usually is “no change in coverage no change in price.”

The public needs to remember that purchasing insurance is not negotiable, unlike cars agents do not get a policy and then mark it up to their discretion. Insurance companies set prices and then pay commissions to the agents/brokers and it is ILLEGAL for agent and brokers to share their commission with customers in an attempt to reduce their pricing.

Rebating can cause the Agent to lose his/her license, but it can also give the insurer the right to deny a claim because the policy was written under fraudolent circumstances, and claiming ignorance is usually not a defense because rebating is done outside the policy cycle, your premium is the same as anyone else you’re simply receiving cash on the side.