Parker County Today January 2018 - Page 56

our experts: TOP INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS Who’s Got You COVERERD? In a smaller market like ours, you’d think that it would be a quick and easy task to select an insur- ance agency. Just go out and find the guy that sells the cheapest policies that you’re required by law to carry (i.e. car insurance, homeowners, commercial, and maybe healthcare) right? Well, when it comes to selecting insurance agencies, finding the guy with the cheapest insurance products isn’t necessarily the smartest way to go and probably shouldn’t be at the top of your list of priorities when choosing the best agent. Lower price can, (and usually do) mean inferior coverage. Do you really want to wait to find out when you’ve just experienced a loss that isn’t covered? Here are some things you should know when it’s time to select an insurance agent: • Direct Writers vs. Independent Agents.  There are two different ways to get coverage from an insurance company. Direct writers are insur- ance companies that hire their own agents to write exclusively for the company. Independent agents generally represent a number of companies. • Make a list of the type of insurance you need.  Some agents will offer many types of insurance and some focus only on a couple of types of insurance — like health or life. For example, some might only offer personal lines insurance where- as others will offer both personal and commercial lines. If you own a business and are looking for an agent to write your commercial insurance, you want to make sure they have some experience in your industry. • Technical Knowledge, Credentials. Experience is never a bad thing. Look for professional insurance designations that signify a higher level of experience, education and competence. Some of the more important designations are CIC, CPCU, ARM and CRM. Other things to look for are years of experience and education. 54 • Level of Care. Agents make their living through commissions but some focus more of making a living while others have made a career out of taking care of their clients. They are the great ones, the people who are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do. These are the agents we’ve focused on. The great ones — the people that our longtime readers go to — the ones they’ve trusted for years to help them manage the risk that comes with being in business, driving, buying a house, starting a business or building an office. Here’s the top recommended insurance professionals that’s got Parker County Covered.