Having insurance agent nearby makes it easier if you have car insurance policy, since you can immediately contact him or her whenever you need. However, what if your insurance agent is also your family member or relative? While this is not an uncommon occurrence, having your own family member as insurance agent can be awkward and strange. Some people avoid this situation by refusing to have professional association with their family members who become agents. Others think that it is not a big deal. After all, you only help family members and relatives to get customers, right?
In reality, using insurance agent that is also your family member or relative can bring numbers of difficulties, even though there is no prohibition in doing such thing.
Good Car Insurance Agent Requirements
If you can work things out well, it is fine to have car insurance agent who is also your family or relative. However, remember that your agent is the one that helps you with important things such as claims and questions about policy details. A good insurance agent must fulfill several requirements, which are:
Having detailed knowledge.
The basic rules in insurance policies may stay the same, but different people have different details in their policies. There are various aspects in your policy that are adjusted with your own condition. A good agent must be able to give explanations based on each person’s policy details.
Easy to contact or reach.
You don’t know when you will need to make a claim. A good insurance agent must be easily reached whenever you need, or at least respond quickly, whether through phone, text message, or email.
Trustworthy and ethical.
A knowledgeable agent is useless without trustworthiness and ethics. An insurance agent deals with personal and financial information of the people he or she has contact with. Breaching this trust is a big no-no for a professional agent, and you should never trust agent like this.
If you see these requirements in an agent, you can consider other things such as the rates he or she offers. The same thing applies with family member or relative who becomes your agent; you must view him or her as a professional who offers specific service. Therefore, what you look in a professional car insurance agent must also be possessed by them.
Pros and Cons of Having Family Member as Agent
There are several pros and cons if you decide to have your family as car insurance agent. The pros include:
- Easy to reach the agent if you have questions or need to apply for claim quickly. Also, your own family may be more lenient when it comes to time, such as if you need more time to prepare the necessary paper.
- Easy to ask questions. Some people feel awkward if they continuously contact their agent for questions. With family member as agent, you don’t need to feel awkward.
- Easy to get information about discounts. Sometimes, personal relationship can affect possibilities for you to get discounts. Your family member may know if there is specific discount or opportunity to get lower rate.
However, you also need to consider the cons, such as:
- Unable to say “no.” Sometimes, people have hard times saying “no” to offers from family members, even if they don’t actually need the offers. You could spend extra money for something you don’t need just because you feel bad.
- Relationship may be ruined. If you fall into disagreement or dispute with family member regarding of the policy offered, this can sour your personal relationship with the family. This is a common problem among people who do business or make transaction with their own family members.
- Ethical reasons. If your insurance agent commits unethical or shady practices, and he or she happens to be your family member, it can be awkward when you feel torn between reporting it and letting it slide.
- Feeling bad in changing insurance agent. There might be times when you need to change your car insurance agent. If your current agent is your family member or relative, you may feel bad replacing him or her, which can result in bad decision regarding of the option of insurance agent.
In the end, there’s nothing wrong with accepting the service of your family member who is an insurance agent. However, you must consider all the pros and cons of having such car insurance agent, and both of you must understand what to expect when separating between professional and personal relationships.