Our huge dependency on financial protection such as auto insurance has made us vulnerable to scam efforts. Insurance agent is one of aspects of insurance industry that is vulnerable to scammers. While insurance agent is someone you will trust about your policy, a scammer will not hesitate to use this position to scam you out of your hard-earned money. One of the most common scams is insurance policy offers by unlicensed insurance agents, or people who pose as licensed agents.
A scam auto insurance agent will use various ways to get you to buy. People who don’t have extensive knowledge about insurance are easy preys, and this is not just limited to low-education people. Insurance scam industry has been so great that even highly-educated people can fall prey to it. Make sure you know what you face if you find a seemingly great offer by insurance agent.
Questions to Avoid Auto Insurance Agent Scam
Nowadays, there are many insurance agents that offer quotes right from their homes, thanks to internet and online commute technology that enable people to work from home. Not all insurance agents who work from home are scammers, but you do need to be wary of scam signs. Here are some important questions to ask to avoid scam:
Do you get cold call from an agent?
Cold call (doing calls to various addresses to sell the policy) is still a common practice, but you need to be alert, because scammers like doing this method to unsuspecting people. When you really need insurance agent, and happen to find one that call your numbers, don’t immediately accept the offer. Wait and do your homework before deciding to buy a policy.
Does an agent have home office?
If you find or receive a call from auto insurance agent that calls from home, make sure he or she has home office. This is to make sure that you only find the most committed agent. However, remember that many agents may work from home even without home office, but this can be a point to select insurance agent.
Does the agent have good, thorough knowledge about what he/she sells?
Good agents have thorough knowledge about the policy he/she sells, and can handle even the tougher questions from curious customers. Auto insurance agent scam may also rely on smooth-talking, but often, scammers will stammer or try to deflect certain questions and make you confused instead. Basically, if an agent doesn’t speak professionally, doesn’t have thorough knowledge and seems to avoid certain questions, don’t trust him/her.
Is there anyone who has made successful claim through this agent?
You can ask about other customers that have filed successful claim through the agent. This is a good way to find out whether this agent is genuine or not. New agent may not be able to provide answer, but at least you can find assurance from agent who has actually helped other people to successfully make claims.
Find reviews about certain agent.
Nowadays, auto insurance agents will likely to get online reviews, especially those who have worked with many clients (or at least claimed to be). Find information about the insurance agent you encounter, and see if he or she has personal website or blog. Make sure to find enough reviews about his/her performance before you decide whether this agent worth your time or not.
Finally, when an agent says he or she is associated with certain company, make sure the name is listed in the company. Also, ask the company if he or she is still officially listed and working at the company. All these may still not guarantee that you will be free from scam, but you will have several layers of protection before getting a good agent.
Tips to Check Auto Insurance Agent License
If you live in the US, the government makes sure each licensed insurance agent’s information can be tracked in order to protect customers. Here are some ways to check if your insurance agent is licensed or not:
- In Google search box, type “is my insurance agent licensed in…” Write the state you live in.
- Look for official sites that check the status of insurance agent. Make sure it is the most relevant and official one.
- Type the name of the agent and the state.
If you cannot find the license information for some reason, call the agent directly and ask for his or her license numbers. Use those numbers to track their information in auto insurance agent information database.