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Do you know who your insurance agent really is?

By Thomas M Kallman

Got the merger mania blues? Just like banks and other large financial institutions, insurance agencies are feeling the trend as the big insurance conglomerate “sharks” devour the local family operated independent agencies. If your local independent insurance agency has been gobbled up in the current merger fever, you could feel like an orphan.

If your business insurance premiums don’t total over $50,000 per year, you may get the cold shoulder. Even with premiums big enough to satisfy these huge appetites, you can find yourself dealing with strangers; frustrated by impersonal treatment and by changes in procedures. Who doesn’t hate getting consigned to that voice mail “heck”.

Much like selecting a doctor, when you need a new insurance agent, you should interview more than one local independent agent. If your insurance agent is not independent, you may only get one choice of carrier. An independent insurance agent works for you. Make sure you deal with an agent and agency that has a positive, cooperative attitude and can access several “A” rated insurance companies. Always expect a high level of professionalism.

Insurance premiums are only a small part of the story since similar rates can be obtained from many carriers, but there can be substantial differences in service levels. How satisfied are you with how your independent insurance agent shopped around to get you the best price? Are your insurance certificates issued and faxed when needed? Are your lenders getting your insurance evidence without a lot of extra calls from you? Your insurance agent should provide prompt, thoughtful service so you are free to focus on running your business.

Thomas Kallman is President of TMK Risk Management Inc dba Kallman Insurance Agency at PO Box 266736, Weston, Florida 33326. Phone 954-389-5897 and email Your questions are always welcome.

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