Oct
15

When Buying Insurance on Your New Chicago Home, Get to Know Your Agent

October 15, 2010

Chicago real estateThere are so many decisions to make when buying a Chicago new home, that homeowners insurance often gets a cursory glance. Home buyers are tempted to stick with the insurance they’ve had for a while. Or maybe they’ll spend just a few minutes calling around or checking online for comparisons, then go with the lowest bidder.

Insurance expert Linda Rey, a regular contributor to the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog,  warns against this methodology in her recent article, “

How to Choose the Best Insurance Agent.” It seems that choosing your insurance plan is about far more than the policy, the price and the company. It’s also about the service you’ll receive in the future. In fact, in Rey’s estimation, “service” is to the insurance industry as “location” is to Chicago real estate.

By working with a good insurance agent – whether online, by phone or in person – you can be assured that someone will be available if the worst should happen. And you will also have someone who will ensure you maintain the coverage you need at a reasonable price, even if your situation changes.

According to Rey, there are three basic types of agents out there: those who represent a single carrier, independent agents who represent many insurance companies, and online or telephone representatives. When choosing the agent that’s best for carrying your new homeowners policy, you’ll want to find one who will be available to help you through the claims process and regularly review your policy with you. You may want to use an agent who offers a full range of products so you can bundle several of your policies for a cost savings.

Though billboards for insurance agents are plentiful, that’s probably not the best way to find the agent who is right for you. Instead, ask friends and colleagues for their recommendations. Then check out both the agent and the insurance company. The

Equifax Personal Finance Blog lists links to several organizations that will allow you to check your potential carrier’s track record, including the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and J.D. Power. Do your homework now, and you’re likely to save time and money in the long run.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Carol Morgan

Carol Flammer is a public relations and social media marketing expert, strategist and consultant. With 20 years of experience, Carol has established herself as the “go to” for real estate and construction products public relations and social media. Carol is president of Flammer Relations, Inc., and managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Atlanta and Chicago.

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