Saturday, July 9, 2011

Memphis Insurance - How To Shop For The Policy You Need

We all had to do homework when we were in school and shopping for your Memphis insurance policy is no different. Doing your research and shopping for the least expensive premiums and the most benefits takes work- homework! In order to find the best policy, be it for Memphis car insurance, homeowners or a health insurance policy, you should prepare yourself for the task at hand and learn as much as you can about the product you will be purchasing. Purchasing insurance is not unlike buying anything else such as a car. If you bought a car, you would want to “kick the tires” before spending your hard earned money, so should you kick the tires, so to speak, of an insurance policy.

As stated in a previous article on this blog, Memphis Insurance companies and agents are abundant for no other reason than we all need insurance. Shopping for insurance may seem a bit overwhelming, however, once you roll up your sleeves and get down to work, odds are you will find the policy that is the best fit for you, your family and your budget.

It should be noted that there are fifty one different insurance markets across the nation including the District of Columbia. Different geographical areas bring different risk so doing business with a company in another state may not be in your best interest. Although any company doing business within any given state must be licensed by that state’s Department of Insurance and Commerce, doing business locally is probably the best bet since Memphis Insurance agents are familiar with the area and what is required within the borders of the state of Tennessee.

The number one source of information about the many different insurance policies sold within the state is the Tennessee Department of Insurance. They will have available to the public a wealth information about the various policies that are sold under their jurisdictions. Another source of obtaining the information you require when shopping insurance policies is home office representatives. All insurance companies have representatives in states in which they are licensed to sell policies. Visiting the website of a insurance company should direct you to that state of Tennessee’s representative for their company.

Your local Memphis insurance agent is also a source of excellent information but most people have a mental wall built in when dealing directly with the a person that want to sell them something, insurance is no different. Most insurance agents are professional and are well versed in their profession and will provide all the information you will need to make an informed decision, however, our natural bias toward sales people will make us skeptical and it is best to research on your own until such time you can make an informed decision.

Consumer advocate magazines are another source of information such as Consumer reports. Consumer reports is a nonprofit magazine that does not offer advertising within it’s pages and compares companies on their products and services. Best Insurance Reports is a yearly publication that rates the financial stability of insurance companies and buying a policy from a company that has a poor rating within the publication is not a good idea.

There are many different Memphis insurance agents to choose from and determining which one to purchase a policy from may be a daunting task. But shopping and doing your research will not only help you place the best policy but also give you piece of mind knowing you researched and understand all the benefits of your policy upon purchase.

The insurance agent or broker should have certain attributes that are essential with the top three being knowledgeable, courteous and reliable. Take special care to make sure your chosen Memphis insurance agent is additional educational classes in their area of expertise. In most cases, state licensing laws require that agent and brokers take continuing education classes to stay up to date on the ever changing insurance industry and it’s applicable laws.

As an insurance consumer, you should research agents and brokers just as you would individual insurance policies. By interviewing many different agents or brokers, you are exposing yourself to the many different companies that offer varying degrees of policies and their benefits. By comparing many different agents, both independent and exclusive, you open yourself up to finding the best policy with the least expensive premium, although least expensive should not be the underlying reason for purchasing a policy. After all, we are seeking the best coverage we can obtain within our budgets and this does not mean always by the least expensive policy.

By researching the local is insurance market and taking the time to educate ourselves on the insurance industry, we are increasing the odds of obtaining the best policy and meet our Memphis insurance needs.

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