We often hear from prospective clients that their current agent shops their insurance out every year with different carriers. That may or may not be correct. Many times, insurance agents will do what we call “Blocking the Market”. You might be thinking your current agent is busy shopping the market for you, he or she could be preventing you from getting a better rate
Here is a scenario that happens more times than you might believe. A business owner calls our office asking for help with his or her commercial insurance. We go out to the market to see what rates are available and boom we find out that your agent has reserved your quote for their agency and we can’t see what’s available and neither can you unless your current agent lets you see. When this happens that we must tell you that we can’t offer you a better rate, you stay with your current agent, all the while never knowing that your current insurance agent has created a situation where you are unable to save money by using one of those insurance carriers that they have blocked. The net result is that you pay more, your current agent gets more commission and you are none the wiser.
How can you avoid this? First, if you feel like you want to give your current agent a chance to preserve your business first and foremost ask them to send you every quote that they have gotten for you so that you have clear visibility into what’s going on behind the scenes. Next, when you call a competing agent to ask for a quote ask them to send you a copy of every quote that they get for you and to send you a list of every company that they were blocked from quoting. Once you get the quotes from your current agent and the quotes/list of blocked companies from the competing agent you need to do two things.
1. Determine if there are any insurance companies that the competing agent is showing as blocked for which your current agent did not give you a quote? If so, your current agent is being dishonest, and you should fire him or her. If you want to give the current agent, the benefit of the doubt then go back to him or her and ask if they have gotten any other quotes for you and if so to please send them to you. If they don’t send you anything it is my opinion that you can assume that they are not working in your best interests.
2. If there aren’t any missing quotes from your current agent, you should compare all of your offers to see who has the most competitive rate and decide whether the difference is enough for you to make a change.
If you decide that your current agent has blocked the market and isn’t working in your best interest, ask the competing agent if he is willing to accept a Broker of Record letter to get you a copy of the quotes that your current agent was hiding from you. Once you get a copy of all the quotes then you will be in a position to make your decision on which option is best fo