Robert J
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Robert J (by dino [CA]) Jan 27, 2023 12:58 AM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 27, 2023 4:24 AM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Jan 27, 2023 6:41 AM
       Robert J (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 27, 2023 9:52 AM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 27, 2023 11:07 AM

Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 12:58 AM

So I've recently been disappointed with then whole idea of dealing with an insurance broker.

I think I feel more comfortable dealing directly with the insurance company itself in the customer service department.

Sometimes the independent agent or even the company agent is just not that responsive. Seems like they are going to place a meeting with a prospective new client with potential commissions at stake at a higher priority than submitting paperwork for some change you want to make to your policy.

I feel that an actual salaried company employee is likely to be more reliable.

There are probably two sides to this issue depending on the specific situation but I was wondering what your thoughts are on this.


Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 4:24 AM

In most cases you have a very valid point. However let me tell you a story. Around 5 years ago around 10 of my policies with different insurance companies went way up. I had no claims (in my name only, partnership properties with claims were in LLC's or main partner's name) so I had a clean record with those companies going back 10 to 40 years. There was no reason for my rates to go up. I upgraded all electrical, plumbing and roofs. But the Underwriters or my Agents were too lazy to stay on top of my insured properties and once a new rate was issued, I was cooked--they would not lower my premium, only my coverage to do that. Not thanks.

So I made a few calls and found an Independent Insurance Agency that had a large footprint Online. They were highly rated.

Some of these Online marking companies have a catch. Like I had to be in the military to get coverage, teacher or Government Employee.

Back to my story. I had called half a dozen companies or their agents (ONLY LARGE KNOWN CARRIERS and no Fly-By-Night) and got average rates.

So I contact an ONLINE AGENCY that deals with many insurance companies and can give me rates over the phone by many several companies.

So with them I start out with some single family homes. They also want to insure a vehicle and I'll get a 10% discount. Then when then learn I kept the property up with upgrades (roof, power, water, earthquake valve, fire and burglar alarm), I get another discount. Then when I let them know that I'm a professional landlord with decades experience, yet another discount.

Since these Online insurance agencies only make money when the WRITE A POLICY and they represent many carriers, they can give me a better rate than HAD I GONE DIRECTLY TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY OR THEIR AGENTS THAT ONLY ALLOWED TO SELL THEM INSURANCE FROM THEM AND NO ONE ELSE.

I got better quotes with the same or better coverage. The Company I choose to go with sends me my policy directly so I know I'm covered, and I send payments to them also.

I know that if I have a claim, dealing with an online agent isn't the best choice. But I can also call the claims department directly with the insurance company.

So if you get a good agent they will have your back. But like my Farmers agent, if he tells me the truth and I get a discount, then Farmers will cut his commission. So I tend to deal with other carriers, not liars who only look out for themselves.

Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 6:41 AM

O.K., understood but let me get specific.

There must be hardly any commission for a minimum payroll workers comp policy I have since I really don't have employees, just occasional worker that doesn't carry their own policy so I have policy just for that situation. I try to make a simple change by contacting the broker in writing via email and I provide complete info which is acknowledged by broker in email right away. However, 2 weeks go by and I get an email from the broker asking me a question to complete the endorsement.

Problem is that the info to answer the question from the broker was in the original email I sent over 2 weeks ago. That means broker did nothing to complete the change for over 2 weeks.

If I had contacted the company directly, it would have already be done. I had intended to go through that broker to place the full insurance for that building (liability, fire, etc) partly because I considered the broker to be very honest and still do. But after experiencing that level of incompetence including from the workers in broker's office, I realized I just couldn't trust them. Low quality of office worker to save money for broker. Broker unavailable since he is out on sales call for new business.

With issues like that, saving a few bucks isn't going to be worth it.

Should I expect it to be possible to find broker willing to take workers comp policy seriously, or is that going to be impossible due to such a low, low commission for that policy, which means I should go directly to the company???

I know of broker that seemed to specialize in workers comp but I believe him to be very dishonest. I seem to need to deal directly with company for that type of policy.

Am I right in this situation or do you have reason to stick with broker???

Also, I'm about to change from Farmers on the liability, fire, etc since agent lacks level of knowledge I look for, and price isn't very good, but if I let independent agent shop it around for good price, I'm now expecting level of service will drop into toilet.

How would you identify broker that excels in level of knowledge, level of service, and honesty, when I am willing to pay a few bucks extra????


Robert J (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 9:52 AM

Thought I'd share an unexpected experience to look for with an independent agent in your search.

30+ years back, I went with an agent offered by our bank at the time. He was great for years. Then one day, he wasn't. Got into cocaine, took our $ and others for policies and used it for drugs and left us with no insurance. I had no losses as I was on top of things, but filed reports on him in hopes to save older, unsuspecting clients of his from peril. Moral of my story is keep on top of insurance!

On another note, we have motorcycle policies with an agent. Winter in WI, we are not riding for 1/2 the year. I called and asked for a winter discount and they told us there was none. I called the insurance carrier direct and they did all the work and we're getting the discount each year dealing direct. And insurance company is much easier to deal with and very informative with my questions. --75.11.xx.xx

Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 11:07 AM

Understand that Worker Comp policies in California are run by the mob, the State of California. The State made a law that unless an underline Home Owners Policy is for owner occupied residence, then that insurance company can offer in the basic policy coverage for workers comp. But if the property is a duplex or a rental, the an insurance carrier could not offer workers comp, unless it was thru State Fund (State owned insurance).

And the way they Rate a policy is a joke, criminal at best.

And the commissions are sky high on these polices.

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