Agent Marketers – How to Find the Best One

When some one talk about getting an insurance agent the first question that comes to mind that do you really need one? In today’s age, convenience of internet does solve lots of problems and one of them is excessive insurance news and information over the web. Now you can get lots of insurance quotes from every insurer and get to know policies of every insurance company. You can choose what kind of insurance policy you want to go for. The best part of getting insurance information online is that you can personally research all the rules and regulation of every company in detail.

But that does not mean that the having all kind of information online simply takes you away from consulting an actual insurance agent. Most of us do want to sit with a person who not only represents its insurance company even but better also shares the experiences and information that you won’t find online. The insurance agents are the experts for practical implication of the rules, regulations and policies that you read online. The aspect of any agent marketer that you should be concerned about are there sales target. This factor does make every insurance agent a bit biased when it comes to suggesting the right insurance coverage policy for its customers.

On the other hand a real professional insurance agent would never jeopardize the customer’s interest just to meet the annual sales target. Every good agent marketer would try to make a professional impression on the client as they intend retain their customers for long term which give them more future business prospects. It’s obvious that a client who has walked in for a personal life insurance would also go for his spouse life coverage and children health coverage and probably home insurance too in the future. But you would only prefer to give the business to same insurance agent over and over if you only get a good deal.

Its big question, how to know that you actually got a very cheap insurance quote and you have also end up covering the most risks. You can only know that if you shop around. Obviously internet helps enormously in this case. It’s best to get all the information about insurance companies, get multiple quotes from different companies and also be updated about latest insurance news before going to any insurance agent.

When you have done your own research, then you are in a better position to actually judge which insurance agent is best for you. The first sign of good insurance agent would be that he or she listen to you first and completely understand what you need instead to explaining the company coverage policy in a marketing style. Secondly the right insurance agent also put lots options for you and most of the time gives you very better solution for what you have in mind. Further you can always ask your friends or relative for a reference as which policy are they using or which insurance agent did they go to. The bottom line is that you can only know that which agent marketer would be best for you if you have done your research properly.

The AM Best Rating – A Consumer’s Indispensable Tool

In this time of economic upheaval, consumers are searching for footholds to aid them in scaling the mountainous terrain of choosing insurance products. An AM Best rating is one tool that trendy consumers are using to guide their decisions.

What is an AM Best rating? It is an independent, third party evaluation of a company’s financial strength based upon qualitative data (or data that describes the characteristics of an organization) as well as quantitative data (measurable and verifiable data based on statistical analysis). It includes a thorough evaluation of an organization’s balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. Why is that important to the consumer? It is a strong indicator of the insurance company’s ability to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders. An insurance policy is only beneficial if the company is able to pay claims after a loss.

Founded in 1899, the AM Best Co had as its mission “To perform a constructive and objective role in serving the insurance marketplace as a source of reliable information and ratings dedicated to encouraging a financially strong industry through the prevention and detection of insurer insolvency” (2008 Best’s Insurance Reports). Since that time, AM Best ratings have been the benchmark worldwide for assessing insurers’ financial strength. In this article, we will examine the two primary components of the AM Best rating for consumers: the financial strength rating and the financial outlook score.

AM Best evaluates insurance companies according to financial strength and performance much like our educational institutions grade students. These ratings range from
A ++ to F and indicate to the consumer if a company is a prudent choice to handle his/her insurance business. Following is a breakdown of ratings:

A ++ and A+ Superior
A and A- Excellent
B++ and B+ Good
B and B- Fair
C ++ and C+ Marginal
D Poor
E Under regulatory supervision
F In liquidation

Since the rating is one predictor of a company’s ability to handle financial obligations to its policyholders, the higher the ranking, the greater the ability to sustain financial commitment during adverse changes. I don’t know about you, but when I have a loss, I want excellent or superior chances that my insurance company can pay me to cover it.

A second component to understand is the company’s financial outlook. AM Best uses three criterion to gauge a company’s financial outlook.

1. Positive. This indicates that the current rating may be upgraded in the future.
2. Negative. This indicates that the current rating may be downgraded in the future.
3. Stable. This indicates that at this time it is unlikely that the rating will change in the future.

Before making an insurance purchase, you can check an insurance company’s profile to see how it scored on the AM Best rating scale. You can do this easily and for free. Click the “Ratings and Analysis” link at the top of the page. For data retrieval for some companies, such as health insurance companies, you may need to set up a free user name and id in order to access information. However, for others, like homeowner’s insurance, you simply type in the company you want to research and click “search”.

Let’s say you want to check on the ratings for Farmer’s. Initially, though, forty options appear on your screen. On the far right of the chart, the companies are listed by state. Click on Texas Farmer’s County Mutual Insurance Company and you have access to the Texas company’s rating, affiliation code (type of reinsurance grade), financial size and outlook. As mentioned, consumers are most interested in the rating and the financial outlook. A company with an “A” or higher rating with a positive or stable outlook, like Texas Farmer’s County Mutual Insurance Company, is very likely to be able to sustain policyholder losses in the case of unfortunate circumstances.

You can also use this tool if you are shopping around in search of a new insurer because the same criteria are used to evaluate each company. Therefore, you are looking at a tool that is measuring an apples to apples financial comparison between companies. Let’s take a look, for instance, at AIG. While the company has an AM Best rating of “A”, the outlook for the future is “negative”. Choosing a company with this type of overall score is a bit of a gamble.

10 Giant Mistakes Buyers Make When Buying a Home

Buyers make these 10 mistakes every single day. This is your first step to ensuring you don’t fall victim to these common pitfalls.

1. Not choosing an associate who is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you. Making a connection with the right professional is crucial. Choose an agent who is dedicated to meeting your needs – not only before, but also during and after the sale.

2. Not getting prequalified before writing an offer on an Edmonton home. Prequalification will make your life a whole ‘lot simpler. Take the time to speak with bank or mortgage reps. Their qualified evaluation of your income, financial obligations and other variables will help determine a price range that will fit your budget. This is one of the most important steps on the path to owning your very own Edmonton home.

3. Not knowing the total costs involved. Early in the home buying process, ask your real estate agent or mortgage broker for an estimate of closing costs. All expenses including title insurance, homeowners association dues and prepay responsibilities should be considered. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to closing.

4. Not searching beyond open houses, ads or the internet. Many Edmonton properties listed in magazines or on the internet have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate agent. They have up-to-date information on the Edmonton market that is unavailable to the general public, and are the best resource to help you find the home you want.

5. Not considering alternatives for what you think is the perfect home. Buying a home in Edmonton is a process of elimination, not selection. New properties arrive on the market daily, so be open to all possibilities. Ask your real estate agent to provide a comparative market analysis for information about other available Edmonton homes.

6. Not contemplating long-term needs. It is important to always think ahead! Will the home and the terms of the mortgage suit your needs in 3-5 years? How about in 5-10 years? Plan, plan and plan some more.

7. Not following through on due diligence. Make a list of any concerns you have relating to the home and the community, such as crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbours and environmental conditions and don’t forget the amenities. Ask the important questions before you make an offer on a property. Be diligent so that you can have confidence in your purchase.

8. Not having a home inspection. I will always recommend an inspection. There are far too many potential problems that are invisible to the naked eye… Trying to save money today can end up costing you tomorrow. A qualified home inspector will reveal potential issues that may affect your purchase decision. Your real estate agent should be able to hand you a list of quality inspectors.

9. Not examining insurance issues. Nobody likes paying for something they don’t need, nor do they enjoy missing out on specifics that should be included. Consult an insurance agent to make sure you choose the policy that best fits your needs.

10. Not purchasing a home warranty. This is essentially a mini isurance policy that usually lasts one year from the date of sale. It typically covers the repair of a home’s major systems and appliances, and can be purchased for a nominal fee with the option to renew annually. Talk to your agent to help you find the right home warranty.

Remember to refer back to this list to make sure you don’t overlook anything. Your agent should be more than aware of all of these things. However, it is a wonderful idea to educate yourself. A diligent buyer is a happy buyer.

Top 5 Questions to Ask When Buying Pet Heath Insurance

As a rule of thumb it is important to ask questions about anything especially before you decide top buy something. Asking questions can prevent problems down the road and save you money. This is especially true with insurance policies for yourself or even your pets.

Cheap pet health insurance is a trend that is growing most interest from pet owners. Why? It is simple because with the advances in veterinary medicine and treatments available to pets, the cost of this care increases. Procedures and medicines once reserved for only humans have found their way into the veterinary world.

If you are looking to insure your pet (I highly suggest you do), you need to ask a few simple questions to make sure you know what you are getting in your pet health insurance policy.

1. Do I want a discount or comprehensive pet health insurance plan?
A discount plan is more of a savings plan on your veterinary expenses. You will apply for a membership and get a discount card and present the card to the vet prior to your pets visit and you get services at a discounted rate. This is a good deal because these savings plan typically cost around $100 a year.

If you want a comprehensive cheap pet health insurance plan, this plan is more like a normal health insurance policy. You will select from different plans available for your pet and pay a monthly premium. If you pet needs emergency surgery, you will most likely cover the deductible and the insurance company will cover the rest.

2. Will I be able to use my current veterinarian?
This is important because you will have probably taken your pet to the same veterinarian for years. You don’t want a pet heath insurance policy that is going to limit you to certain veterinarians. What if they only one you can choose from is located 50 miles away and you regular one is just down the street? Make sure you ask this question. In most cases, you will be able to use your regular vet.

3. Are routine visits covered?
This is a good question to ask because the answer could depend on which insurance company you are dealing with. Some insurance companies will cover routine visits, or wellness care. The one thing to look at is the cost of the premiums. I can tell you that to cover routine care your are going to pay a higher premium that just for accident only coverages [http://www.section44reviews.com/pet-insurance] in your cheap pet health insurance plan.

4. What is my deductible going to be?
If you can find a cheap pet health insurance policy without a deductible – GREAT! You are more than likely going to have to pay a deductible (a portion of the treatment cost you are responsible for). Deductibles can range from $50 – $75 – $100 – $200. You want to make sure you know what you are going to be responsible for when you pet needs a treatment so there are no surprises.

5. What type of insurance is best for my pets?
This is entirely up to you. Before buying any cheap pet health insurance policy, you need to TRUST the company you are going to do business with. Ask yourself these questions. Do they have a good reputation? How is there customer service? Do you know of anyone else that uses them? These are just a few things to think about before buying a pet health insurance policy.

Small Business Marketing Hacks Every Business Owner Should Use

There’s a lot that’s changed recently with online marketing. Most people now go straight to Google to search for something they want. The phone book is out and Google, or search traffic is in. If you are a small business owner you can benefit from the internet as a source of business. What’s even better is that you can tap into this resource for free if you have a physical business.

Google Places

Google Places lets you advertise your local business for free in the search results. When someone searches for a local business in your area, your results will come up first for many searches. This is a simple cost effective strategy you should definitely be employing in your business. With Google Places, you list your local business and Google will send you a confirmation postcard with a Google verification code on it. Once you have verified your listing with this code, Google knows you actually reside at this address, or run a business from it.

Google Places works wonders for small business owners who work from a certain location. If you’re not on it you are definitely missing out on business. Plus, your competitors could be using it which means they could be taking your potential customers. To use Google Places just do a quick search for it on Google and it will take you through the setting up process.

Bing Places

Bing also offer this same listing on their own search engine. It’s just like Google Places so not much to add here really. Simply fill out your details on the online platform and verify your listing when you receive a code in the post. When you create your listing you will have to list your business within a certain category, or two. Look through the existing categories and find the one or ones which are the best fit for your business. This is the same as Google Places. By listing in more than one category, if the platform allows, you can benefit from a number of searches within your local area.

Other Listings For Free

Yell and Yahoo also offer free listings for businesses too. Also do a ‘Google search’ for local directories and free listings and you will find a range of sites which offer free business listings in your area. In some cases even the extra links back to your website can make a difference to your ranking, even if the link itself doesn’t bring you more business.

Blogging

You may well not have the time or inclination to start a blog. However, in some business areas blogging is a good way to increase your business reach online in a fairly cost effective way. Depending on your business, and whether it opens itself to a blog, you can get some good results by targeting some keywords in your business niche, or simply writing compelling content and sharing on social media.

Keyword Research

You can use Google’s free keyword planner to search for terms which are already getting hits on the search engine. By finding long tail keywords in your business niche and writing good content for them, you stand more chance of being listed on the search engine. If you can find untapped keywords which bring in customers to your business, you can write articles which will bring in customers for free for years to come for free.

Paid Advertising

After you have exhausted the free methods of advertising, you can start looking at paid advertising methods. Many business owners try and fail with paid advertising. This is why it is worth learning properly the do’s and don’ts of paid advertising.
Pay per click advertising can make a massive impact on your business. But you should also be very careful. Make sure you start out with a small budget and get properly educated on how to create adverts and which keywords to choose. In particular look at the different types of keyword matches. Get this wrong and you can easily burn through your budget and list your advert for entirely the wrong audience.
However, paid advertising is remarkably scalable. Once you have a campaign which works you can easily increase your budget and you are in a position to pay for new customers.

Return On Investment

When I started with pay per click I didn’t understand return on investment. I ‘dipped my toe in’ and dabbled very tentatively. If I didn’t see an immediate profit, I stopped altogether. This is a mistake. Initially there is a lot of testing and measuring to do with paid advertising. After a while you get an advert which successfully brings you customers. However, knowing the return on investment from successful doing this is a game changer. If your customer goes on to purchase again and again, how much are they worth to your business over a year, or 10 years? Knowing this is a huge key to having the confidence to put money into an advertising campaign. Even if you lose money in the short term, your new customers will bring you new business over the long term. Learn the average spend from each customer over a year and then 10 years. Then decide what each customer is worth in terms of advertising. Does this change your view on what you can afford?

Paid Advertising Methods

There are various paid advertising methods available to use for small businesses online. Start with one method and become good at that before moving on to the next. Facebook advertising lets you target potential customers down to their interests, location and other variables. Pay per click advertising lets you target intent driven adverts. With pay per click you start with the keyword your visitor is looking for online. Once you have tested and measured an advertising method and you have a profitable model, you can leave it running and scale it easily. Then move on to the next one.

Even if you only use a couple of the methods suggested in this article, you can dramatically improve your business with only a small amount of effort. Once you have learned all these methods, you will know how to scale up your business and increase your profits. You can then invest in other forms of advertising, testing and measuring as you go. Whether these are on the internet or offline, using the same strategy (which lets you measure the response of a customer) means you can gradually improve all your advertising methods over the long term, increase profits and grow your business.