Many people work in industries that require them to sell a product or service. Insurance is a prime example. Although potential clients sometimes go to agencies due to a referral from a family member or friend, typically, the agents work hard to find clients. Although this position is rewarding, it’s not always glamorous.
A Day in the Life of an Insurance Agent
Consider for a minute all the things an insurance agent does on behalf of their clients. Here are just a few examples.
- Finding the Right Coverage – Agents offer their clients options, advice, and guidance from the get-go about the type and amount of coverage needed. The goal is to ensure that every client is properly protected, whether under a commercial, residential, or personal policy of some kind.
- Advising on Changes – From there, an agent stays on top of any policy and industry changes. If they discover better coverage or perhaps a way to save their clients money, they’ll contact them to provide new information and options. Again, the agent goes over the possibilities so the client will end up with exactly what they need.
- Handling Premium Payments – Insurance agents must also make sure that clients pay their premiums on time. The last thing they want is for someone to have a policy lapse because of an oversight. Unfortunately, that happens all too often.
- Assisting Claims– If a client needs to file a claim, that individual’s insurance agent is there to help. While the insured might need to do a little bit of the work, the agent handles most of it. In some situations, that entails having conversations with the insurance company, negotiating a better deal on the client’s behalf, and maybe even going to battle against another provider that insists the client was at fault when they weren’t.
An insurance agent’s job isn’t the typical 9-to-5. Commonly, clients call their agents at home on the weekend, during the night, and on holidays. Some people feel as though their agents should be at their beck and call.
Now, sometimes, there’s justification for an off-duty phone call. For instance, if a client’s home burns down or they’re in a serious car accident, then the agent is more than willing to help regardless of the day or time. However, some clients call about things that could wait until the next business day to discuss.
As you can see, working as an insurance agent goes well beyond getting a policy for someone and taking their money. Rather, these professionals strive to keep their clients protected under the best policies and for the most affordable premiums.
You would think with all agents do, the clients would show appreciation and gratitude, and most of them do. However, there are rare occurrences when an insurance agent has to make a tough decision about whether to continue providing a service and product to the client or to part ways.
When It’s Time to Go
Believe it or not, insurance agents have had to fire their clients. This can happen for multiple reasons. The following are some real-life scenarios in which this occurred.
Refuses to Listen
A good agent listens to their clients. However, as the expert, the agent also expects their clients to listen to them. After all, their job is to help people select the right policy based on specific needs. So, when a client continually refuses to take the professional advice of an agent, it’s time to end the business relationship.
Whenever there’s a communication breakdown, that becomes problematic for an insurance agent. At that point, they can’t provide an effective service, which ultimately could put them, the agency, and the client at risk.
Unrealistic Client Expectations
Without question, top-rated insurance agents do a remarkable job in serving their clients. Even so, they’re not magicians. So, when a client has unrealistic expectations about what their provider can do, they should move on. In particular, this type of client demands a solution immediately without giving the agent time to work through the issue.
The Ghosting Client
Another time when an agent should fire a client is when that individual disappears for long periods. Despite sending emails and texts and making phone calls, the agent can’t get in touch with the person. In most instances, this might not matter, but when critical things arise about a client’s policy and the agent can’t find them, this becomes a serious problem.
Never Good Enough
Considering just how hard good insurance agents work for their clients, there’s nothing more frustrating than to hear that what they’re doing “isn’t good enough.” When an agent has a client that they can’t satisfy no matter what they do, the relationship often isn’t salvageable.
The Blame Game
Then, there’s the client that blames every unfortunate circumstance on the agent instead of accepting the fact it’s their issue. For example, say a client didn’t pay their premium. As a result, their policy got canceled. Rather than admit to not making the payment, they blame the agent for not sending them a reminder—which they did, by the way.
Another example: say a client’s business suffers damage. So, they contact their insurer, only to find out that they don’t have adequate coverage to pay for everything. Although the agent had strongly suggested different protection beforehand, the client refused and went with something else. Now, they feel the lack of coverage is the insurer’s fault.
There’s yet another type of client that insurance agents should fire. This person has a sense of entitlement. They believe they know more, deserve more, and should get more. This client wants to always come first, and if that doesn’t happen, they get angry.
An insurance agent’s job is hard enough as it is. So, dealing with an entitled client is aggravating and time-consuming. It’s also not fair to all the other clients the agent works with.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few examples of why and when it’s okay for an insurance agent to fire their client.
If you work as an insurance agent, remember that most people are reasonable and appreciative. So, if you ever need to fire one, don’t feel bad. Recognize it wasn’t meant to be.