Selecting the right independent insurance agent to take care of your insurance needs should not be a quick decision. You are looking for a long-term relationship with someone you can trust. You wouldn’t buy a car without shopping around, and you shouldn’t select an independent agent without doing some research too. So what should you look for?

Here are 5 tips from The Barclay Group to make this tough decision a little easier:

1. Know the Difference between Independent Agents and other Insurance Agents

An independent agent can be a small-business owner who represents a number of different insurance companies. In contrast, agents who represent large, national insurance companies are employees of their company and only sell products from that company. A direct insurance company sells directly to you without an agent, typically online.

Independent Agents like The Barclay Group have the opportunity to best match price and coverage for your needs, and if an insurance company is competitive one year but not the next, we can quote other carriers. That is why we are called independent

2. Ask for Referrals

Referrals from family, friends and colleagues are a good place to start. When you ask around, find out why they like their independent agent. Ask about their customer service and follow-through, if the agent is friendly and knowledgeable.

At The Barclay Group, we even offer a Gas Card referral program and will send you a $10 Gas Card whenever we write an insurance policy for a friend or family member that you referred!

3. Decide If Location Is Important to You

It may be important for you that your independent agent has offices in your community. You have the convenience of being able to stop by to ask questions or help with a claim and develop a trust relationship. Many independent agents are deeply committed to their community and are actively involved as coaches, scout leaders or civic leaders.

With The Barclay Group, you have 7 locations to choose from so one of our offices may be very close to your home!

4. Look for Credentials

A knowledgeable independent agent can provide the advice you need when deciding what coverage and limits you need to protect your family and you. Look for independent agents who have letters next their name on their business card. These represent professional designations, such as Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter

(CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM). To maintain these credentials, independent agents must take continuing education classes.

5. Knowledge and Trust Are Key

Make sure to have a conversation with the insurance agent you are considering and ask questions to make sure you trust the agent and know they are knowledgeable about the policy and coverages.

Remember that your relationship with a good independent agent is likely to last a long time, so it pays to take the time to choose the right one for you.

As your independent agent, our job is to help you select the best coverage and limits at the most competitive premiums from a variety of the insurance companies we represent.

Contact The Barclay Group today at (856) 829-1594 or rdevine@barclayinsurance.com to find out more