Insurance brokers and agents have certain ethical and legal responsibilities to look after their clients’ interests.
What happens, then, when an insurance agent seems more interested in making a sale or protecting the insurance company’s profits than they are in your well-being?
Nobody wants to end up victimized by a dishonest insurance agent, but how do you know the difference between an agent that you can trust and one that will happily lie to you?
How to spot a bad insurance agent
The vast majority of insurance agents are hard-working people who genuinely want to do right by their clients. But there are always a few out there who engage in sloppy or outright dishonest practices. You can usually spot the bad apples in the bunch by their:
- High-pressure tactics: A good insurance agent will lay out your options for you and explain the pros and cons of each choice. They won’t press you to sign in a hurry — nor will they automatically push you toward the highest coverage and priciest policy.
- Super-low premiums: On the flip side, you’ll find agents who say they can get you a lower premium than any other agent by far. That kind of claim should disturb you because rock-bottom premiums usually mean rock-bottom coverage that won’t meet your needs.
- Shady business tactics: Did your insurance agent “helpfully” suggest you can inflate the value of a claim? That’s insurance fraud. That kind of agent is not the kind of agent you want.
- Incorrect papers: Do they let you see your application paperwork before it is sent to the underwriter, or do they just tell you to sign? Some agents will “adjust” the information on an application for a policy to get you a lower premium — but that could leave you without critical coverage.
If your insurance agent lied to you and it led to financial harm, you may be able to hold them accountable through a professional malpractice claim.