The insurance industry is filled with confusing jargon that most people just don’t understand. Do they do this on purpose? Maybe. Really – of course not! You do, however, need to know and understand insurance talk. Or, better yet, have a personal relationship with your independent insurance agent and get to know them over time and ask questions.
A common misunderstanding is with insurance agents and adjusters. Are they the same person? Nope.
Check out the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance adjuster. Let’s cover each one separately.
What is an Insurance Agent?
First, let’s look at insurance agents. An insurance agent is a person who helps you find the right coverage based on your needs and risk tolerance. Hopefully, they are your trusted advisor in determining how to best insure you and your family. BUT, once there is a claim…well this is where it gets sticky. If there is a claim to be made, you’ll call the agent who will likely refer you to the claims department.
You can think of an insurance agent as the front salesperson. They are the one who will help you pick a policy that’s right for you and answer any questions while you are searching for the perfect fit. Agents write up policies to protect their customers from unexpected life events like fire, flood, or falling coconuts. Yes. You can be insured from falling coconuts.
What is an Insurance Adjuster?
If you get in an automobile accident or have a homeowner’s claim, the insurance adjuster is the one who is responsible for handling (and adjusting, hence the name) the claim. Typically, the adjuster will be with the policyholder throughout the entire process to make sure everything goes smoothly.
When your car or truck is in the body shop, an adjuster is usually the one who will show up. Not the insurance agent. An insurance adjuster will assess the damage and decide who is responsible. The adjuster usually takes pictures and inspects the damaged property. They will also negotiate the settlement.
Adjusters can offer you a settlement. Agents aren’t allowed to do this. This is often confusing for clients because the adjuster is not their trusted advisor/agent. They only know their agent. Insurance adjusters, however, are trained to recognize the damage, how it possible occurred, and what it most likely cost to repair.
How Do You Find the Right Coverage?
Insurance coverage isn’t one size fits all. You may have different needs then your friend who lives across the street or across the country. Some people need renter’s insurance. Some people need homeowners insurance. And still, some may need a landlord policy too.
Age, type of job, and assets determine what type of coverage you need. You will need to discuss these things with an insurance agent when you are deciding on the best coverage that suits your assets, your needs AND your budget. Kicker Insures Me Agency is that insurance agent (not adjuster) who can answer the questions, provide the quotes and help assess what coverage you need.
Are You Covered?
Knowing the difference between an insurance agent and insurance adjuster may alleviate some of your stress when dealing with a claim. If you’re waiting on a call regarding your claim, now you know that you shouldn’t expect to hear anything from the agent, as it’s not their role. However, if something doesn’t sound reasonable or is taking too long an agent may be a great sounding board, they just don’t have the authority to interfere.
A simple way to remember the difference is that an insurance agent helps protect you from damage, while the adjuster helps to get you compensated for the damage.
It’s important to be covered by good insurance. You never know when an emergency will arise. If you’re looking for a new insurance company or are shopping around for rates, contact us today. Contact Kicker Insures Me Agency at (281) 487-9686 to cover and protect your home or business and everything in between.