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Corin Cook

By: Corin Cook on January 18th, 2023

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do: How to Switch Insurance Agencies

Personal Auto | Individuals & Families | Home Insurance

Every relationship has its issues -- even the relationship between you and your insurance agency.

But, just like with romantic relationships, if those issues become frequent or severe enough, it may be time to break up.

Maybe it’s difficult to reach your agent when you need them. Maybe they aren’t providing good customer service. Maybe they aren’t delivering a high quality insurance policy. The list of possibilities goes on.

But even if your insurance agency isn’t treating you as well as you deserve, you may still be apprehensive about breaking their heart.

We get it -- breaking up is hard to do! But what if we told you it’s not as difficult as you may think? In fact, at Berry Insurance, we’ve had plenty of our clients come to us from agencies they weren't satisfied with, and we actually did the brunt of the work to switch them over to us.

In this article, we’ll let you in on the process of switching from one agency to another. But first, we’ll go over some instances when it may be time to consider switching agents.

When you may want to consider switching agents

When it comes to your insurance agent, you should settle for nothing but AMAZING.

Working with an agency is by no means a requirement -- you could instead choose to work with a direct insurance writer. But people choose to work with independent agents because they’re supposed to provide additional services and make your life easier when it comes to shopping for and managing your insurance. If they aren’t doing that for you, then what’s the point of even working with them? You could just as well cut out the middleman and work with the direct writer.

But we don’t want that for you. We strongly believe working with an agent is the way to go (see the article: Buying Insurance: Insurance Agent vs Buying Direct). You just have to find one that cares about you and is willing to go above and beyond.

So if you find yourself in any of the situations below, it may be a sign that it’s time to switch to one of those above-and-beyond agencies.

If your premium has been increasing over several years

Annual increases in premiums are common in the insurance world, but if your premium has unjustifiably increased significantly, there might be better options out there for you.

Working with an independent insurance agency can help. Agencies partner with several carriers, so they are able to shop your insurance around for you and make sure you have the best deal. 

However, if you already work with an agency and they aren’t doing this for you, you may want to consider finding a new one.

Your agent should be attentive to your policy, reviewing it each year to make sure you have the right coverages at the right price.

If they aren’t shopping your insurance for you and are letting your policy increase significantly year after year, then you aren’t getting the benefits you should be by working with an agency.

If your coverages aren’t enough/you’ve had an uncovered claim

You should never work with an insurance agency that just offers the minimum coverages.

Whether you have personal or business insurance, the minimum coverages that carriers offer are almost never enough.

To learn if your limits are enough, reach out to a reputable insurance agent to review your policies.

But for an example (auto specifically), check out this article: How Much Car Insurance Do I Need? (And Why the State Minimum Isn’t Enough)

Another sign that you don’t have enough coverage is if you’ve had an uncovered claim.

The point of insurance is to cover you from claims, so if you’ve had an uncovered claim, it’s a sign that your policy really isn’t doing its job. It’s probably also a sign your insurance agent isn’t doing their job to make sure you’re adequately covered.

An uncovered claim could mean your limits are too low, or you are missing a coverage or separate type of insurance. 

So if that happens to you, it might be beneficial to start shopping for a new agent.

If you’ve experienced poor customer service

This one should be a no-brainer. Your insurance agent is there to serve and protect you -- simple as that.

Maybe they’re rude to you, don’t return your calls, or have mishandled your policy details or claims. Maybe they treat you like every other customer, not customizing your policy to your individual needs at all.

No matter the situation, if you feel like you aren’t being properly supported or treated by your insurance company, it might make sense to start shopping for a new agent.

If your agency partners with poor carriers

Your agency chooses who to maintain partnerships with, so if they are choosing to work with carriers who don’t have your best interest in mind, then they probably don’t care about you as much as you’d like to think.

For example, here at Berry Insurance, we’re picky about who we let insure our clients. We work with a handful of reputable insurance carriers who we feel confident in placing insurance with, and if we ever feel like they no longer align with our values or aren’t offering our clients the service they deserve, we aren’t afraid to step away from the partnership, even if it means we miss out on some new clients.

You shouldn't want to work with an agency who is willing to partner with insurance carriers who cut corners, under-insure, or try to upsell you on coverage you don’t need just so they can pocket a few extra bucks.

If you feel like that is the case with your insurance agency, you may want to move on to someone who cares about you a little more. Interested in learning about the top Massachusetts based personal insurance carriers we enjoy working with? Then check out this article: 5 Best Personal Insurance Carriers in Massachusetts. 

If you’re moving out of state

If you’re moving out of state, you may be able to stick with your current agent, but often, agencies are only licensed to provide insurance in the state they are located in, or limited states.

For example, we are located in Massachusetts and mostly do business in Massachusetts, but we are also licensed to work in some other New England states.

So if you’re moving to a state your agent isn’t licensed in, you’ll need to find a new agent. (Hint: we recommend you look for a local, independent agency with a lot of positive online reviews.)

If your agent isn’t offering any additional services:

Maybe your agent is doing everything they’re supposed to be, but are they going the extra mile?

We’ll let you in on a secret. We’re not saying your current agents aren’t hard workers, but some agencies are doing more. (And you deserve more!)

For example, at our agency, we constantly publish educational articles and videos to our Learning Center and our YouTube channel, as well as helpful worksheets and tools. We also offer additional resources (that aren’t always insurance related) to our commercial clients, aimed at helping them effectively manage their business.

Some agencies may even offer to do your RMV services for you!

How to switch agents: the process

If any of these perks sound valuable to you, you might find a better fit with an agency that offers them.

To do that, there are a few steps. Below we’ll go over the process for auto and home insurance. The process for both is similar, so if your policies are bundled and you are switching both to a new agent (which we always recommend), the two processes will be completed simultaneously.

For auto insurance:

You get coverage with the new agency: Once you select an agency, you’ll need to contact them and establish a new auto insurance policy. You’ll need to provide information about yourself, your vehicles, and any other drivers on the policy; discuss and choose coverage/limit/deductible options; and select a payment plan.

To learn more about how to get an auto insurance policy, read this article: How to Buy Car Insurance (Step-by-Step Process).

New agent cancels prior policy: Your new agent will then prepare a 2A letter, which is a document that shows you have active insurance with a new carrier. They will send the 2A letter over to your previous agent, who will cancel your prior policy.

For home insurance:

You get coverage with the new carrier: Once you select an agency, you’ll need to contact them and establish a new home insurance policy. You’ll need to provide several pieces of information including contact information, coverage history, property information, exposures; discuss and choose coverage/limit/deductible options; and select a payment plan.

For more information about getting a home insurance policy, check out this article: What Information do I Need For a MA Homeowners Insurance Quote?

New agent prepares cancel request for you to sign: Your new agent will then prepare a cancel request form for your previous policy and ask you to sign it, which can usually be done electronically.

New agent sends cancellation   Your new agent will then send the signed cancel request over to your previous agent, who will cancel your prior policy.

See: it’s actually pretty simple! You may need to answer a few questions or sign your name, but for the most part, your new agent does all the work! You don’t even have to worry about personally breaking your previous agent’s heart.

Avoid another switch by switching to the right agency

Switching insurance agencies may be pretty simple, but it doesn’t mean you want to do it all the time. 

After you break up with your current insurance agency, you probably want your relationship with your next agency to be a long-term one. 

So that’s why it’s important to put in a lot of research into selecting your insurance agency.

Fortunately, we have some resources to help you in your search for the right agency for you.

To help you identify what’s important to you in an insurance agency, check out this article: What to Look For when Selecting an Insurance Agency or Company.

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can begin to research some local agencies, whether it be us at Berry Insurance, or another agency in your area. To get you started, here is an article listing 10 of our favorite agencies in Massachusetts.