It is relatively common for small business owners to get their insurance agent and their insurance company (also called a carrier) mixed up. For instance, many refer to their agent, the individual or company that sold them their policies, as Hartford, Selective, or Travelers when in fact those are the insurance carriers that are providing the insurance coverage for your business. On the other hand, you may have purchased your business insurance through a larger broker who you believe is also the insurance carrier.
My wife is a great example. She’s a family therapist who purchased her professional liability insurance through a company called CPH & Associates. She believed that CPH & Associates was her insurer when in reality they simply sold her an off-the-shelf policy issued by Philadelphia Insurance, the real insurance company. So why does this occur so much? Well, if you are a small business owner, your account would cost the agent too much to manage profitably. So they often pass off the management to the insurance company after the policy is sold so they don’t have to incur the costs associated with servicing your account. This really isn’t in your best interests because the representatives at the insurance company are incentivized to put the insurance company’s best interests ahead of yours. An agent, on the other hand, is supposed to put their client’s best interests ahead of the insurance carrier that issued the policy. As a result, when your agent passes off the servicing of your policies to the insurance company they have created a clear conflict of interest.
At Layr, we never pass any of the servicing off to the insurance carriers that issue policies to our customers. We also enable the customer to manage the most common insurance tasks completely online and we always have licensed insurance agents who we call Customer Advocates standing by to assist. So if you discover that you are referring to your insurance agent as the insurance company, we’d encourage you to register for a free account and transfer your insurance policies to us (also for free) to take control of your insurance ensuring your best interests are always put first.