For 20 years I worked tirelessly for insurance agencies receiving little appreciation for my contribution to the agency or the industry. I dazzled their clients and bonded with their prospects like no insurance agent could. I aspired to continue to grow, improve, and give back while insurance agencies were unwilling to create necessary change within the agency and the industry. A year ago I struck out on my own to create an insurance agency different from others. An agency that challenges how people view insurance; as a commodity, as a necessary evil, as a conspiracy. Avant-Garde Insurance Advisors is not another insurance agent, we are an Insurance Advisor. Below is why Avant-Garde Insurance Advisors is not an insurance agent.
I will challenge the thought that insurance is a commodity every day. Insurance is not a one size fits all. Every policy is different. Each insurance company has its own appetite for the preferred policyholder. Reading an insurance policy requires an insurance and/or legal background. Not all insurance claims are covered and/or go smoothly.
I will continue to learn about insurance every day. Not because the state of Maryland says I must but because I want to give you the most up to date information that is available to me. Yes, continuing education sucks but it is a necessary evil in order to give you my best. The insurance industry constantly changes, and I want to be at the forefront on behalf of my clients.
I will share with you my insurance knowledge. I am not a gatekeeper of insurance knowledge but I do live and breathe insurance each day and I want to help you better understand insurance so you can make a more informed insurance decision.
I will provide consistent oversight over your account and make you aware as soon as possible of issues or concerns. I will also provide you options on how to handle your insurance needs. I will steward your account as if it were my own.
I will advocate on your behalf with the insurance company to treat you fairly. The insurance company needs to make a profit. You need to maintain your livelihood.
I will communicate the timeline for completing your request and I will stick to it. Insurance does not happen at the push of a button – if done right.
I will be honest with you. If I make a mistake, I will tell you. I will also tell you how I am working to correct it. I am only human, but I value you as a person.
I will tell you how it is and not sugar coat if you are jeopardizing your insurance future. It is not in your best interest or my best interest if we are not open with each other.
I will not bend rules or lie to another party for a client. I cannot in good conscious jeopardize my livelihood or my family for another person.
I will not offer you the cheapest insurance program just to beat your current insurance program. Any one can offer you a cheaper policy by cutting coverage or not give you all the information. My job is to give you the best coverage for you.
I will work to earn your business every day. Insurance is a relationship business, not a sales business. Tell me about your work, your spouse, your kids, your hobbies. I want to know who you are.
If you want more than an insurance agent, if you want more than an insurance transaction, if you want something different start working with an Insurance Advisor at Avant-Garde Insurance Advisors today!
Tomorrow is officially Halloween 2019. Many kids are eagerly awaiting this big day. In preparation below are some tips for keeping the holiday fun and safe.
Tips for home owners:
Keep walk ways clear of debris and leaves to reduce the chance of slip and falls.
Have the walk way to your home clearly marked and if possible lit.
Keep pets crated or in another room to reduce the chance of your pet escaping or a child being injured if your pet nips or jumps.
When giving out candy to small children you may wish to confirm with the parent if the child can have hard candy that may cause choking and/or candy with peanuts or milk that could cause an allergic reaction
When traveling go extra slow in communities and where you see trick or treaters.
Tips for trick or treaters:
Keep costumes at ankle length or shorter to prevent trips and falls.
Wear a light or other device to make others aware of your presence when walking sidewalks, walkways, driveways, roads, etc.
Remove face masks and covers when walking from home to home to reduce injury.
Make sure you monitor your small children with their candy to make sure they do not consume it before you have had the chance to inventory it.
The photos above are my minions over the years. I am excited to capture an image of them for my collection tomorrow. Stay tuned!
At the end of July I had what I would call a traumatic insurance event. I was woken up one night by my husband saying the police were knocking on our door. It turns out an impaired driver had struck my SUV while parked outside our home. As I glanced out my window I could not see damage to my SUV but what I found shortly there after was my vehicle was a total loss.
I don’t know about other people but I loved my SUV. It took me a month to commit to buying her and I was diligent in maintaining her. I invested my time and money in maintaining the condition of my vehicle. I also enjoy the independence of having my own vehicle at my disposal at all times.
As an insurance professional I thought it would be smooth sailing but it was not. Between negotiating vehicle values to the rental car shuffle, nothing went as I thought it would. I was in four different rental vehicles while trying to get back to where I was before this claim began.
I am finally at the tail end of the claim and this is what I have learned.
Get towing coverage, whether through your auto insurance policy or a AAA membership. Get it! To drag my SUV onto a flat bed tow truck off of the curb the cost was over $400. Also, have the number of a tow company you trust for those 4am tow emergencies.
Get rental reimbursement coverage and buy it up to a minimum of $50 per day. For someone like me that drives a full size SUV with two small children in carseats and a 6’2″ tall husband you need more than the $30 per day limit. A full size SUV today is $90 per day if you are not the insurance company.
Know the value of your vehicle when you are reporting the claim and research similar vehicles as comparables so you are not surprised by the value the insurance company estimates.
In my case my gut told me my vehicle was totaled. If you have any inkling that your vehicle is totaled start finding a replacement vehicle as soon as possible. I did not want another vehicle. I delayed the process and had a hard time committing in the end.
If you have a good insurance agent they will help guide you through the claim process and give you tips and tricks to help make it as smooth as possible. Some claims will go smoothly and others will not. When the big claim comes along you will want someone on your side to help you along the way, if not just to vent to. I don’t wish claims on any one but if a claim happens I want to be there for them.
So I have been blogging for a couple weeks now. I am finding the process a little challenging. I have no experience with blogging and I’m a little anxious but I feel an immense need to do this.
Every time I post I question if I am doing this right. I am going with the theory, “Fake it ’til you make it” or maybe I am hoping after doing this for awhile I will finally feel comfortable doing it and things will take off. Who knows!
I have several reasons for blogging…
I want to enhance my relationships personally and professionally. I am naturally reserved and shy. I want to change that. I have a freak flag and I would like it to be easier for me to share it with others.
I want to grow professionally. I am branching into sales. Something I have been dancing around for several years now. I am not sure that I am good at sales but I have to try. No risk, no reward, as they say.
I love meeting new people and developing a long term relationship with my connections. It’s what makes my job fun.
I want to share what I know about my field. So little is known about the insurance industry but honestly it is very complex. And quite frankly I am a geek about insurance.
There are many other reasons but these are the big ones for me.
I thought blogging would be so easy before I began. What could be so hard about having a conversation with the internet?
As I continue this journey I want to hear from everyone. I want comments and I want feedback.
Otherwise how will I know that I am doing this right?