No. 1: What are your current insurance policies, and what do you like/dislike about them?
The answer to this question helps insurance agents and brokers glean valuable feedback about what coverage the client currently has and whether or not they’re satisfied with it. It is worth mentioning other types of policies they could have such as auto insurance or workers’ compensation. Encourage clients to be clear about their insurance expectations and financial goals.
In the case of a new restaurant owner, you can look into the previous restaurant owner’s archives to find what policies that person had selected for the business. (Image: Adobe Stock)
No. 2: What is your biggest concern when it comes to insurance?
This question encourages clients to open up and share their reasoning as to why they contacted your company for a quote.
If you’ve received a qualified lead from a potential commercial client, the best way to keep them interested in the conversation is to ask what they were thinking about when they inquired about business insurance options. This question will naturally lead to a discussion about their life circumstances and needs.
Knowing the client’s major concern can help you address the causes and find a policy that offers the protection they’re looking for. It can also give you an idea of what coverage they value most. (Image: Shutterstock)
No. 3: How much coverage do you need for each type of insurance policy?
It’s important to get an idea of the amount of coverage the client needs so you can find a policy that fits their budget and provides the right protection. From there, you can make policy recommendations. You also don’t want your client to be over or under insured.
For example, the small business owner mentioned earlier will need more commercial property insurance than a renter. The amount of coverage your clients need will vary depending on their individual circumstances.
If the client already has some coverage, find out the details so you can see if there are any gaps that need to be filled. It’s also necessary to know what type of coverage they have so you can avoid duplicating it. (Photo: nito/Adobe Stock
No. 4: What are your business’s most valuable assets?
Understanding what assets are indispensable for a business helps insurance agents determine which coverage options are necessary. This might include inventory, equipment, vehicles, buildings or intellectual property.
Following the restaurant owner, for instance, one valuable asset might be the business reputation built over years as well as their kitchen equipment, since it would be very expensive to replace in case of vandalism, theft or natural disasters. You can provide some calming words, knowing these hazards can be covered on a general liability policy. (Photo: Nerthuz/Fotolia
No. 5: Are you comfortable with making monthly payments or would you prefer to pay a lump sum once a year?
Some clients may be more comfortable making smaller monthly payments rather than one large payment. Others may want to pay annually to save on costs.
Not every client has the same budget. It’s your job to find out what the client is comfortable spending. This will help you narrow down options and find a policy that fits their needs and their budget.
Let’s say the restaurant owner doesn’t have a large cache of money enough to spend upfront and will be comfortable with a steady monthly payment that can reliably work for her as she advances her business activities. This will be good for you as an agent/broker, as you can automate those payments through her bank account and just check on her periodically for possible renovations or bundles. (Image: Shutterstock)
No. 6: Have you ever filed a claim and if so, how was the experience?
The client’s past experience with filing a claim can give you some insight into their level of satisfaction with their current insurer. If the client has filed a claim before, find out how it went. This can give you some insight into the claims process of the company and how satisfied they were with the outcome. It can also help you identify any potential problems that may arise in the future. If the client hasn’t filed any claims, this could be a good sign as there would be less chance of further issues. In this case, you could ask about their expectations with a potential claim. (Image: Shutterstock)
No. 7: Are there any specific risks that your business or property are exposed to?
Some common risks include:
Flooding: A standard business insurance policy will not cover floods, even if they are caused by hurricanes, heavy rainfall or other weather conditions. The National Flood Insurance Program is a government-backed initiative created to protect homeowners and business owners from financial losses incurred as a result of a flood.
Earthquakes: Earthquake risks are not usually included in a standard business policy. This means that business owners need to get a separate policy that protects them against any damages that might happen in this scenario.
Hurricanes: Unlike floods or earthquakes, hurricanes rarely require special coverage, but it is worth mentioning that being in a coastal area or in a hurricane zone, it will be more difficult to get coverage and available and policies will be expensive.
Tornadoes: The insurance industry classifies tornadoes as windstorms, and most insurance policies cover windstorms. However If the business is located in what is considered a tornado zone, it will also be difficult to get.
Some areas are more prone to natural disasters than others. It’s important to know if the client’s business or property is located in an area that is at risk so you can make sure they have the proper coverage. (Image: Adobe Stock)
No. 8: What are your plans for the future?
If the client is planning on expanding their business or property, then they will need to get additional coverage. They should also mention if they have any retirement goals or if they are planning on selling their business or property, which may require different coverage. Knowing the client’s future plans will help determine what type of coverage is going to be best for their long-term objectives. (Illustration: Visual Generation/Adobe Stock)
No. 9: Do you have any questions for me?
This is a valuable question to close with as it shows that you are open to communication and willing to answer any inquiries the client may have, which gives you an opportunity to address them directly. It also proves that you are on their side, giving your effort to find them the best possible coverage for their needs. (Photo: fizkes/Adobe Stock)
As an insurance broker or agent, it’s important to build rapport with clients in order to understand their coverage needs and requirements.
By asking the right questions, you can get a better idea of what type of insurance would be best for clients.
For example, imagine you’re meeting with a small business owner who is looking for property coverage for a restaurant. She has several years of experience in her field but never purchased insurance for this kind of business before, so she’s not sure what types of insurance would be right nor what’s legally required. As her broker or insurance agent, it’s your job to gather the correct information and help her understand her options.
The slideshow above illustrates nine essential questions to ask clients in order to gather the right information to meet their needs.
Some final words
You can save time while talking with clients by seeking answers that help you craft the best insurance options for them. Listening carefully will help you come up with more questions of your own that will help your prospects understand how insurance can benefit them and their business.
So, what’s the best way to find out exactly what a client needs? Ask proper questions! Rapport is key in order to understand someone’s insurance requirements. Once you know their main concern, you can address it and find them a policy that offers the protection they need. It might even give you an idea of which type of coverage they value most.