Ensure Ethical & Practical Behavior Of Both Parties When Negotiating Trucking Insurance Quotes
Negotiate in good faith. Do what you say you will. Give your agents a clear schedule for the process and stick with it.
For example, you may use an approach such as this:
1) We will communicate our decision regarding agent selection and provide the initial underwriting data 90 days in advance of our insurance expiration date;
2) we will assign insurance companies to the various agents within one week thereafter;
3) All quotes must be delivered 10 days prior to expiration date. A time frame such as this gives the insurance pros ample time to do their work and allows you time to make a solid choice between them. When it gets down to the wire and you are ready to pull the trigger, make good use the competitive process. But be a straight shooter. If you tell someone, “Do ‘this’ and we have deal.” Be good for your word. The agents will work hard to accomplish a clear goal you set out, or pretty much die trying.
If your goal is unattainable, they will know that pretty quickly and bow out gracefully. But if they get you to your goal, give them the deal. It’s both ethical and practical. Ethical, because that’s what you said you’d do so you’re sticking to your word and earning a reputation as a straight shooter. Practical because agents know when they’re being treated unfairly. We’ve all seen it enough to know that in business, “what goes around comes around.” And on that note, insurance buyers are advised not to tolerate unethical treatment by insurance agents. An unscrupulous agent can be a very expensive aggravation for the motor carrier. We are all better off if instances of unethical conduct are dealt with properly. This could include complaints to the agents’ boss if he is an employee of an agency; complaints to the insurance company the agent represents and/or formal complaints to the state department of Insurance.
We always advise a very direct conversation with the agent to discern if the suspicious conduct was inadvertent or simply a good faith screw up. But if you get an unsatisfactory response, lodging a formal complaint is a good move.