Buying insurance can be complicated. If you pick the wrong policy, you might end up owing thousands of dollars out of pocket, or when it comes to life insurance, you may leave your family with major debt.
To avoid these mistakes, it’s critical to seek out an experienced, licensed insurance agent. This expert will guide you through the multiple choices and costs and ensure that you and your family are thoroughly protected.
Sam Sand is one of these professionals. A school teacher before becoming an agent, he now uses his teaching skills to educate clients on the various aspects of insurance. “It’s kind of a natural progression if you take the time to think about it, because really all we’re doing is teaching people about what they need,” he says. “Insurance can be very confusing, so we present it to them in a simple way so they can make a decision on what they need and want for themselves and for their family.”
After working for over five years in the insurance industry, Sam learned the importance of an agent really getting to know their clients. Finally, it was time to branch off with his own State Farm agency in Minneapolis, which opened three years ago.
“You need an agent who is willing to sit down and really take the time to build a relationship and get to know you so they can customize the insurance plan you need,” says Sam. “A lot of places just put everyone in a box, but every single person we’ve worked with or talked to has a different situation and needs different coverage.”
“There are four of us in the office and we all work in the same way and want to meet with everyone. I’m from a really small town, so we always say we want to have a small town feel in a large city. That’s our goal; to make it one big family. We’re local and the four of us are always working towards that same goal.”
Of all the insurance companies out there, Sam chose State Farm. “They are the best,” he says. “We’ve been the number one in auto insurance since World War II. I wrestled in college and my wrestling coach quit coaching to go into insurance. I spoke with him to find out if I would be any good at it, and he said, ‘Yes, but if you do it, make sure you go with State Farm or don’t do it at all.’”
In addition to auto insurance, the Sam Sand State Farm Insurance agency offers homeowners insurance, life insurance, liability insurance and umbrella coverage. “There are a lot of other companies out there, he says, promising a quote and the ability to save 15% in 15 minutes. But, they don’t really check and figure out what you need. You can be on the hook for a $750,000 claim and all you would have had to do is take 30 minutes to sit down with someone like myself and pay an extra $5.00 a month for a better policy. Then, you would have been covered.”
“One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing insurance on their own is not understanding how much protection they truly need.”
For example, he says, if you have a typical homeowners policy, and you lose your $10,000 diamond wedding ring, or an expensive piece of artwork is damaged, you may only have about $2000 in coverage on your homeowners policy for that. It would also be subject to your higher homeowners deductible. However, with a personal article policy, clients can choose no deductible, and be covered for the total loss for a relatively low additional cost.
Sam and his team prefer to meet with people in person if at all possible, but can also connect by a secure State Farm video chat or by phone. “During this time, we have questions we go through to find out what the client needs instead of offering a general plan,” he says. “We get information about them and put a recommendation together. Then it’s their choice if they want to go with our recommendation or choose another option.”
For example, for life insurance, one important aspect Sam and his team need to know about is their clients’ debts. “We can make sure that’s covered, because would you ever want to leave that to your family when you pass on? Or, if you have kids, do you want to leave money so they don’t have to pay for college?” This is the type of information that can make a major difference in customizing the right plan.
Sam encourages prospective clients to Google Sam Sand State Farm. “We have about 70 positive reviews, so I always tell people to look at those if they have any concerns.”