Does your community's relationship with your insurance agent qualify as a "special relationship"?
Does your board consider itself "special" in
the eyes of your insurance agent? Do you believe your agent has a duty to
advise you whether or not the coverage you are purchasing and the limits you
are seeking are sufficient?
might be under the illusion that your agent owes you a greater duty than he or
she really does unless your relationship meets a certain standard.
board may believe that your insurance agent has a duty to advise you, among
other things, about the type of coverage you need and the amount of limits you
should carry. However, in the absence of a "special relationship" and
certain circumstances, you may be sorely disappointed to learn that your
relationship with your insurance agent is merely "ordinary".
an "ordinary" client-agent relationship, the agent typically has the
following duties to his or her client:
procure the insurance coverage requested by your board using a level of skill,
care and diligence which is standard in the industry;
inform your board if he or she cannot procure the coverage you have requested;
to not mislead or misinform your board
about your coverage. Courts
are more likely to hold an insurance agent to a higher standard of care with
special relationship clients, so it makes sense for your community to become
one of those "special relationship" clients. So how do you do it?
-Seek out an agent who is recognized as an expert in
-Insist on a relationship with your agent that consists
of more than just the purchase of a policy or policies.
-Ask your insurance agent to serve as a professional
adviser in terms of the coverage you are seeking and get him or her to confirm
that role in writing. This role should also be filled by your association
attorney. If you do not understand your insurance purchase, ask your agent to
explain it to you, in writing.
-Demand extra time and resources from your agent
particularly if you are paying him or her any compensation in addition to his
or her commission.
-Have a long-term relationship with your agent.
you would like more out of your relationship with your insurance agent than
simply a sales transaction, you will need to demand it. By doing so, you may
also be able to hold him or her responsible for any negligence in the
unfortunate event you do not receive the proper advice.