Finding an Agent or Broker
Suggestions for Finding an Agent or Broker
After conducting comparison research in the areas of price, service and a company’s financial strength, you may wish to speak with an agent or broker representing a company. Here are a few tips to help you locate an agent or broker in your area.
- Agent Language Locator.Locate an insurance agent or broker that speaks your desired language.
- Try Calling the Company Directly. A phone number for each company is provided at the beginning of each company profile. The yellow pages are also an excellent resource for local information on agents.
- Check the Company Website or Social Networking Sites for Agent Information. Many companies have an interactive agent locator which provides the address and phone number of your local agent.
- Contact an Agent Association. These associations will assist you in finding a local agent:
- American Agents Alliance (866) 497-9222
- California Association of Health Underwriters (800) 322-5934
- Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California (800) 772-8998
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-California (NAIFA-California) (916) 646-8600
- Western Insurance Agents Association (916) 443-4221
Before Making a Decision. . .
Once you find an agent or broker in your area, it is important to check their license status. Using an agent’s name or insurance license number, you can obtain valuable information concerning their licensing history with us. All insurance agents and brokers licensed in California must display their license number on their business cards and any marketing material they give you concerning the insurance products they sell.
Methods of Product Distribution
Insurance companies generally employ four methods for distributing and servicing their products. These include using captive or independent agents (sometimes both), an insurance broker, or selling directly to you though their own employees. It is important that you understand and are comfortable with the sales and service approaches of a company prior to purchasing insurance.
In California, all insurance agents and brokers selling residential homeowners insurance must be licensed as either a Property and Casualty Broker-Agent or Personal Lines Broker-Agent by the California Department of Insurance. While all agents and brokers (collectively known as “producers”) hold the same type of licenses, they may act in different capacities which affect how you purchase your insurance.
The following are descriptions of the four basic distribution methods:
A broker-agent acting as a captive agent represents a single insurer, or single fleet of insurers, and is obligated to submit business only to that company or, at the very minimum, give that company first refusal rights on a sale.
A broker-agent acting in the capacity of an insurance broker is an independent insurance sales person who searches the marketplace in the interests of clients, not insurance companies, and may place coverage with any admitted insurance company. Since brokers are not appointed to represent specific insurance companies, they must post a $10,000 bond before acting as a broker. Broker bonds can be verified on this Website with the broker’s name or license number.
A broker-agent acting as an independent agent is a contractor who represents different insurance companies and who searches the market for the best coverage based on a client’s insurance needs. However, unlike an Insurance broker, independent agents must be appointed by each insurance company they represent before placing coverage with that company. Agent appointments can be verified on this Website with the agent’s name or license number.
Direct writing is a method of selling insurance directly to customers through a company’s own employees, usually via Internet, mail or telephone solicitations, or at airport booths. Agents and brokers are not used in this method of product distribution.
Schedule Your License Exam
First Schedule Your License Examination
PSI Services, LLC, a California-based company providing state-based regulatory licensure services, handles the scheduling of examinations for individuals licensed by the California Department of Insurance’s (CDI) Producer Licensing Bureau. Instructions for scheduling examinations are posted on PSI’s Examination Scheduling Service . Individuals may schedule their examinations with PSI either online or by telephone.
On the day of the examination, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled examination. This extra time is for sign-in and identification verification. If you arrive late, you will not be admitted to the examination site and you will forfeit your examination registration fee . T ime waivers are not allowed.
Beware!! Cheating is a crime . . .
Willfully cheating or subverting a license examination is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed one year per Section 1681.5(b) of the California Insurance Code.
FLASH Online Application
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) requires California resident applicants to first pass the qualifying license examination prior to submitting their license application.
This affects California residents applying for any license in which an examination is required (i.e., life, accident and health, property, casualty, personal lines, limited lines automobile, and life limited to funeral and burial expenses). CDI’s online application service Fast Licensing Application Service is Here (FLASH) requires applicants to enter a unique 12-digit identification number which is located on the upper left corner of the passed examination letter. FLASH only allows the application to be submitted if the applicant enters the correct identification number and has passed the examination, not just scheduled the examination. Consequently, for an application to be accepted, the applicant’s identification number entered must be identical to the identification number that is stated on the passed examination letter.
The identification number consists of the applicant’s last four digits of his or her social security number (e.g., 7777), followed by the two-digit birth month (e.g., 01), followed by the two-digit birth day (e.g., 02), and finally, the four-digit birth year (e.g., 1963). In this example, the 12-digit identification number would be 777701021963. The online application service will only allow the application to be submitted if the identification number is correct and you passed your license examination.
After completing the Fast Licensing Application Licensing Service is Here (FLASH) online application, the applicant will receive an e-mail from the CDI confirming receipt of the application. If you are not required to pass a qualifying license examination, California non-resident and other license applicants are to press the “NEXT” button to complete and submit the Fast Licensing Application Service is Here (FLASH) application.
Your Social Security Number and last name are mandatory fields. Your Social Security Number is necessary to access your file within the California Department of Insurance’s database. The database is a secure site and all information transferred is encrypted.
If you are a California resident applicant and you are required to pass a qualifying license examination, you must first pass the license examination. If you are not required to pass a qualifying license examination, California non-resident and other license applicants and you cannot submit the FLASH online application, complete the current Individual Application, Form LIC 441-9 . The completed application must be sent to the following address:
California Department of Insurance
Attention: Individual License Application, Form 441-9
320 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
Rescheduling Examination Date
1) Rescheduling for a new date, time and location – You may cancel and reschedule an examination appointment without forfeiting your fee if the schedule examination is canceled at least 48 hours before the scheduled examination date. For example, for a Monday appointment scheduled for 8 a.m., the cancellation needs to be submitted on the previous Saturday before 4 p.m. Examinations that need to be scheduled must use PSI’s scheduling service, or you may call PSI at (800) 733-9267 to speak with a Customer Service Representative. Please note that you may also use PSI’s automated system, using a touch-tone phone, 24 hours a day in order to cancel and reschedule your appointment.
Note: A voice mail message or email is not an acceptable form of cancellation. Please use the Internet, PSI’s automated telephone system (IVR), or call PSI and speak to a Customer Service Representative .
2) Rescheduling due to failing to appear at the examination site – A n applicant who fails to appear at the examination site on the scheduled examination date must use PSI’s Examination Scheduling Service to reschedule an examination at CDI’s examination sites or PSI’s test centers. Under these circumstances, a rescheduling examination fee will be charged.
An applicant who fails the examination on the scheduled examination date must use the PSI’s Examination Scheduling Service to reschedule an examination at CDI’s examination sites or PSI’s test centers. Under these circumstances, a rescheduling examination fee will be charged.
Find An Insurance Agent In San Diego
Here at North County Insurance, we strive to be the best independent insurance agency for you. Since an independent agent represents numerous insurance companies, they often have more available options better suited for your needs.
Let’s face it, you have many insurance agencies to choose from, but when it comes to tailored solutions that fit you, your needs and your lifestyle, our agents will help you create a customized package.
Let us help you make the right choices that fit you, your family and your business. Meet our agents today.
Joseph Giamanco joined North County Insurance in 2015. He spent the previous 13 years owning and managing a Farmers Insurance agency. He currently holds four state and federal insurance and financial service licenses. As one of their premier agents he was awarded their prestigious Toppers and Blue Vase awards. Joseph’s clients focused approach to insurance has earned him a San Diego 5 Star Insurance Agent rating for the past 7 years. Joseph is a San Diego native who currently resides in Escondido with his wife Veronica, daughter Julia, and son Joshua. Community service holds a high importance to Joseph. He was instrumental in the creation of several local fundraisers that supported low income families, special needs student programs, and local animal rescue.
Past President Retired
Marv began his insurance career upon graduation from San Diego State University where he received a BS degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Insurance. His first position in the insurance industry was an Assistant Sales Manager for Aetna Life and Casualty in San Diego. In 1970 he joined Bandy, Squire, Nissen and Peterson Insurance as an independent insurance salesperson. The name of the agency was changed to North County Insurance and in 1984 Marv purchased the agency. Marv has been very involved in the Escondido Community. He is a past President and Chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. He served for seven years as an elected member of the Board of Education for the Escondido Union School District. He is a past President of First Night Escondido and is currently a member of the Escondido Rotary Club and the Board of Directors of Palomar Family Counseling Service. In 2011, Marv was honored as the Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year.
Commercial Customer Accounts Department Manager
Melissa joined North County insurance in July of 2012, Melissa brings with her over 30 years experience as an underwriter and agent. Melissa has earned her associate in General Insurance designation. Melissa prides herself on providing her clients with Superior customer service, and has in depth knowledge to help with Contractors, Apartment Owners, And Business owners. Melissa is married and has 3 boys, and enjoys spending time with her family.
Deborah K. Svetich
Commercial Customer Account Manager
Debbie is well known and respected for her exceptional client service. Beginning her insurance career path in 1977, Debbie specialized in personal accounts for 15 years before focusing on commercial accounts and commercial lines account manager. Debbie obtained the National Alliance Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation in 1996. Her vast knowledge of all aspects of insurance include general liability, property, commercial auto, workers compensation, directors and officers liability, professional liability and bonding. Debbie is married, has two daughters and two grandchildren. She enjoys kayaking, bike riding, camping, creating gourd art and spoiling her grandchildren.
Barbara joined North County Insurance in March of 2017. She has a BS degree from San Diego State University and earned the CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative) and AINS (Associate in General Insurance) insurance designations. She brings over 22 years of insurance experience in both customer service and claims. Customer satisfaction is her top priority. Barbara is married with two sons, one grandson and two dogs. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and is a proud supporter of San Diego State University Athletics.
Rosalie began her insurance career in 1999 as a sales assistant for a Commercial Insurance firm. She worked her way up quickly and obtained her property & casualty license in 2001. She has remained in the industry as an independent broker ever since. She joined North County Insurance in 2011 continuing her career in a field she loves. Though versatile in all commercial lines, Rosalie specializes in construction, transportation, medical technology, pharmacies, restaurants, wineries/bars, manufacturing, property and auto. Rosalie’s focus is dedicated to developing long lasting relationships while educating, consulting and assisting in the success of her clients. During her leisure time she enjoys traveling, art, music and theatre.
Sylvia is the face behind the numbers. She has a strong accounting background and has been assisting NCI since 2010. She brings a trustworthy personality and detail oriented skills that keep the company moving forward from day to day. A proud parent of three wonderful children and on her free time, she enjoys serving at her local Church.
Maria Arreguin (Se Habla Espanol)
Maria joined North County Insurance in March of 2015 as the office receptionist. She enjoys helping people and is looking forward to being a part of the NCI team. Maria is fluent in Spanish. During her leisure time, Maria enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In addition, she enjoys volunteering at her church.
Roxy Gilbert (RIP)
Roxie, was our office mascot. She came to work every day and enjoyed greeting our customers and other visitors as well getting an occasional treat from our employees. In her last days she continued to perform her official greeter duties with enthusiasm. We will miss her.
Coming Soon, Our new Office Mascot Dodger!
Wendy Phillips, State Farm Insurance Agent
We want to learn about you. Together we will find the right Auto, Home, Renters, Business or Life insurance policy to meet your needs. We can also help you with your Retirement. Call or email us today
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