When Carole King wrote the lyrics to "You've Got a Friend," she probably wasn't thinking about an insurance agent or broker who is concerned about a possible claim by a client.

Worrying is one of the least productive things that we do, after its initial call to action has worn off and it morphs into a dull, recurring dread of a misfortune that may never occur. There are some worrisome moments in an insurance professional's career:

  • The client who, mid-term and out of the blue, requests a copy of her file.

  • The subpoena to give a deposition in a lawsuit between the client and the insurer on a policy the broker placed.

  • The long-time client and occasional tennis buddy who, after reporting a loss, stops returning phone calls.

Being concerned when events such as these happen is healthier than ignoring them, but a better option is to take action. What can an agent or broker do to manage these situations? King's suggestion is apt: All you've got to do is call.

Talking with a mentor or trusted advisor can help, but there is a downside: If the worst happens and you are sued, you've turned that person into a witness.

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