Too busyBut it's not just litigation that makes agents wary of calling up delinquent clients. It's also the fact that they don't have time to deal with it.
"They have customers who are late paying the bill all the time," Hulcher notes. "What if [the agent] didn't spend [their] time constantly calling the 5 percent that's always late paying, and spent that time prospecting for new customers?"An insurance agent's job is to sell insurance, and if the agent gets in the habit of handling the administrative duties of the insurer, that's not good for business. Of course, losing clients isn't good for business either, which is why some agents reach out to policyholders who are on the verge of losing coverage. Randy Hoffman, an agent with LA Independent Insurance in Louisiana, takes the risk. "Normally we contact the insured as well -- we'll send them one of our letters, or a copy of the cancellation notice," he says. "It hurts us, too." He adds that his agency has no problem sending repeated notices to clients who are regularly late on payments. Still, if you're routinely dropping the ball on your premium payments, your agent may not be too sad to see you go. In a recent message board discussion between agents on the website of trade magazine Insurance Journal, some agents noted that it simply isn't worth chasing the delinquent customers. "You get them to pay one late premium notice and then they're immediately behind on the next payment," notes one participant in the conversation. "Often they generate very little in premium and thus very little in revenue."