Thank you for trusting Cook Maran & Associates with your insurance needs. We understand the vital role that insurance plays in providing you with financial security and peace of mind. Our primary focus remains negotiating insurance premiums and coverages that provide you with the most comprehensive protection and competitive price regardless of our commissions or other forms of compensation.
Cook Maran & Associates acts as an independent insurance agent placing personal, commercial and benefits related insurance coverage for its customers with a variety of insurance carriers. Primarily our compensation is derived from commissions paid by these carriers based on a fixed percentage of the premiums paid on customers’ policies. In a few cases where insurance is placed with a carrier that does not pay commissions, we must charge a fee for our services. Whenever a fee is charged to an insured, the fee is detailed in a service agreement which the customer signs acknowledging the fee amount and the related services being provided.
Although commissions are our principal source of revenue, the agency may derive additional compensation from a number of sources. Over the course of the year, we earn interest income on the premiums that pass through our bank accounts. We also may be paid fees or be reimbursed by an insurance carrier to cover a portion of the cost of marketing efforts related to business development such as agency training, advertising, mailings or brochures related to new products or targeted programs.
In addition, we may earn income from so called “contingency agreements” which are profit sharing agreements that allow for the payment of additional compensation based on the underwriting profitability and volume of our overall book of business with an insurance company. These payments are not guaranteed and since they are based on the results of our total book of business with a company, we cannot determine what the result will be until after the close of the year. Further, since these payments are made on the basis of our entire book of business, we cannot determine what impact a specific policy may have on those results.
It is important to note that these agreements are filed with and approved by state insurance departments as part of a company’s rates and are not charged in addition to their rates. Finally, since most (if not all) insurance companies have these types of agreements in place, the presence of such an agreement with a particular carrier has no influence on which carrier we recommend for any insured. The placement of an insured’s coverage is made on the basis of whether the coverage procured is suitable for the risk and the cost of the coverage is competitive.