When choosing an insurance policy, whether it is health, life, mortgage, or personal injury insurance, it's important to use an agent who is licensed, has the requisite professional knowledge and experience and who has a strong sense of responsibility toward his clients. The agent should have the ability to tailor policies to the needs of each specific client.
Insurance agents make all options accessible to their clients, based on the clients' needs and desires. Independent brokers who are not affiliated with a specific company can negotiate with the companies and get their clients the best and most remunerative plans available.
This is how Dan (Dima) Olshanitsky operates as an independent insurance broker. Married and a father of two, a licensed independent agent, and a member of the Association of Insurance Agents in Israel, he linked up a decade ago with a well-established family insurance agency of 30 years standing. His agency belongs to Alifim Insurance Agency (one of Israel's six largest), works with all existing insurance companies, and is active in all fields of insurance, with a focus on health, life, mortgage, and personal injury insurance.
Olshanitsky draws on his considerable professional experience, and the extensive knowledge amassed by a successful veteran agency, to get top quality insurance coverage for his clients, at the best possible rates.
"As an independent insurance agency, we are committed to working solely on behalf of our clients", says Olshanitsky. "When we meet with the client, we study his immediate and long-term insurance needs, and help him choose the options that best meet those needs".
How do you personalize a policy for the client?
"We hold an initial meeting with the client, whether in person or via Zoom, and find out what his needs and desires are, and what kind of insurance he currently has. It's important to check all of his existing insurance, so as not to create duplicate policies and to understand the client’s specific needs.
"With the client's authorization, we perform an examination of all the different types of insurance and coverage that he has with various companies, and then we send request forms to these companies so that we can get detailed information from them, including costs. We review the information from the companies in depth, assess the various types of insurance, policies, coverage, rate being paid for each type of insurance, and sum it all up for him to the last detail".
"Additionally, after consulting with the client we look at whether he needs his existing insurance, and whether he wants to drop or add insurance. We work with the insurance companies to compare price quotes and choose the best policies and terms", Olshanitsky explains.
As a veteran agency, how do the advantages of your knowledge and experience come into play?
"The advantages are many. Firstly, we have an in-depth understanding of every policy, including the fine print. The policy holder often doesn't know what exactly his insurance covers, and what he will get when the time comes. It's when he actually needs the money that the client may find that the policy he purchased doesn’t cover his specific situation. For example, if the client has health insurance that does not include critical illness insurance and, heaven forbid, he gets sick, he won't get the financial compensation that critical illness insurance provides.
Our other advantage as an independent insurance agency that is not affiliated with a specific insurance company is that we can negotiate in order to get the best possible rates for our client.
The knowledge we have accumulated is important for effectively tailoring the insurance, so that a client won't purchase insurance that is not relevant for him – or, looking at it from the other side, there won't be a situation where he is not covered by insurance for critical situations.”
How do you tailor the various types of insurance to different clients?
"The policy holder's age is a very important consideration when personalizing insurance for clients. If, for example, we are dealing with a young man just out of the army, a single person without children, or an older person whose children are already independent and not living at home, we won't suggest life insurance, for instance, unless the request comes from him. If the client is a parent of children still living at home and dependent on him for support, then life insurance is definitely relevant.
"At any age it is very important, even critical, to take out health insurance. Insurance companies publish a list of 30-46 major conditions for which they provide critical illness coverage, and if someone is afflicted with one of them, he receives financial compensation per the amount of coverage he purchased. That's crucial in those situations where a person has a serious illness, cannot work and support himself/herself and needs help, treatment, nursing care, and more".
Olshanitsky adds that even for someone with a serious chronic condition that is not covered by health insurance, it is possible to obtain insurance that entails virtually no health declaration, such as coverage that provides financial compensation for any type of cancer and the possibility of speedy diagnosis within days.
Don't people have health insurance anyway, through Israel's health funds?
"The health funds' supplemental coverage does not cover all situations. For instance, it does not cover drugs that are not in the health basket, genetic (personalized) medications that also are not in the basket, or transplants performed privately, which private insurance covers, allowing policy holders to undergo transplants anywhere in the world and providing financial compensation to the policy holder and his escort. You have to know how to go over all the little things that the person really needs, and really scrutinize the health declaration that the person fills out, so a situation will not arise afterward where he is not covered because of a declaration that was not completed properly.
What does personal injury insurance include?
"Personal injury insurance is intended mainly for professionals who work in the field and are sometimes in dangerous situations: air conditioning technicians, firefighters, operators of heavy equipment, and more. Many people who engage in extreme sports are also interested in personal injury insurance, which provides financial compensation in accident situations anywhere in the world, 24/7 (except for enemy countries), and in case of death (this kind of insurance is slated to change or be cancelled on May 1, 2021)".
Does your service include guiding the client in insurance claim situations?
"Absolutely. The paradox is that in large-claim situations – life insurance when someone dies, or critical illness insurance – it's actually much easier to get the financial compensation than, for instance, in ambulatory claims. That is because it’s easier to prove death or serious illness, while injury that does not cause disability, or illness that isn't considered critical, are harder to prove. We accompany our clients throughout the process and manage the insurance claims for them, from gathering the documents and sending them to the insurance company, to transferring the money to the policyholder's bank account, and providing a detailed explanation about the funds received".