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Customer Service Representative (CSR)

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 04/26/2011

A CSR, also known as a Customer Service Representative, can be found in both your insurance agent’s office and also with your insurance company to help you with your basic insurance needs.

CSR Talking on Phone

A CSR has access to most of your policy and claim information to help you.

When you call your insurance company or insurance agent’s office the first person that you usually speak to is a Customer Service Representative or CSR.

Never heard of that term before?

CSR is just an abbreviation for a customer service representative and other than being used heavily in the fields that employ them, the term CSR is rarely heard in every day conversation.

Where You Find a CSR

Customer Service Representatives are found throughout the insurance industry. They work in your insurance agent’s office and they work directly for your insurance company. Wherever there may be contact with you, the customer, there is usually a customer service representative.

You will usually find the CSR sitting in the front part of the insurance agent’s office. With an insurance company, the CSR is the one that answers the phone to assist you first. In both cases they are there to try and assist you with what they can and re-direct you to a higher up person for the items that they can’t.

What a CSR Can Help You With

A CSR can help you with everything that does not require a license to sell insurance. This means they can answer your insurance questions, give you insurance quotes, help you file a claim, talk to you about your billing and take payments on your insurance policy. What they cannot do is actually sell you insurance or give you coverage counseling without the assistance of a licensed agent.

Some CSRs are licensed so that they can assist you with everything. Whether they are licensed or not depends on if the agency they are working with needs them to be licensed in addition to the licensed agents they already have so that the CSR can offer additional assistance to clients.

A CSR that works directly with an insurance company is only licensed when the company’s business plan includes offering insurance sales directly through them to help their independent insurance agents that sell their coverage or to forego selling through agents and just selling insurance directly.

What is a CSR Paid?

The regular pay of a CSR can be in one of two forms; hourly wages or salaried. How they are paid depends on where they work and how that insurance company or agency pays their employees. Most CSR’s are on hourly wages as their hours can vary and it is easier to figure out pay if you pay by the hour.

Also the CSR is usually the first position to have their hours decreased if the agency or the insurance company is in need of decreasing their expenses. Again it is easier to cut hours with an hourly wage earner than it is to rework the wages of a salaried employee.

If a CSR is licensed, in addition to their normal base salary, they could also earn a small commission for the insurance that they sell. The amount again depends on the insurance company and in the case of an agency, how much of the commission that the agent wishes to part with.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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