People looking for insurance often trust the large direct writers in the industry because they think that large organizations save them time and money. A direct writer is an insurance agent that works for one insurance company, as opposed to an agent who is able to shop around and behave as an independent consultant on your behalf.
With direct writers providing policies online, via mobile apps, and over the phone, getting a policy is easy, but getting the exact coverage that you need can be a little more difficult. Whether you are looking for business or personal insurance, you will discover that an independent agent provides true convenience, the best coverage for your budget, and focuses on you and your insurance needs.
Insurance consumers often think that the major direct writers for insurance (not to name names, but 15 minutes rings a bell) are more convenient than an independent agent. This perception is often a misperception because insurance and risk management is a field that requires expert understanding.
While convenience can be a differentiator between direct writers and your independent insurance agent, there are increased risks of a DIY attitude. To truly research price vs coverage relationships between the various insurance writers means that you are taking on the job of an independent insurance agent. You have to research the policies, the necessary coverage, and apply it to your budget, your location, and your situation. An independent insurance agent is an expert in understanding the risks you face in business and life, and is highly skilled in helping you get the right coverage for you and your situation.
Rather than spending time filling out multiple forms to get multiple quotes and compare prices, a single conversation with a single independent agent gives you access to the same price comparison in a fraction of the time and without the risk that you may miss an aspect of your coverage that you really need.
Is it truly more convenient to research the hundreds of policy options available from multiple carriers online? Or is it more convenient to sit down with a local expert in insurance, tell them your story and have the best options laid out for you to choose?
Coverage Red Flags
Red flags about your coverage are often overlooked by a price-driven online or over the phone quoting mechanism. When a direct writer is focused on giving you the best price possible, the concepts of coverage and value are often overlooked. This leads to increased risks to you in your business, home, and automobile.
For example, some direct writers offer policies with low auto liability limits and drop certain coverages (underinsured driver, comp and collision, etc) if they are not required by the state. This leaves you uncovered for many common risks and unaware that you are not covered. If you have an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, they don’t have the insurance to cover your expenses, and your carrier is not required by law (unless uninsured drivers are added to your policy) to cover those costs. As a consumer, this is a significant financial risk that you need to be aware of.
When it comes to home and property insurance, many policies do not include high enough limits for replacement cost coverage. Does the policy include the costs of construction and remediation? These costs change depending on location, materials, and inflation. Also, do you have coverage adequate to pay for tear down and clean up in addition to reconstruction? If these costs are not taken into account, you can receive a payout that is inadequate to recover your actual loss. An independent insurance agent helps guide you to adequate coverage, like 150% coverage or “guaranteed” replacement costs, depending on their carriers and your needs.
Consulting a Consultant
The guidance an independent insurance agent provides is that of a consultant in an area that requires years of training and experience to establish expertise. When you go online, you are trusting yourself as the insurance expert, and if you miss a detail or misunderstand any of the fine print, that can be a very costly mistake. When you call on the phone, you do talk to a person, but they are still an order taker for one insurance company, so they won’t be in a position to advise you if another insurance company has a policy that would be a better fit for you.
An independent insurance agent is like a consultant that has built relationships with multiple insurance companies and is able to help you choose a solution that is tailor made to your business, your home, your auto, and your life! As an insurance consumer, you are most likely not an expert in the risks your home may face and whether those risks are covered in your core policy or if you need additional riders to give you the level of protection that you want.
An independent agent shapes policies with your needs in mind, a direct writer sells you their product.
An independent insurance agent provides you with
· A consultant who is focused on your needs, not the needs of their employer,
· Policy creation based on a deep understanding of your risks and the area you live in,
· The best value you can get because they shop multiple carriers for you.
On an apple-to-apples basis, an independent insurance agent provides better options at less cost and less time than a direct writer will, because the independent agent works for you. Contact us today to see how we can help you.