With technology advancing seemingly at the speed of light, it is now possible to quote and purchase Auto, Home, Life and even some Business Insurance policies online without ever talking to a human being. Some could argue, why do I need an insurance agent?
You might wonder, why should you use an insurance agent vs. purchasing your policies online or directly through an 800 number?
Here are 5 things that an insurance agent should do for you that you typically won’t get from a website or call center.
A good agent will-
- Listen to your story and provide insurance products that fit your needs. Years of industry experience and education allow agents to recommend appropriate products that you may have never even thought of or even know about. A good agent will counsel you and provide you the tools you need to make an informed decision.
- Educate you on how your coverage works. This includes teaching you which things are covered and which aren’t. Too many times we see clients that have purchased a policy online and are unaware of the things that it doesn’t cover. Many online forums include a lot of negativity about insurance companies. However, the majority of complaints made could have been avoided had the insured understood how their policy worked in the first place or purchased from an agent that was truly looking out for them.
- Monitor your policy to prevent problems. You changed bank accounts and forgot to update your payment info with the insurance company, or your mortgage company didn’t pay your home insurance like they were supposed to. This is a frequent occurrence and we can help you stay informed about these issues.
- Advise you in the event of a potential claim. When something bad happens, your agent should be there to discuss with you the pro’s and con’s of filing a claim before you report the incident to your insurance company. Let’s take a look at this common scenario. Jerry is backing out of a parking space and hits a parked car, causing $800 in damage. He calls in to inquire about filing a claim. An 800 number insurance company will simply file the claim and pay it and then increase his rate a few hundred dollars at his next renewal. An insurance agent would likely say “Hey Jerry, you could file this claim, but it will increase your premium by $400-$500 a year at your renewal and stay on your record for five years. If you can afford it, this might be a good one to pay out of pocket.” Thus while Jerry is out $800 now, his agent potentially saved him thousands over the next five years. Read more about claims and your insurance here
- Advocate for you if a claim doesn’t go smoothly. The vast majority of our claims go smoothly and are handled well by the claims adjuster. Sometimes however, claims are more complicated or have some factor that makes the client unhappy with the process. We are here to help, hear your story and work with both you and the carrier to resolve the issues if they arise.
The crazy thing is that even with all of these important services that an agent offers, you often don’t pay any more to have an agent than you would if you buy a policy online. Now that you understand some of the benefits of having an agent, tune in to our next blog to learn how to find a great insurance agent!