by Marcee Kneisel
Buying insurance is not like buying a pair of shoes or vitamins — you are buying a promise that has the potential to make or break your finances. There is a growing misconception that buying insurance through the internet is convenient and can satisfy all your needs. Consumers think that they can save time by going online directly to the insurance company website to obtain a quote versus contacting an independent insurance agency. Convenience is key in today’s society when time is perceived to be fleeting. However, in truth, the process time is comparable.
There is also the question of price. A consumer may select coverage online to receive the lowest price point. Unless you are an expert in insurance and risk management, you could be putting yourself in jeopardy. Many have been misled to believe that coverage is all the same, and getting the best price is the same as obtaining the best value. Coverage varies from state to state as well as from company to company.
How would you know if you are properly protected? Some direct writers offer low auto liability limits, which leave the consumer unaware of the financial danger involved in being underinsured. A common question that arises for those looking for homeowner’s insurance is that of replacement cost coverage– this is an area that, perhaps, offers the most compelling reason to have an independent agent represent your interest as a trusted adviser.
Independent insurance agents often represent many different carriers and they can likely match the price customers have access to online. An agent’s priority is to care for his or her client and provide personal services that direct writers will not address. The agent acts as your advocate during claims as well as in case of billing issues.
The difference is clear—when you hire an independent agent as your trusted adviser you can be assured that your interests are being served. Independent agents offer one-stop shopping: business, personal, life, health and retirement. They are there to assist you through your life changes.
DGK Insurance has been a member of The Chamber since 2006.