Insurance companies are rapidly changing the way they sell insurance and these changes affect your coverage. First, insurance companies are attempting to remove agents from the process. If you’ve noticed, insurance companies are now seeking to sell insurance to you directly. Many companies encourage you to call or click today; inviting you to order insurance directly online or through a customer service representative at a call center.
This new marketing effort occurred several years ago with the travel industry when major airlines removed travel agents from the process of booking flight reservations. If the trend seen in the travel industry holds for insurance, nearly all insurance will ultimately be sold directly without the aid of insurance agents. For example, a current marketing campaign invites consumers to visit the company online and pick the coverage they want based on how much money they want to spend.
This new marketing trend presents a serious problem. Most people do not understand their insurance coverage. They do not know which coverage to buy and which coverage to omit. If a consumer chooses coverage online with the sole focus of obtaining the cheapest coverage available, the consumer runs a substantial risk that they will choose insufficient or inadequate coverage. In my experience dealing with clients who have been seriously or fatally injured in auto, trucking & motorcycle accidents, most people assume they are covered- often when they are NOT covered.
The insurance agent plays a vital role in assuring that your needs are protected. Specifically, an independent insurance agent can best advise you on the correct coverage to buy. I had a great conversation not long ago with a smart local independent insurance agent, Chris Jordan with Atlanta Insurance LIVE. Here are some of Chris’ bullet points about why independent agents are the best choice for consumers who are looking for new insurance options:
- Choices: Independent Agents represent multiple carriers and can shop the marketplace on the consumer’s behalf to find the absolute best products to meet individual’s unique needs and budgets.
- Long Term Relationships: Independent Agents work for their clients for the long term. If an insured’s premium goes up, or situation changes, then we are in a position to change their insurance situation to match these changes. Relying on one agent or agency to handle long term needs puts consumers at a huge advantage. We represent our clients, NOT the company, and because of that independent agents sincerely have their client’s best interests in mind. In fact, the stronger those relationships become, the more the agency is likely to succeed. This mutual trust is so important because of the critical nature insurance plays in our lives.
- Claims Handling: Independent Agents can serve as a liaison between the insurance company and the customer. Many of us develop very close relationships with our carriers and can help guide our client’s through the claims process.
- Coverage: Consumers who buy insurance directly are often buying coverage through a call center where the individual is licensed in many different states. Insurance laws vary state by state and consumers need to work with someone in their state who is well versed in the local laws to make sure coverage fits the local laws, and also the real risk factors locally.
Take a look at your insurance coverage. Call us today for any questions about your coverage.