Buying a house or choosing where to rent is not a decision to take lightly. You will want to explore the area, check out different neighborhoods, and – obviously — tour the properties. All of this can be difficult if you don’t have a good realtor who has your best interests in mind. What would happen if your realtor could only show you properties they had listed or the ones their company would make the most commission from? Chances are you’d drop them pretty fast and find a realtor who would put you and your needs first. If you won’t settle for biased service when buying or renting a house, why should you settle for it in your insurance-buying decisions?
When it comes to selecting personal and business insurance, you will want to find an agent (just like finding a realtor) who puts you and your needs first. This can be difficult when you limit yourself to working with an agent who is employed in-house for an insurer. Here are five reasons we suggest choosing an independent insurance agent:
- Choices – Independent agents aren’t limited to working with one insurer so they can provide you with a variety of coverage options and price points. Instead of filling out ten different online quote forms or spending hours on the phone, your agent can do the heavy lifting and research for you. All you have to do is choose the option that works best for you.
- One-Stop Shop – Depending on your insurance needs, it can be difficult to find all the coverages you need from a single insurer — especially for those trying to purchase both business and personal insurance. If you choose to work directly with the insurer themselves, you could find yourself with multiple agents at multiple companies. Working with an independent agent can help eliminate this confusion and hassle. You can get all the options you need at the same place.
- Local Appeal – Most independent insurance agents live in and serve the communities they work in. They understand what’s happening in your particular region and the related challenges that businesses or individuals may face there. Furthermore, if you pick up the phone and call them or need to drop off a form, you aren’t speaking with someone three states away (or even another country!), but someone right down the street.
- Customer-Centric – Independent agents are not tied to any one insurer or set of coverage options. This provides them with the flexibility to put you first and to create a truly customized package. Captive agents simply cannot provide this level of personalization due to their limited options. In the unfortunate case that an incident occurs and a claim needs to be filed, independent agents can act as your advocate and petition the insurer on your behalf.
- Knowledge – Working with an independent agent gives you access to not only their only knowledge base, but the expertise of others at the agency. If you have a question, the likelihood is that someone within the agency can provide assistance or a recommendation. Having an agency that can provide industry specific and multiple insurer coverage recommendations can prove to be invaluable. They are not simply just your insurance agent, but a trusted advisor.
Selecting an insurance agent and coverage is not something to be taken lightly. In today’s litigation-happy society, the last thing you want is to uncover an unexpected exclusion or have inadequate limits. Find an agent you can trust and you can call at any time. Your peace of mind is worth it.