Blog Authored by: Ken Mogren, CPCU
With all the opportunities to buy directly from insurance companies online or by dialing an 800 number, the above question may have popped into your mind. We’ll admit a bias, but our answer is a resounding YES. Here’s why:
- Insurance is not a simple commodity. It is actually a very complex legal contract with many variables a buyer should understand at a level where informed decisions are possible. Agents explain things and help you choose the right coverage.
- You might need help or advice if you have a claim. You can’t expect every claim representative from every insurance company to be looking out for your best interests at the time of a claim, but a good agent considers advice and assistance at claim time to be of paramount importance.
- It’s good to work with real people you know who care about you. Routine policy changes, billing questions, verification of coverage for lenders and a host of other service matters can be anything but routine when you must click all the right buttons on a website or navigate through a complicated phone menu where humans aren’t part of the process.
Best of all, the services of an agent don’t have to cost you more. In theory, buying direct and cutting out the middle man sounds like a money saving strategy. But the hundreds of millions of dollars companies like GEICO and Progressive spend on their clever ads have to come from somewhere. Those advertising expenses add to the cost of every policy they sell. Companies that distribute insurance through agents compete very favorably with the direct insurers. In fact, far more insurance is written with agent involvement than without. So enjoy those insurance ads (we do), but buy your insurance through a good agent.