What do I give up by not using a licensed independent agent to purchase insurance?
The disadvantage of not using a licensed agent to purchase insurance is that the policyholder does not receive as much, or often any, personal service. A licensed agent with whom there is direct contact can be vital when purchasing a product and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. Without an agent to act as your personal advocate during the claims process, you are left to take care of the details on your own. You may be unsure who to contact at the insurance company or who you can really trust to help you during the times in life when you need help the most. Without an agent you are on your own to absorb the frustration and expense of resolving your problems.
The disadvantage of not using a licensed independent agent to purchase insurance is that agents who only represent one insurance company can only offer insurance based on that one company’s policies and rate structures. As an independent agency we represent numerous insurance companies and are deeply familiar with the intricate differences between them. Therefore we are able to match your needs with the best company to meet those needs and your budget without having to sacrifice coverage in order to find affordability.
What’s the risk in not using an agent?
Many insurance companies that can be called directly as a customer fail to tell you that the “call center personnel” who will take your information and issue the policy ARE NOT licensed to sell insurance, therefore lacking the professional knowledge to guide you toward an acceptable level of protection. These companies are conducting business using a loophole within the law which allows the company to have one license while everyone else works without it. Going this route can place your financial future at risk because unlicensed personnel are trained to simply sell you a policy without being aware of what “real” protection means.
For instance, imagine you own a $150,000 home and your auto insurance policy’s liability limits are $50,000. When you purchased the policy you were told this was plenty of protection considering your state’s minimum requirement for liability is $20,000. Yet if you have an accident and are sued for $200,000 your policy is only going to pay out $50k, leaving you responsible for the remaining $150k. Since your home would cover the difference, a court judgment could force you into selling your home as a way to settle the suit. If your policy’s liability limits had protected you at a minimum of $200,000, the policy would be paying for the total suit.
Because direct writers are typically located nowhere near where you live, many won’t hesitate to sell you a policy with low liability limits as a way to simply make the policy cheaper while convincing you to buy it. Leaving you extremely vulnerable to financial disaster.
Looking for an agent with your best interests at heart? That’s exactly why we’re here.