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Direct vs Independent Agent: Dangers of Cutting Out the Middle Man in Insurance

By Edited Mar 26, 2016 0 0

Each day we are bombarded by Direct Insurance carriers tempting us with the so called ease of buying insurance direct, online, or by phone.  Cut out the middle man, the ads imply and save "X" percent or hundreds even.  These companies rely on clever and catchy cartoons and spokespeople but the intent is the same.  Buy direct, get a great product, and save money.

Now lets all think about the product they are selling.  It is insurance, or to be technical "the transfer of risk from one to another."  Are you the consumer looking to insure just a car?  How about your home and life?  Do you rent rather than own a home and need renters insurance too?  What coverages do you need and how does each coverage interact with the other in the event of a claim?  Listen, we all know insurance is not the most invigorating topic to discuss here, but it has real value.  Most people need insurance to protect their assets and liability and ALL states require drivers to have insurance for their cars.

For the vast majority of local independent insurance professionals, integrity and trust are very important.  Independents as a whole care about their clients and the well being of them and their families.  These are the people that you are likely to see at the store, at the little league game, maybe the school play.  They have dedicated their lives to understanding insurance coverages and know how each policy interacts with the next and the most cost effective way to cover the assets that are important to you.  Independents commonly represent a number of different carriers and can often offer serious discounts for multiple policies that include life, disability, and even long term care.  For example, our agency represents as many as 30 of the top life insurance carriers in the nation.  Clients are surprised to discover that the quotes they receive online doing all the work themselves are the same are sometimes higher than what they receive walking into my office.

There is real value to be able to go in and discuss your specific situation with an insurance professional.  In almost all cases, that independent agent has your best interest in mind.  My career in insurance began with a Direct Carrier and I was constantly forced to defend the Carrier and not the customer.  Now as an independent I have the ability to move coverage to the carriers that will benefit the Customer. 

Find a local Independent Insurance Professional that you can trust and build a relationship with.  Find one that is not quota driven and sincerely has your best interest in mind.  You can easily use your search engine to locate local independent agents or contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a referral.  Chances are that you already know a local agent but if not they will not be hard to find.  Talk to your family, friends, and others to get word of mouth referrals.  You as the customer deserve the best.   

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