There are a lot of persuasive insurance ads these days, with promises of setting you up with the perfect low-cost and hassle-free plan in just 7.5 to 15 minutes. And, maybe there’s a place for that under some circumstances in today’s market. However, before getting stuck with a policy that you find on your own through the Internet or by phone, I would urge you to consider the following factors.
First, the most significant time for insurance is when you’re in trouble and need to make a claim. When that happens, it is very important that you have an agent that can walk you through the process and fight for you as an advocate. If you should happen to find yourself in panic mode with a car accident or a medical emergency, for example, consider the difference between picking up the phone to call your local agent, who you know and trust, versus going online to find a phone number and talking to someone you don’t know, or getting lost in an automated answering system before finding a live body to take your call. The agent that lives in town with you, shops with you, and knows your kids by name will understand the importance of your situation and give you personalized assistance.
Next, having an agent is important at the time of making a policy purchase, because at claim time, the outcome will be based on what you originally bought. If you don’t have the coverage you thought you had or should have had, there is not a lot that can be done about it. People do make mistakes when they choose their own policies, such as not understanding the importance of having certain liability limits, or buying the cheapest plan for the state minimum limits and then finding that they don’t have enough coverage to protect their assets, or that our local medical providers are not available on their plan. Having the guidance of an agent is valuable, and is available anytime. If you’ve already purchased a policy online or over the phone and are unsure if it’s the right one, just call for a free review.
Finally, the advantage of having multiple policy discounts through the same provider will likely offset any savings you might appear to gain by going direct. You could save $50 on your car insurance by doing it yourself, but your homeowner’s premium will be at least $50 higher for not having the two together.
Ads for direct insurance are fun and interesting, but we buy insurance to protect ourselves, our assets, and our families. It would be best to spend more than a few minutes making sure we have enough to cover what we need.