What Is The Value In Having An Insurance Agent?
Do you ever go to the grocery store and get completely overwhelmed? Personally, I am not a big shopper. So when I go, I need to have a game-plan: not too big of a list, stick to the basics, and go during off-peak hours to avoid people watching me wander aimlessly up and down aisles. The game-plan usually works, but sometimes an item will make its way onto the list, and I have no idea what it is. In these situations, it is nice to be able to turn to a store employee and say, “What is rosemary, and where can I find it?”
Well, sometimes making a decision to purchase something on your insurance policy (you thought this was about a grocery store, didn’t you?) can be equally overwhelming, and it is nice to have someone with whom you can talk.
An insurance agent is similar to any other professional you would use. When an individual is not licensed, trained, or lacks experience in an area, they often seek outside help. For example, you go to a doctor because they are licensed and trained to practice medicine. A lawyer is licensed and trained to practice law. Well, a professional insurance agent is licensed and trained in the insurance industry.
Equally as important as licensing and training, you want to look for experience and expertise when choosing a professional. Think about my job as a professional insurance agent, and compare it to your job. If someone sat me down at your desk, I would probably have no idea what to do, where to start, or how to troubleshoot problems that may arise. I can’t do your job that well because I don’t do it all day, every day. However, what I do, all day, every day, is help people with their insurance decisions. For the better part of the past eight years, I have probably talked about or thought about insurance every single day. It’s sad. I know… Because I am in the insurance industry, I often forget how little people actually think about their insurance until they need it, and that is how it should be.
If I am doing my job as a professional insurance agent, then peace of mind is all that the customer should be left with. You don’t need to worry about your car getting stolen, a hit-and-run, a tree falling on your house, a tree-limb through your car, stolen property, a fender bender, a fatal accident, your house burning down, your dog biting someone, your employee getting hurt on the job, your employee setting a house on fire. The list could go on for days of the different claims I have seen and handled. It is not the customer’s job to make sure they are covering everything they need to cover. That is the job of the insurance agent.
Trust me, if something happens like the things I mentioned above, you will feel a lot better knowing a professional insurance agent worked on your policies rather than wondering if you clicked the right box online. The point of working with a professional is getting peace of mind, and a good insurance agent should be able to provide that.
Using their training, experience and expertise, a professional insurance agent can really help when it comes to protecting your family or business. Another thing they can help protect is your wallet. As an independent insurance agent I represent a number of different insurance companies. What this means is that I can look at every individual case and match them with the best insurance companies for their needs. Other than independent insurance agents, there are “direct writers” who can only write insurance through one company. Companies like State Farm, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual are direct writers, and if you call them you will only receive one option, which might not be the best for you.
Besides a monthly premium, a professional insurance agent can eliminate the risk of out of pocket expenses. Let’s go back to the grocery store and play out an example:
“I need shampoo so I am going to pick it up while getting groceries. I know the grocery store sells shampoo. It’s in aisle 8, and I’ll just pick one when I get there.”
“WHOA! There are a ton of shampoo options.”
“Well, I know I have hair and that I need to clean it. These all look the same, so I will go with this bottle because it is $1 less than the rest.”
Now I am a guy that doesn’t care too much about shampoo, so that is my experience when it comes to shampoo and shopping for it. It’s not a big deal until I get home and find out that my bottle was cheaper because when I thought it was a 2-in-1 when it was actually just a bottle of conditioner. I go back to the grocery store, and grab a bottle of shampoo, and my problem is solved with minimal extra expense. Let’s play that out as an online insurance purchasing decision:
“Well, I have a car. So, I know I need car insurance, but I don’t know anything about it. I know I can go online to get a quote, and I can check out this other site.”
“WHOA! There are a ton of insurance options.”
“I don’t know. This is kind of confusing. They all look the same, but this one is $8 cheaper a month. So, I’ll just go with this one.”
Now that you have car insurance, everything is all good—until you get in an accident. You didn’t realize that your car insurance policy was a little cheaper because it was giving you the state minimum liability limits, which in Virginia is $25,000 liability and $25,000 for property damage. The real bad news is, the car you just sideswiped is an $80,000 Mercedes, and your $25,000 limit isn’t going to cover the $30,000 in damage you just caused. To solve the problem you now need to come out of pocket for the additional $5,000, but this could have all been avoided by talking with a professional insurance agent who would have at least explained the risk of driving around with state minimum coverages.
The car accident is a very mild example of what could go wrong. I only used a car insurance example because it is basic, and most people can relate. Car insurance is also frequently purchased online. I never recommend buying any type of insurance without consulting an insurance agent, and I would never in a million years suggest to look online when it comes to insuring your home, your business, or your life. At Bridge First Insurance, we don’t have any fees, so there is never a cost to consult with us. We are professional insurance agents, and we are here to help.
Dave has accumulated extensive knowledge of commercial insurance and the skill set that it takes to succeed. In 2013, he and co-founder Jack Cordes, joined forces to establish Bridge First Insurance. Through Bridge First Insurance, Dave utilizes his knowledge and unique expertise to offer clients the best care in insurance.