8 Reasons to Depend on an Independent Insurance Agent

November 19, 2012

So you’re thinking about buying insurance, but you're not sure how to get started?

You’ve poked around on a few self-serve websites, but the prospect of making such an important decision on your own has left you hesitant to pull the trigger.

Don’t worry, it’s very challenging for most people to complete the process without some interaction, help or guidance from a real human being.

These human beings are called insurance agents and can greatly improve your chances of selecting the perfect policy.

A ridiculously obvious statement. The internet has changed the way we do everything, from communicating, to shopping, to entertainment to the way we do business.

It’s everywhere. You now have access to almost anyone and anything, all without having to put on a pair of pants. This pantsless way of life has also spread to the insurance industry. You can now complete the process of buying almost any type of insurance online without dealing with an “annoying” salesperson.

Don’t let your aversion to wearing pants stop you from taking advantage of all the services an independent agent can provide you. Let’s run down 8 ways they can help you next time you need coverage.

1. Unbiased Advice

You want the truth. You want to know what companies to considered and which ones to avoid. When you buy insurance directly from one company, you are only going to hear how great they are.

Of course every company has it’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s important for you to know these strengths and weaknesses and how they will relate to you.

An independent agent will be able to effectively communicate these to you without worrying about walking the company line.

2. Personalized Customer Service

Rather than dialing an 800 number to wait on hold for a random customer service representative to handle your question or problem, wouldn’t you prefer to deal with someone you are on a first name basis with?

Once you have finalize the purchase of a policy, your agent should be there every step of the way. Have a problem with a bill or filing a claim? No problem. One phone call or email to your agent will do the trick.

3. Yearly Policy Evaluations

You should never, ever take the “set it and forget it” approach to your insurance policy.

You want someone watching your back to keep your insurance company honest. If your rates increase unjustly, your agent should be there to recommend a suitable alternative.

Make sure your insurance payments never take advantage of you by having your policy reviewed every year. If not, you're guaranteed to overpay for that policy at some point.

There’s no better way to manage the cost of your insurance coverage than by reviewing your policy regularly.

4. They Work for You (Not an Insurance Company)

Unlike an agent employed directly with an insurance company, an independent agent has no one to answer to but you.

They are legally bound to lookout for your best interests and have to advise you accordingly. Even if that means not selling you a plan, they will inform you of the best course of action regardless of the outcome.

5. Save Time

Don’t spend hours, even days, self-diagnosing your insurance problems. Leave that to the professionals. Chances are your independent agent has already solved your exact problem twice today, and it’s not even lunch time. Who wouldn’t like to have extra time to their self instead of dealing with insurance?

6. Compare Prices From Multiple Companies

No one likes a one trick pony. Don’t deal with an agent who works only for one insurance company.

Again, when you do you greatly limit the options available to you. Also, it’s very likely that once you buy that initial policy, you will never hear from that agent again.

You want to know that you are not only getting the best price but also the best plan to meet your needs. To do so you need to have information on every option available.

An independent agent will be able to present and educate you on those options.

7. Expert Knowledge and Advice

It’s important that you take an active role in your insurance, however, that activism cannot match the experience your agent has gained over the years.

Your agent should be continuously up-to-date on the latest news and trends, allowing them to easily and more accurately advise the best course of action. This would include any current, pending or expected legislation like health care reform.

8. They’re Free

If by now you aren’t completely sold on the idea of using an independent insurance agent, here's the best part.

Their services are free.

That’s right, you won’t pay a single extra dollar for any of those additional services (99 percent of the time).

Since agents are paid commissions directly from the company you can’t find a better price for the same product anywhere.

You are going to pay the same price for that policy regardless if you buy directly from a company, online or from that independent agent.

Next Step

Take some of my expert knowledge for a test drive by reading this free ebook to help you get started on your health insurance search.