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10 Reasons to Choose an Independent Insurance Agent

By: Alyssa Dellacamera, 3/14/12

Although advertisements promising you substantial savings on your insurance in exchange for just a few minutes of your time may be enticing, it’s important to ask yourself what you could be sacrificing for this drop in dollars and how complete your coverage is if designed in only a few minutes’ time.

In the insurance industry, price represents just one of many important considerations, and finding the right coverage for your needs often involves research – the good news is that you don’t have to conduct this research yourself. An independent insurance agent works for you, sorting through many different insurance companies’ rates and coverages to find your best options. You can try to save 45 percent on your insurance in 10 minutes, but below are 10 reasons to consider choosing an independent insurance agent instead:

1. Service – When you have a question about your policy, or worse – need to report claim – would you rather call your insurance provider and be greeted by an automated recording or an actual person? With so many companies switching to automated systems, it can be time consuming just to reach the appropriate person. At independent insurance agencies, an actual person will still greet and assist you. In the unfortunate event of a claim, your independent agent will not only help you understand what your policy covers, but also can assist you in reporting the claim. Claims can be overwhelming, and if you require immediate assistance, your insurance agent will help you there as well, connecting you to a reputable remediation company if you’ve suffered property damage, for instance.

2. Personal Shopping – Working with an independent insurance agent is like having a personal shopper. Like a real estate agent helps you sort through properties to find your perfect home, an insurance agent examines many different insurance companies’ rates and coverage options to find the policy that best suits your unique needs and risks. Best of all is the fact that independent agencies do not add extra charges to the insurance companies’ plans, so an agent will advocate on your behalf, handling all of your insurance needs and relations with your insurance company, at no additional cost to you.

3. Community Involvement – An independent insurance agent not only assists you, but also helps the community. Many insurance agents place a strong emphasis on community involvement, and will sponsor local fundraisers, serve as board members for non-profit organizations, volunteer services to the local Rotary or school, donate money to area charities, and help organizations publicize their upcoming events. Witnessing your local insurance agent give back to the community can make you feel good about doing business with them.

4. Understanding – At independent insurance agencies, we understand that insurance can be a complicated and confusing topic, especially when you don’t deal with it on a daily basis. An insurance agent strives to ensure that you fully understand your policies, from what they do and do not cover, to the deductibles and limits you should carry. An independent agent’s work doesn’t end when they issue your policy – they are available during the entire policy period to help explain coverages, make recommendations and changes, and answer any coverage questions that arise.

5. Local Expertise – Not only do independent insurance agents give back to the community, but their knowledge of this community also proves invaluable in their ability to protect your home and assets.  Whether via a letter, email, phone call, or blog post, an independent insurance agent will let you know when snow loads are high, and when you should consider raking your roof. Having lived in the area for years if not decades, many insurance agents use their knowledge of the community to help you assess and minimize your risks.

6. One-Stop Shopping – At many agencies, you can take care of all your insurance needs at once. Not only can you obtain coverage for your home and automobile, but an independent insurance agency can also help you procure insurance if you own a business. If you’re looking for health, life, dental, or disability insurance, your insurance agent can help you find the best individual or group benefit plan. Relying on one agency for all your needs will help you keep all your insurance information organized, and have hassle-free experiences in the event of claims or coverage questions.

7. Reputation – Reputation plays a significant role in finding a company you can trust, and many independent insurance agencies take pride in the years – even decades – they have spent serving their communities. A company’s many years of service can be a testament to its well-established reputation in the community and can help you feel confident about its financial stability. Although you could easily obtain a quote from a startup Internet-based insurance provider, wouldn’t you rather put your trust in a business for which your friends, neighbors, or co-workers could provide a testimonial?

8. Knowledge – When you have health concerns, you consult a doctor, and when you require legal advice, you seek a lawyer, so when you need insurance assistance, why not rely on an industry expert? An independent insurance agent works with many different insurance companies and is knowledgeable about their individual strengths. While one insurance company may excel at handling claims, another may offer the most competitive prices. An independent insurance agent will find the best company based on what’s most important to you, whether it be price, service, stability, or a combination of all three.

9. Saving Time & Money – While companies promising to reduce your premium by hundreds of dollars in just minutes may seem to save you time and money at first, working with an independent agent can prove cost-effective over the long term. Independent agents will ask you questions to familiarize themselves with your lifestyle, to ensure that the coverage they design is sufficient and will fully protect you in the event of a claim. For example, one client featured in Independent Agent magazine pointed out that since his agent knew he was an avid bicyclist living in Washington D.C., he encouraged high uninsured and underinsured motorist limits to protect him against being hit by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. In response to his agent’s attentiveness, the client wrote: “My wife and I are much happier knowing I now bike to work with coverage placed under the watchful eye of my insurance agent. Had I purchased elsewhere, would anyone have asked?”

10. Protection & Peace of Mind – Above all, an independent insurance agent will provide you with peace of mind, allowing you to feel confident that when you save money on your insurance, it doesn’t come at the expense of comprehensive coverage. When it comes to protecting your home, family, business and other invaluable assets, relying on an insurance agent you can trust is a great place to start.


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