Lets be honest, before I started working in the insurance world, I had no idea how valuable Independent Insurance Agents were. In the past, I did some searching on the internet and quoted myself, or called the company directly to change my insurance plan. Little did I realize, I was overpaying for coverage and eventually experienced less than stellar customer service. In a world with a million options, customer service always hits the top of the list. That's just one reason why I believe independent agencies are the way to go! Here are the rest:
1. Independent agents represent multiple companies, not just a single company like State Farm or Geico. Therefore, there are boundless options to find the best coverage to fit each individual need. For example, we check at least 5 or more top-rated companies when working on a quote, to ensure our clients have the best options out there.
2. In addition to my point above, independent agents do all the searching and groundwork for you! There's no hassle of quoting yourself online, or calling multiple insurance companies to get comparable quotes.
3. Independent agents are local folks that you may know personally! It's always nice to have a personal relationship with the individual who handles something so important as your insurance coverage. We even have several clients who become friends as a result of a business relationship. We see them out at local sporting events, or just around town. When you support an independent agency, you also support the local community as many agents give back through donations to chaitable events or volunteer time.
4. Although independent agents handle several companies, they are insurance experts. As a result of learning the products and features of multiple companies, independent agents have a strong understanding of coverage options and packages.
5. Compared to captive agencies, independent agencies are able to provide options at renewal time. For example, if you are insured by a captive agency and your premium goes up at renewal, you are either stuck paying it, or are forced to search for a different carrier. As an independent agency, we keep an eye on renewals and often catch them before you do! If the premium increases drastically due to a company rate increase, we have other options available with no work on your end.
6. Last but not least is service. There is something to be said about the personalized customer service independent agents possess (compared to going through the company directly). We recently had a claim where a tree fell on our insured's home around 4 pm on a Tuesday. The insured came straight to our office, where we were able to file the claim immediately, and call a local emergency tree business to get the tree off his home. Independent agents often have a network of qualified local references who can assist with repairs. We were able to advocate for our insured throughout the entire process, to make sure his home was put back in working order.
The next time you are looking for insurance, consider an independent agency to handle your needs with care!