Does it matter if you’re buying insurance from an agency or online?
When you’re shopping for insurance, there are really only two ways to purchase. You can buy your insurance policy from an agency or you can buy it directly from an insurance company either online or over the phone.
There are pros and cons to both options.
Shopping for insurance is not something people look forward to, right? Insurance is one of those invisible products that usually fails to deliver a sense of satisfaction in the way a great meal or new pair of shoes might. You’re buying a promise and hopefully the peace of mind that the insurance policy is what you think it is.
The internet has certainly made it easier for people to purchase nearly everything directly instead of going to a store and getting the help of a salesperson.
Is all insurance the same?
Insurance companies like Geico and Progressive have been built on this direct-purchase model. They spend billions (yes, that’s with a “B”) of dollars marketing the idea that purchasing insurance is easy and so much less expensive if you do it yourself. Their television advertising gives you the impression that the price of your insurance is all that really matters.
Generally speaking, insurance is a product which most people understand on a basic level. So, the point-and-click environment of buying insurance online makes it seem like such a simple “product” to purchase.
Here is the problem: You don’t know what you don’t know.
Insurance is not a product. It’s a contract with obligations for both parties to uphold. Insurance has a bad reputation sometimes because the purchaser of the insurance does not understand what the obligations of the insurance company really are.
Google has given everyone access to research, as well as company and product reviews. Insurance companies and agents have produced volumes of articles, blogs, and videos covering almost every angle of insurance. Consumers have the chance to get a better understanding of what their insurance needs are and the options available to them.
The professional touch.
Purchasing from an insurance agent should help the consumer be better educated as to what their real needs are so a unique plan can be created, just for them. This usually deepens the peace of mind people want when purchasing the “invisible promise” of insurance.
The idea of being a do-it-yourselfer is very appealing in theory. But, hiring a professional insurance advisor to make sure the job is done right gives the consumer not only an advocate and advisor, but also someone they can hold accountable if things go sideways.
If you’re like me, you have done your own taxes before. There was a time in my life where it was easy, believe it or not. There comes a time though, when hiring a CPA is necessary to make sure things are done correctly. The CPA knows the right questions to ask to address your unique situation as your income and tax issue get more complex.
The same can be said about your insurance plan. As you get older you will accumulate cars, a house, along with all the stuff in it. You may get married, have a family, a pet (yes, pets bring up insurance issues), not to mention your income… all that needs to be protected. You can see that all of this can create a good argument for having a professional insurance advisor.
When you hire an advisor like a CPA, attorney, even a realtor, you understand their advice and service will cost you.
Do you realize an insurance agent does not charge for their professional advice? They are paid by the insurance company.
When you buy insurance online, you’re doing all the work an insurance agent will do for you for free.
“But, I’m getting my insurance cheaper.”
Really? What is your time worth? Are you certain your policy will take care of you when you file a claim? Who can you hold responsible if it doesn’t?
Here is the key.
If you are purchasing insurance from an agency, you should be getting more for your money, right? Your agent should be proactively keeping you informed of not just the price of your insurance, but also how to efficiently protect your assets and income. If this is not happening, or hasn’t happened in a long time, you need a new agent. Or else, why have an agent at all?
We would welcome the chance to visit with you about your insurance needs. Call our office at 405-340-0606.
Or complete this short form and we’ll reach out to you to start the conversation.