We hate to admit it, but independent insurance agents are becoming one of the best‐kept secrets in the industry. Every day Americans are being bombarded by talking animals on TV, huge billboards, and humorous radio ads from direct writers promising to save us buckets of money on our insurance rates. These ads are designed to make consumers forget about their advocates – the independent insurance agents. We are there to make sure that saving $400 does not jeopardize our client’s insurance needs. A direct writer solicits and services business directly with the public through its own employees, the mail, or the Internet. The other side of this is an independent insurance agent who is a licensed individual who usually represents multiple companies and acts as the middleman, negotiating insurance products and services on behalf of their clients with one or several of their available markets. Clients can speak to someone face‐to‐face about their insurance needs in a local office.
The independent insurance agent can be a consumer’s best friend when it comes to securing insurance for many reasons:
1. We do all the work for you.
Clients only have to give us their information once and we are able to act as their “personal shopper”. We can check several markets to insure that our clients get the best combination of premium and coverages to fit their budget.
2. We are a one‐stop shop.
Access to multiple insurance markets allows consumers to secure coverage for their home, auto, boat, life, and business all through one agency. Our clients have the convenience of having just one contact for all of their insurance.
3. Each policy will cover different things.
Insurance policies contain a dizzying array of coverages, exclusions, and industry jargon that even seasoned insurance professionals have a hard time keeping up with. We take the extra step for our clients to make sure that they are insured properly and feel secure knowing that their assets are protected.
4. Our goal is to deliver outstanding service.
Our clients are able to speak with a live person that they know and trust when they have a coverage or billing question and we provide assistance when the need to report a claim.
5. Insurance is complicated.
How do consumers know they are getting the coverage they need when they go online and complete some general information forms? State required minimum limits for auto insurance in South Carolina are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. These limits are appealing because they are cheap and will satisfy state requirements. Limits this low would be exhausted very quickly in the event of a head‐on collision involving two cars where two people have to go to the hospital. An independent agent can help guide our clients to purchase appropriate limits to protect their assets.
Not all independent insurance agents are created equal. Each agency will have access to different insurance carriers and be able to offer expertise on different types of coverages. Some agencies focus more on personal lines, some on commercial lines, and some have the ability to do both. Consumers need to find an agent and agency that they feel comfortable with and trust. Insurance agents should be thought of as a consumer’s trusted advisor just like their accountant, doctor, or lawyer.
Technology makes our lives so much easier and faster, but it removes the one‐on‐one contact that is needed when making decisions regarding the protection of your assets. Contact Jeremy Stroud at Independent Insurance Associates today for a review of your coverages, old‐fashioned customer service, and peace of mind knowing that you have the best package of coverages and premiums available on the market today.