I’m kind of smack in the middle of Generation X, so while I didn’t have a smartphone in my bassinet, I did come into adulthood in the Internet age. So I get it: We’ve become accustomed to taking to the laptop to DIY just about everything.
We research our restaurant options with the intensity of vetting a VP pick. Dissertations have been finished with less research than we put into the plane-ticket buying process. There’s a sense of taking the power back in all that, and a belief that we now have the ability to get the best deal for the best price, if we’re willing to put in the work.
The side effect, though, is that by eschewing legacy service industries like travel agencies (and, yes, insurance brokers) in favor of Internet sleuthing, we often do all that extra work, only to end up with purchases that are an imperfect fit, at equal or higher prices.
Full-time info in lunch-break time
Let’s take what I do as an example. My job, as a Nashville insurance agent, is to know intimately how each type of policy and each company’s options break down, from car insurance and homeowner’s insurance to life insurance — what type of customer they suit best, what the drawbacks and pluses are, and what a good deal looks like. Getting a handle on all that across all insurance needs, understandably, is a full-time job, and in DIY insurance shopping, you’re doing your best to digest full-time information in a lunch-break timeframe.
Most insurance shoppers, in the end, throw their hands up and pick something that seems like it works at a price that seems like it’s reasonable. Meanwhile, I have an embarrassment of insurance-info riches at my fingertips, and I’m more than thrilled to do all the work of balancing/comparing/contrasting — and you don’t end up paying me anything for the expertise. (I’m compensated through agreements with a span of insurers, and that compensation hinges on you being happy with your plan and service, so it behooves me to stay laser-focused on your needs, even as you’re not directly writing me a check.)
What I do, essentially, is develop an in-depth understanding of your coverage needs, match that with policies that deliver those needs precisely, then sort out what the best coverage and rate options will be for you, specifically. You end up better protected, with coverage that’s a more complete fit, usually at a price that’s cheaper or in line with what you’d suss out on your own. And you’re not stuck making a single spreadsheet.
Fine-tuned tailoring without the price jump
Think of it this way: You’re invited to a wedding, and Target has racks of suits and dresses, and they’d probably serve your purposes just fine. But if you could go next door, be measured head to toe and have something tailored exactly to you, for the same price, plus the benefit of having someone you can call if you find the hems need touching up… easier and better without a higher expense feels like a win.
I’m biased, I realize, but that’s how I view the insurance agent’s role, and I came to that from the outside. I wasn’t always in insurance; I spent a lot of years in finance, and being on the client end of the insurance equation made me aware of the benefits of using an agent.
Reading about how an insurance agent values the role of an insurance agent is, I know, a grain-of-salt thing. So below, check out a few news pieces that I thought offered valuable insurance insight. I chose them not because they exclusively tout the merits of using an insurance agent, but because they’re measured, informational and clear about what you can/should expect from a good agent. Hope you find them helpful.
Nerdwallet: “There’s probably no way for you to know everything that agents do about insurance — that’s why they’re so helpful.” (This is a pretty comprehensive and very honest checklist about what you should expect — from coverage, and from me — when you shop for life insurance.)
MSN: “Agents can do more than give you a car insurance quote or field your questions about your policy; they also know ways you can save on your premium.” (This offers a view into some of the information we explore and consider as agents. It’s a lot, and even if you’re having me do the legwork, it’s worth understanding the basics.)
Forbes: “A knowledgeable and dedicated insurance broker or agent may help you save money by choosing the best carrier for your particular situation.” (A helpful view into why life insurance is an important thing to consider, in any and every family.)
The New York Times: “Instead of working with a broker exclusively affiliated with a single insurer, work with an independent agent who has access to the top term insurance providers.” (A thorough overview of why, when, what and how, when it comes to life insurance — with no sugarcoating about my industry.)
Business.com: “Hopefully, you’ll never have to make a claim, but if you do, it’s good to know what you can expect from your broker. A licensed independent agent is legally obligated to be your advocate in the event that a claim needs to be made.” (An overview of business coverage, including a key point many insurance shoppers don’t think about: An agent isn’t just a person who helps you find coverage — they’re also a dedicated advocate when the need for a claim arises.)
Have more questions about life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance or any other kind of insurance coverage, and/or my role in the process of getting you covered? I’m glad to help. Give me a call, or send an email, and let me know what I can do for you.