by Joe Harrington, Markham Priest Insurance
For some people it does not matter where they buy their insurance. That decision could be costing them money, service and proper protection. Buying insurance is not like buying gasoline at a gas station. It is an important financial decision in protecting those things that are important to you such as your family, home, autos and business.
Independent agencies differ greatly from direct insurance carriers or the internet based insurance companies. In brief, here are the three ways to buy insurance:
Captive Agents: Insurance agents that sell you the insurance policy of one (1) direct carrier.
Internet Based Agents: Agents who potentially represent multiple insurance carriers, but are unable to provide the best customer service and personal knowledge to properly protect you with your changing needs.
Independent Insurance Agents: Agents who represent an average of six – eight insurance carriers. Independent agents are able to research these carriers to find you the best combination of price, coverage and services to properly protect your assets.
Your Independent Insurance Agent:
- Is a licensed professional with strong customer and community ties
- Provides excellent customer service and competitive premiums because your agent can access coverage from multiple insurance carriers
- Because an independent agency represents multiple carriers, the agent can provide flexibility as your insurance needs change. If your insurance needs no longer match your present insurance carrier, the independent agent can easily transition you to another carrier
- Assists you when you have a claim
- Is your consultant, working with you to determine your proper insurance needs
- Saves you premium by looking at the best combination of price, coverage and service
- Provides full service by offering a full range of insurance products such as home, renters, condo, auto, business, life and health
- Knows you by name and not by a policy number. An independent agent treats you like a person