Should I purchase Insurance from a Direct Writer or from an Independent Agent?

Direct writers would surely like you to believe that it is better and less expensive to purchase Personal Insurance (Automobile, Homeowners, Umbrella Liability, Motor Cycle, etc…) through them rather than through an independent agent/broker.

With 50 years in the business, we’ve seen why purchasing insurance through a direct writer is a mistake for most people.

When you purchase Personal Insurance through a direct writer, you will have to do so either through the carrier’s website or through their Customer Call Center. If you choose to purchase insurance through a direct writers website, in order to make an informed decision you will first have to have an in-depth working knowledge about how these insurance coverages work, what exactly is covered or not covered by a policy as well as what limits and deductibles you need to best protect yourself in the event of a claim. Even if the direct writer’s website provides in-depth explanations on all these issues, let’s be honest – are you really going to read all the fine print? Even if you do, it’s likely that you will find a lot of what you read confusing or much of the terminology used unfamiliar – will you actually understand what they are telling you, and how it relates to the type of real-world claims situations you are most likely to encounter? If you choose to go through a direct writers Call Center you are sure to be directed to a different person each time you call and frankly these customer call center people are usually underpaid and not very knowledgeable. Further you are sure to walk away underinsured if you go through either a direct writer’s website or call center as both are designed to quote you the cheapest policy possible in order to lure you away from your current carrier. While saving money is nice the truth is that being underinsured or not insured at all is not what you want – any savings you may realize at the time of policy purchase will surely evaporate, and then some, when you have a claim that you realize is not covered or is not covered adequately.

For example: in the event of an auto accident, do you know what your legal rights are, or what the legal ramifications are to you, based on the Uninsured or Underinsured coverage on your Personal Auto policy? Do you understand how your state’s laws may affect your insurance coverage? Good luck trying to figure these issues out by clicking through a carrier website – and this is merely one example.

As an independent broker our team has been selling and servicing Personal Lines insurance for over 50 years; and in 50 years not a week goes by that we do not learn about some new twist to coverage or the law that may directly impact a person’s Personal Insurance coverage – as an independent broker we share this knowledge and expertise with you to make sure you are purchasing the right coverage at a competitive price.

I like to pose the question: is it really likely that “in just fifteen minutes” you can learn enough to make an informed decision that will directly impact your financial future in the event of a claim?

What happens when you have a claim or have a question about your policy coverage? If you purchased your policy through a direct writer you will be directed to the carrier website or Customer Call Center. You are more or less on your own if you try to inquiry through the carrier’s website and as explained above good luck getting the proper answer if you call their Customer Call Center. Further many insurance carriers are notorious for trying to deny coverage at the time of claim. Having an independent broker on your side means you have someone who will guide you so that you get “Real World” answers to your questions and someone who will advocate on your behalf at the time of a claim to be sure you get paid what you deserve.

Everyone wants to get a “good deal”, and it’s easy to be swayed by direct writers who spend billions of dollars to advertise their low prices – but when purchasing something as important as a Personal Insurance policy it’s important to take a step back and think about who has your best interest in mind. Direct writers typically only have one of each product to offer and they go to great lengths to trying to sell their “one” policy to you. An independent broker/agent has numerous carriers to choose from and can therefore provide you with a policy that best suits your needs and at a competitive price.

Most people believe that purchasing insurance through a direct writer will save them money vs. purchasing through an independent broker/agent however this could not be farther from the truth. The primary reason people believe this is because the direct writers spend billions of dollars every year trying to convince you that this is so. The truth is that the direct writers are no more likely to save you premium on your insurance than a well-established independent broker/agent who has multiple carriers to choose from.

Call your Independent Insurance broker/agent today and talk to them about how they can shop their numerous carriers to be sure you are getting the best coverage at the best possible price.