Buying insurance is an important purchase that can have drastic effects on your life and on your family. Insurance has also gotten a bad reputation – it’s confusing to most people and often times, you only find out that your coverage wasn’t sufficient after it is too late. All the negative aspects to purchasing insurance can be negated if you use an insurance agency instead of purchasing directly from the insurance company. Before I discuss the benefits to purchasing insurance from independent agencies, I wanted to address how independent insurance agencies make money. A common misconception about buying insurance from independent insurance agencies is that there is an additional cost tacked on for their services or that they will increase the premiums to line their pockets. In actuality, the agents don’t have any flexibility with rates; they merely report the rates that the issuing companies give them. The agency receives a commission when they sell a policy. Basically, the insurance agent is highly motivated to give you the best price possible so that you’ll purchase the policy – it’s not beneficial to them to quote you higher than necessary premiums. Your local independent insurance agents work to provide you with the best price for the coverage you need. Exemplary customer service is an independent agency’s bread and butter – which segues perfectly into my list of benefits to buying insurance from independent agencies:
Personalized Insurance Plans
The biggest benefit, in my opinion, is actually having an agent. If you’re dealing directly with the insurance company, you’re basically just an email address or a case number. Whereas your local insurance agent is actually your legal representative to the insurance company and have the fiduciary responsibility to be your advocate and put your interests above their own and above the insurance company. In Florida, the most basic coverage you need is referred to as 10/20/10 and it’s usually the cheapest insurance you can get. But, it doesn’t always offer sufficient coverage, which means your assets may be at risk. However, if you’re buying insurance directly from the insurance company, most sales agents are just trying to get a sale and move on to the next call. At an insurance agency, your agent will take the time to understand your family, financial goals, employment plans, etc. before offering suggestions on your insurance coverage to make sure you have coverage based on your individual needs.
Personalized Claims Service
At Lakewood Financial Services, we are your claims advocate. We discuss the claim with you before we contact the insurance company on your behalf. We are ready to help you fill out claim forms and we work with the insurance company to make sure that you are treated fairly and receive prompt and fair settlement.
The insurance you should buy can be largely affected by where you live. You probably wouldn’t be concerned with hurricane insurance if you lived in Colorado, whereas if you live in Florida, you know that hurricane insurance is a must. Independent insurance agencies are local businesses so they are more familiar with specialized insurance specific to certain locale and are thus more qualified to advise you on proper limits and the risks or benefits of purchasing insurance add-ons.
Independent insurance agencies have a broad range of products, which means that instead of you going to one company for life insurance, another company for health insurance, and another company for car insurance, you can just call your local insurance agent who will ‘shop’ all of your insurance needs. Since independent insurance agencies have access to insurance coverage from multiple companies, they can also find you the best price by comparison shopping – at no additional cost to you, or extra hassle, saving you precious time and money.
Ultimately, insurance is about security…securing your future and the future of your family. That’s what you get when you trust Lakewood Financial Services. Our motto says it all, “Let us be your personal safety net”.