Just as one might use a CPA to prepare their income taxes or an attorney to help them with their estate planning, many choose to use an insurance agency to write their insurance policies. This choice is mainly made because a person feels they need professional advice during the process. Of course, everyone will have different needs and circumstances surrounding their purchase, and this is why an insurance professional’s advice can be an invaluable asset. If you’re debating buying insurance online versus through insurance agency, then you should ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Do I know for certain what specific coverage(s) I need?
- Do I know all the questions I should be asking before making an insurance purchase?
- Will the online purchase truly result in both time and money savings?
- Can I obtain all my insurance policies through a single online insurance provider?
- Can I call the online insurance provider and receive insurance advice when needed?
- Is the personal information I’ll be providing kept secure?
You want to know exactly what coverage you need and that the insurance you’re purchasing meets those needs adequately. Insurance can vary greatly from state to state, meaning that it’s equally important for your insurance source to be knowledgeable. You certainly don’t want to purchase an insurance policy and discover down the road that it doesn’t protect you during a claim. Making an insurance purchase with an online company that fails to connect professional insurance advice to your personal insurance needs can leave you at risk of being without the coverage you need. You shouldn’t be the only one taking time to ask questions. The online insurance company must ask you questions in order to ensure they’re recommending the appropriate coverage(s).
One of the best ways to determine if you’re really saving money by purchasing your insurance online is to get a quote of your policy online. Do keep in mind that most online companies don’t offer multi-policy discounts, such as for home and auto. This is because most offer homeowner’s insurance through a different company, if at all. On the other hand, an insurance agency typically allows you to select coverage from several different insurance companies and can help you determine which company will offer you the most favorable rates for your particular risk type. Another consideration is that insurance agencies typically have a much more stringent screening process in relation to these insurance companies.
Unlike insurance agencies, many online companies will either not have the services that you need readily available or have a system that you must sign into and learn to navigate before being able to obtain what you need. One such example would be obtaining insurance documents, such as a certificate of insurance. Let’s say you’re using your vehicle to take your child and some of his/her classmates on a field trip. You learn the day of the trip that you must have evidence of your insurance before going. If you use an insurance agency, the documented can be faxed or emailed to the school or your smart phone with a quick and simple call. A second example would be how an insurance agency can help you meet some very challenging needs associated with needing a hard to place insurance policy. Despite the trend for online shopping, insurance agencies continue to thrive because of the solid reputations they build from customer satisfaction.
Insurance is often required – auto insurance by your employer, homeowner’s insurance by your mortgage lender, or even coverage(s) an owner of a space you’re trying to rent for a professional or personal function may require of you. Such requirements can often be like trying to understand the tax code. If you use an insurance agency, then you can email or fax any insurance requirements to your insurance agent for quick and efficient resolution.
Carefully consider how you go about purchasing your insurance. Surprises are the last things you want when it comes to the vital protection of insurance. If you have any uncertainty about what you’re really getting with online insurance, then you might want to rethink your decision. If you’d like to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach of online insurance and receive the knowledge and expertise of an insurance agent, then you may consider opting for a professional, independent agent to prepare your insurance policy.