Which is better? Buying insurance directly online? Or buying from an agent or "real" person?
Buying direct online:
- Meets the "need" for insurance and gets you that security verification to keep in your car or to buy your tag.
- Convenient. I mean, you can take care of it at 2 a.m. if need be. And you never having to pick up the phone or get in your car. No human interaction needed. Sounds perfect - especially for introverts like me!
However, buying from an agent meets the "need" as well. You get that security verification for your car or home insurance declaration page for your mortgage company. It may not be quite as convenient. But using phone, email, and text messaging, it's still pretty convenient. And there is a confidence and trust factor built into working with a real-person. I asked a few of my coworkers (who happen to be insurance agents - surprise!) to explain why it's better to work through an agent. Here's what they said:
"You need someone you can trust to identify your insurance needs. You can click and purchase online, but you need a trusted advisor to determine the limits of medical, liability, and deductibles best suited for your situation. It's nearly impossible for the average consumer to understand their insurance needs, and the internet is not going to tell them. It will only give them exactly what they ask for." -- Caleb Wonn, Insurance Agent, Stroud Office.
"Well, the biggest and most obvious thing to me is that we are not just sales people, but more importantly we are insurance advisors. You can get a quote online and not know a single thing your are paying for. With an agent you have a real-life person to whom you can ask questions. We can help you with custom building a product (from the many we offer) to best suit the customer. The customer will get us if they call - a person they can see, hear, and build a relationship with, not a cold machine to pump out perfectly identical "cookie cutter" policies." -- Justin Waldroupe, Insurance Agent, Shawnee Office
"Our agency does an outstanding job listening to customers, so that we are able to determine exactly what they need. Not selling lines of coverage they do not need, just to increase premium." -- Celeste Carpenter, Insurance Agent, Stroud Office.
"Personal service is what I think customers look for and need these days. Also getting a live person when calling for customer service is a huge advantage of buying from an agency instead of online." -- Lisa Smalley, Receptionist, Stroud Office.
I think they build a pretty good case for insurance agents. An insurance agent provides all that an online insurance buying experience provides, plus much more: Trust. Personal Service. Advisor. Solution provider. Listener. Problem solver. Real people.
Blogger: Christy Jones