Some people will buy insurance from a company directly online or in person. While there are a couple of benefits, customers can get a better deal by using an agent. With life insurance alone, 44% of millennials overestimate the cost of insurance by 5 times the actual price. Possibly, they are not fully aware of the cost of other types of insurance.
Agents are a useful tool in helping customers understand everything they need to know about all types of coverage policies and prices. They work hard to find the right coverage for you at a great deal. Agents do so while keeping your wants and needs in mind. Since buyers get presented with various options, they often compare agents to personal insurance shoppers.
The Downside of Buying Insurance Directly
One of the fastest ways of getting insurance is buying it directly from the company. Some people find that getting coverage is quicker due to not having to wait for a response. While it may seem more convenient, you do lose out on some valuable assistance.
When you buy insurance directly instead of through an agent, you lose out on the personalized experience. Larger insurance businesses let you get quotes online, but smaller ones may not allow people to buy directly. You may not become aware of other viable plans if the insurance company only sells its products through agents. You could miss out on a policy that meets your needs.
Someone who is going through the quoting process or buying process may come across some terms that are hard to understand. They will have to rely on the company’s customer service call center or possibly the internet. As a result, a customer could end up paying more than they should for coverage.
Two Types of Insurance Agents
Buying insurance through an agent is beneficial because the expert will help navigate you through the quoting and buying process. An agent can explain the terms and make sure you purchase the right amount of coverage that meets your needs.
When looking for an insurance agent, you may notice there are two types of agents. The two kinds are captive agents and independent agents, but there are differences in whom they work for and the options they provide you.
Captive agents only sell insurance plans from a single insurer. Major companies like Allstate use this type of agent to get customers to buy their products. If a buyer is interested in a specific insurer, then they will want to know all their options. A captive agent is an expert of:
- The insurer’s multiple policies
- Coverage add-ons.
An agent can be helpful for those who are buying insurance for the time. Regardless of the type of insurance, these professionals will figure out the best option for you.
A person may notice how captive agents provide excellent customer service. The reason is that the agents receive support from the insurer they represent and may have staff working for them. They will have time to build connections with customers.
For every sale they make, captive agents get a commission. Therefore, customer satisfaction is highly important for them. This type of agent also receives a salary, so their commission rates tend to be lower.
People have the option to purchase insurance through an independent agent. Unlike captive agents, independent ones can partner with multiple insurers and choose which policies to sell. They can select to work with a couple of companies to promote types like auto and life insurance.
You may find that hiring an independent agent provides you with more coverage options. You do not have to pick from a small number of plans that may be too pricey for your needs. However, this type of agent can have higher rates than a captive agent since they get paid only from commissions from a closed sale.
Independent agents operate as if they run their own business. They are responsible for their own office space and filing system. They have to pay all of their fees as well.
Agents Are Like Personal Shoppers
Insurance agents are valuable workers in the industry. There are over 547,000 agents in the workforce, and the number of employed people is growing. From 2018 to 2019, the workforce grew roughly 14.9%. Customers enjoy speaking with an agent over directly buying coverage. Only 29% of consumers like to purchase insurance online. The other 71% prefer human contact through talking face-to-face or on the phone.
Agents act as your own personal shopper when searching for the right coverage plan. There are a few reasons why you should consider using an insurance agent.
Present Various Selections
When people imagine shopping, they may picture visiting several stores in a mall or different departments in a store. Insurance agents present you with a variety of options. Independent agents will obtain quotes from several insurers. They will compare the multiple policies and prices to help you find what you are looking to get.
If you are working with a captive agent, they will show you the best policies and coverage add-ons that a company offers. You can look through a list of different options to see what is right for you.
Act as a One-Stop Shop
Several agencies make it convenient for consumers by allowing them to satisfy all of their needs at once. If you are looking for life, dental, home, and medical coverage, an agent can provide you with everything, especially independent agents.
The one-stop shopping aspect of some insurance agents will help people save time. They can go to one place instead of having to search up multiple companies one at a time.
Provide a Personalized Service
Besides finding coverage that meets a person’s needs, insurance agents will continue offering personalized service after you get a plan. Some stores and online shopping platforms send customers alerts of new products and special sales and discounts.
An insurance agent may do something similar. They can contact a person whenever new coverages become available. Clients may get notified when certain prices get lowered. Insurance agents can inform their clients about possible changes and upgrades to their current plan before its renewal.
Inform You of Trusted Insurers
Like any product, people want to buy from a brand they can trust. With so many insurer options, it may be hard to know which one is more reliable. Insurance agents are familiar with many of the companies.
Agents are aware of the strengths of each business. For example, an agent may know which insurer is better at handling claims in comparison to competitors. They can inform clients which place has the better price.
Insurance agents can make sure you find the best insurance company based on what is important to you. You will not have to worry about not receiving quality service.
How to Find the Right Agent
The first step in finding the right insurance agent is to ask a trusted source for recommendations. Word of mouth is a helpful way of finding an agent. A friend, family member, or co-worker can direct you to someone who has a good reputation for delivering quality service. When asking for referrals, make sure your trusted source is not going by who is the nicest person.
Many times, a trusted friend will suggest a local agent. A local agent tends to be active in the community. Most agents prefer to get their clients personally, and being local helps both parties establish a connection.
Do a Simple Background Check
Once you find a potential insurance agent, take a look into their background. Make sure their license is up to date and meets the state’s requirements. It can benefit you to check for any complaints previous clients have made.
Many people interview the agent to see if they are a good fit. Some questions to ask are:
- How long have you been working in the industry?
- What insurer or insurers do you represent?
- Are you a captive agent or an independent agent that can offer me a variety of choices?
- If I need to file a claim, how can you help me in the process?
Find an Agent Who Deals With Your Specific Concerns
It can become stressful when searching for insurance plans, especially if you have particular concerns. When finding an agent, look for one who has years of experience with a certain issue you need addressing. They will be knowledgeable enough to deal with your specific needs.
The agent can answer your questions thoroughly and make you feel comfortable when talking to them. The expert can offer you advice tailored to your needs, and they will look out for your best interest.
How Healthcare Solutions Team Can Help
If you are looking for coverage, then Healthcare Solutions Team is here to help. We provide insurance for individuals, families, and businesses. Our top HST agents can offer you insurance plans for life, dental, and more.
We make sure to maximize coverage for our clients while making it as affordable as possible. Our agents lead the industry with customized healthcare solutions. Contact us today to receive a quote. You can expect correspondence from our experienced staff within a day.
Healthcare Solutions Team is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National General Insurance Group and the Allstate Insurance Company.