Words With Whitlock: Why are Independent Insurance Agents Important?

We’ve all seen the commercials encouraging you to buy directly from an insurance company, and in many cases, the savings they offer by cutting out an insurance agent sound incredible. Consider GEICO for example. Their slogan “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance” suggests you’ll get a 15% discount by going straight through the company. However, the company spent over $1,000,000 in advertising in 2012, and they are required by most states to have agents on hand to help facilitate the transaction, plus customer service representatives to help with problems that may arise, which are costs an insurance agency normally bears. So, where exactly are those savings coming from?

People often buy insurance based on what they think they need and go with the cheapest option. The proof of insurance that’s required for your car, home, and/or business is there, but what you don’t realize is that you could still be at risk. Without discussing the risks and comparing all the insurance options available with an insurance professional, you could find yourself with significant gaps in coverage or inadequate coverage. Your liability doesn’t end when you reach the end of your insurance – if you are under insured, the difference comes out of your pocket.

According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, there are over 38,500 independent insurance agencies in the U.S. Most independent agencies, including The Whitlock Group, represent multiple carriers, which means we can offer our clients a wide variety of insurance options that fit their needs and their budget. However, the benefits do not stop there.

J.D. Power and Associates recently reported customers who use small auto insurers are more satisfied than customers using larger insurance firms. This is partly because smaller auto insurers are often marketed by independent agents. Greg Hoeg, vice president of U.S. insurance operations at J.D. Power, stated “Price perception among customers of smaller insurers is likely influenced by the fact that they frequently select their insurer with the help of an independent agent.”

In addition to talking through the options with you, independent agents differ because we make our clients our top concern. We take the time to get to know you and your needs, so we can offer you the best options at the best price. If our customers aren’t satisfied with their coverage, we are ready to step up and find a solution.

To sum it up in a few words, independent insurance agents have your back. If you’re in need of an insurance agent that will help you find the most appropriate types and amounts of coverages for your needs, contact The Whitlock Group today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you find the best insurance products at the best price possible.

-W. Greg Whitlock, CIC, CRM, President

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