Agent Or No Agent?

Discussion in Auto Insurance started by Wace • Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Wace

    WaceNew Member

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    In today's high tech marketplace, the internet has made it possible to purchase a wide variety of products and services from a much wider variety of sources. Small businesses are increasingly having to adjust to competition on a larger scale. We now can purchase auto insurance online, and cut out the middle man all together. Sometimes, the rates are a little cheaper because the companies are selling direct to the end user. Here in lies my question. How do you feel about purchasing automobile insurance directly from the big insurance companies? Does it bother you not to have a local agent? Can you see any disadvantages to this type of purchase? Please let me know your thoughts. I'm beginning to think that insurance sales have become a strictly price driven market. Does anyone care about service any longer or is price the only factor when making your purchase?
     
  2. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    Some people prefer an agent so they can talk them through the small print or if they have different circumstances it's easier for someone else to do the legwork. Many people can go online to get quotes, but some people don't have the internet and prefer the face-to-face old fashioned way.

    My dad's car renewal was due and although I offered to look up a quote online, he preferred his old method of visiting his agent. I let him as he prefers it and he can haggle for cashback and discounts.
     
  3. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    @Wace@Wace In today's modern world I don't see why it is necessary to have an agent. I might stop into an office if I think I could get a better deal or a particular company or type of cove, but by and large I an find all the information I need by comparing quotes online and typically get a discount for doing business online as well, so that is what I do.
     
    #3Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2015
  4. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    My concern for other people purchasing insurance online would be if that person completly understands what the policy is saying and how much coverage you are getting and is it really what you think you need. As an insurance agent I know how difficult it is for people to understand the complications of insurance.
     
  5. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I've used the same car insurance company and agent for years. Over those years, I've been involved in a few accidents, none of which were my fault. I had difficulty receiving payment due for medical treatment needed as a result of the last accident. The collision was a hit and run, and I made a police report. I didn't have the other driver's information, since the accident happened out of nowhere, and I was stunned, and didn't see his plate number. Because of that, my insurance claim was covered under the uninsured driver portion of my policy, since there was no one else to charge it to. The company was somewhat uncooperative, and I was very unhappy.

    I contacted my local agent, who has been with the company a long time. I also wrote a long scathing letter to the company headquarters, telling them exactly how poorly treated and disrespected I felt, as a long time loyal policy holder. Between the two, the company finally made good on the payment, but I will never forget it. I'm honestly not sure there's a better company out there, but when the time is right, I will look around, and may replace them.
     
  6. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

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    There is really no need to be using a local insurance agent to be honest. I know this is gong to piss off a lot of local insurance agents who do this for a living, but times are changing and their jobs are becoming obsolete.

    Long story short, any independent insurance agent makes a commission off of the policies they sell you. Theoretically in an ideal world, the insurance carriers wouldn't have to deal with independent agents, and everyone would just purchase insurance directly from them, which should mean less overhead and less cost to consumers.

    You can just as easily call the insurance carriers directly and their licensed agents can answer your questions even better than an independent agent could. The carriers are routinely training their own agents and keeping them up to date on all the latest changes to their services and the insurance industry in general. It's less likely independent agents are staying as up to speed with things.

    As for price comparisons, there are numerous online insurance agencies that can do this for you. They have relationships with all the major insurance carriers, and combine all their required information into one long sign up form, so you only have to fill out one form and it gets submitted to all the carriers they work with at once, who in turn provide rates instantly. They are technically independent agencies as well, but it's much more convenient to take care of your insurance purchases at home and speak with an agent over the phone than have to schedule an appointment with a local agent, drive over there, wait until its your turn, and talk with them.
     
  7. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    Either way is fine. However you look at it, it's a double-edged sword. The advantage of having an agent is that someone can guide you through the whole process and interpret your policy so that you can better understand it. On one hand, you may wind up with a sly agent who may deliberately choose not to inform you about the more controversial parts of your policy so as to encourage your purchase. Relying on your own interpretation may be a good thing and you can put all your trust in the provider of your choosing. But again, this is a hit or miss thing. Just hope the risk will be worth it. It pays to do your research before deciding.
     
  8. missbishi

    missbishiWell-Known Member

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    These services really have killed the traditional industry off. It now takes just a few minutes to get a myriad of quotes. Not to mention the cashback orother incentives that are frequently offered. I can understand why someone might prefer an agent to deal with more complex insurance needs but for bog-standard home and motor insurance, they just aren't needed anymore.
     
  9. steph84

    steph84Active Member

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    I have never used a local agent or visited one in my life. We just buy it all online or over the phone. I don't have any special needs where I would have to discuss things in depth so that is why I don't really care. Also, you can talk to someone over the phone and I don't need all of the personalization that most people needed or wanted in the past.
     
  10. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina IsobeWell-Known Member

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    I do without driving now, but I did drive a car. You know what I prefer both an agent just in case and to do things online, like State Farm has it. I like State Farm for they are reasonable and courteous to drivers. Though there are times when you feel there is no need for an ins. agent, but there is always the just in case for needing an agent, so I'd go with one I can afford and has both an agent and Online services.
     
  11. remnant

    remnantActive Member

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    Getting she of the services of an insurance agent is not the cheapest option. It will end up costing one more. An insurance agent ensures that everything is filled correctly to qualify for the lowest possible rates. If you have a question or a problem, you can easily access an agent who is acquainted to you and knows your needs. Another advantage of an agent is that if you have a claim, he or she awill assist you in the process and logistics. Agents are paid by the carriers they represent and you can turn to them for advice without being billed.
     
  12. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    Although I've never had a need for it, I honestly don't see why involving an agent would be necessary. So many people these days are able to do it themselves either online or on the telephone. The good thing about doing it online is that you can very easily and quickly do a price comparison, all at the click of a mouse. Of course an agent would say we absolutely need to use them. BUT I disagree, unless of course you just can't be bothered, it's too much hassle for you or you feel bamboozled by all of it. I'm sure between me and my husband and the internet, we'd be best placed as to what our best options were at the time :)
     
  13. rz3300

    rz3300Active Member

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    I have always hated the idea of having an agent when it comes to insurance. I get it and it is necessary but it just seems weird to me. I just keep it to as limited of a relationship as possible. I guess that is the good news is that you really do not have to know them if you don't want to, which is mostly the case for me.