Are Insurance Agents Really Necessary?
In today's world of online insurance quotes, many insurance companies and brokers are asking: "Are insurance agents really necessary?"
Insurance companies and consumers are always looking for ways to save money. Agents may seem like an unnecessary expense. Why should an insurance consumer talk with an agent if they can get a quote online instead? There is no need to go into an office or call someone. The agent is making commissions that only drive up the cost of insurance anyway. Cutting out the middleman seems like a cost-effective idea from both ends.
The fact is that consumers who take this stance are setting themselves up for potential problems.
- Who do they talk to about insurance questions?
- How do they know they have the right kind of insurance?
- Who do they talk with to make sure they have enough coverage?
- Who advocates for the consumer when an insurance company denies a claim?
- Who helps the consumer make changes as life changes?
- The answer to all of those questions is an insurance agent.
An insurance agent is more than a sales rep for insurance policies. The agent is the consumer's partner in making sure they have the right coverage, the right policy terms, and the right price. The agent takes the time to understand what the consumer needs and matches them with the right insurance company.
The reality is that online quote systems are not all they are cut out to be:
- The price consumers pay online is often the same or higher than what they can get through an agent.
- Insurance companies only offer a limited number of products through online quote systems.
- Consumers often think they are getting the right coverage online but find themselves without coverage when making a claim.
Many smart consumers are starting to realize the limitations and pitfalls of using online quote systems to buy insurance. Others find they want a human to interact with when making such an important purchase.
Insurance agents remain relevant to insurance companies and to consumers. They make a huge difference for both sides:
- Agents help clients choose the plans that fit their needs.
- Agents are aware of more products than consumers are.
- Independent agents shop their client needs to several companies and come back with the best prices.
- Agents can assess and assist with consumer risk management.
- Insurance agents can look at unique situations and come up with the appropriate coverage options.
- Agents help with customer service and claims.
- Agents are able to identify trends and upcoming rate increases.
- Agents offer a range of products so as consumer needs change their insurance can change with them.
If you are an independent agent, you can probably name a dozen other ways you help your customers that an online quote system cannot. You know the value that you offer to your clients. Never let an insurance company or an uninformed consumer tell you otherwise.
With the changing world of insurance, agents need to look at expanding the products and services they offer to their client base. Branching out to offer more products means that you will attract new clients while further enhancing your current customer service. Look for a field marketing organization that offers the best deal for you, as an agent, and for your clients.
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