Have you read the recent story about the mom that used her Domino’s app to order pizza, however she didn’t click the right buttons and ended up with just pizza crust and pepperoni? You think you’re doing it correctly but when that pizza shows up without sauce and cheese, you realize what you are missing! It’s kind of like insurance, it seems like it would be easy to do yourself until you find out that you are missing certain coverage.
I had a friend whose daughter was involved in an accident in one of his cars. Unfortunately, it was her fault and the vehicle was going to be totaled out. He then tells me how he’s not happy with his insurance company and how they are handling the claim. Here is how this fun conversation went –
Him – “They are not paying for a rental car.”
Me – “Did you have rental car coverage?” (also known as Loss of Use)
Him – “I should. I had it on the other car before it and I have it on this truck.”
Me – “Well, you need to contact your agent and ask them WHY they did not add it on if you were replacing with the same coverage.”
Him – “I went online and made the change myself.”
Me – “Oh! You’re one of those people. You realize it is your own fault, right?”
Him – …. *sideways glare and nothing else was said*
Is Online Insurance Purchasing a good idea?
In this current “do it yourself” world, we can buy just about anything online. We research our endless options and read countless reviews. Yet, when it comes to protecting our family, we should be turning to an expert, instead of the cheapest quote online. Unfortunately, we have seen too many instances where insured’s have had important coverage decreased or even removed, just to save money.
Here are a couple of examples on how purchasing online Homeowners and Auto Insurance backfired for people –
A homeowner called today for a quote on her home in Valparaiso. I asked my standard questions, such as “Who are you currently insured with?” “When does your policy renew?” but I also asked one to get a feel for the situation (if it’s not a new purchase), “Why are you shopping?” I heard the all too often story of how she purchased her policy from an online sales offer. She called in, gave them all of her information, they billed her mortgage company, an inspection was done and then they canceled her policy for the age of her water heater and galvanized pipes. Obviously, she was very upset because they hadn’t asked her these questions up front and now she was scrambling to get a new policy. Had she called us at Niceville Insurance Agency, instead of using an online offer, we could have prevented this stressful time since we are familiar with the neighborhood.
A client switched to an online company that would save him $20 a month on his auto insurance in Fort Walton Beach. I told him about the horror stories I had heard about this particular company and he assured me that he knew what he was doing. Two weeks later, he came in asking for my help since he didn’t have an agent to talk to. Why? His brother drove his car to Destin and got into an accident. With most companies, since his brother did not live with him and hardly ever drove his car, there would be coverage. However, this specific company only gives coverage to the drivers that are listed on the policy, which was just the insured. Wondering what happened? The auto claim was denied, the insured and his brother had to pay out of pocket for the damage to the other car and he was unable to have insurance cover partial damage to his car.
When someone decides to purchase car, home or other types of insurance online, they become:
Shopper – they must be able to quote, compare and select insurance coverage.
Insurance Advisor – they must be able to recognize different types of coverage and options for possible risks they may face.
Company Liaison – they must fight for their own best interests when problems arise and understand the wording.
Shopper – Although “15 minutes” might save you a few dollars each month, you might just lose coverage, if you haven’t read the fine print. Did you verify that your credit report and motor vehicle report were already calculated into that premium? Have you read through the policy documents to verify who is considered a driver? Some companies do not run your MVR until after you have purchased the policy resulting in additional substantial premium.
Insurance Advisor – When you purchase a policy online and need to make a change, what do you do? You can go online and hope you are doing it right. If you call directly to the company’s 800 number, you are speaking to an unlicensed representative that has no clue who you are and it is a better than average chance that they will probably never speak to you again. You tell them what to add and with just a few key strokes, they are giving you what you asked for, not what you need. Whereas, we realize that purchasing sufficient coverage is the most important goal and will review your policy to advise you of any additional coverage options you may be interested in or possible discounts.
Company Liaison – Have ever received a letter from your insurance company regarding some form of “underwriting guideline”, and felt a bit lost? When you have an online policy, you have to call the company yourself. It is your time that you are spending trying to understand their wording and working through all the steps. As an agency, we do this for you and work to get the issue resolved by working with our underwriters that we are on a first name basis with. We have gone “to bat” for clients with certain situations that may need exceptions.
Why it’s better to go with an Independent Agent
Here at Niceville Insurance Agency, we are an Independent agency with numerous companies to give you the best options available for your Personal and Business insurance needs. We build relationships with our clients. We help you through the process of buying a new home, trading in a vehicle, purchasing a fishing boat or the new motorcycle you’ve always dreamt of. We guide our clients by advising about particular coverage limits and how they affect your family. In all honesty, we find our job extremely interesting and enjoy sharing the information we know.
When shopping for homeowner or auto insurance in your local area, take notice of the agencies that you see involved in your community. These agents more than likely work in the same town – they know the location and understand the lifestyle. Not only that, here at Niceville Insurance Agency, if you went to Niceville High School, chances are that you know someone in this agency; the majority of our employees are alumni. Out of our 13 employees, 11 have been with the agency for over 10 years. When we write you a policy, we are making sure that you have the coverage you need so if a claim does happen, we can look you in the eye. This is just one of many reasons to talk to us about your insurance needs.
About Niceville Insurance
Niceville Insurance Agency has been proudly serving our local communities since 1995. Our specialty has been delivering insurance solutions for individuals, families, and businesses throughout Northwest Florida. Contact us for a no hassle insurance quote today!