As you embark on the road to financial freedom and security, there is one word that may make you cringe a little: insurance. Many feel that the money spent on insurance premiums is wasted and they may skimp on their policies or even forgo them altogether. Unfortunately, it only takes one major accident or disaster to knock you several notches back on your savings plans if you are not properly protected, so insurance is a necessary investment.
So what can you do to ensure that you have the coverage you need while still making sound financial decisions and saving money? The answer is simple. You can work with an independent agent. These agents can do more for you than their “captive” counterparts who are beholden to one particular insurance company.
Let’s Talk About Comparison Shopping
It is no secret that if you want to be sure you are getting a good rate on your insurance coverage, comparison shopping is necessary. However, it can be a time-consuming and frustrating process when you go it alone. Whether you are calling individual companies for rates or requesting them online, you will be required to give each company a lot of personal information including your name, address, phone number, social security number and lots of information about your car, home or whatever else you may be trying to insure.
In each case, you may have to wait to receive your quote and will frequently have to accept a callback from an insurance agent who may make repeated follow-up calls in an attempt to get your business. Even once you have a number of quotes in front of you, you must question whether the least expensive policy actually provides sufficient coverage and this requires you to look closely at the fine print including policy exclusions.
Who has time for all that?
This is where an independent agent can really help. You need only provide your agent with your personal information once and together you can discuss your individual coverage needs. Your agent will then do the comparison shopping legwork for you and provide you with a variety of policies and quotes that you can compare together. Comparison shopping this way saves you more than just time; it can also save you lots of money by ensuring that you are getting a great policy at a competitive rate.
How to Avoid Buying Coverage You Don’t Really Need
When it comes to insurance coverage, you are likely to have a lot of questions.
- If you own a vehicle, you are required to carry car insurance, but do you really need more coverage than the state minimum requirements? Are collision and comprehensive coverage a good idea? How high should your deductible be?
- If you have a mortgage on your house, you will need to carry homeowners insurance, but what about policy riders and optional coverage? Are they a good idea? How much coverage is sufficient to protect your property? Does your policy offer enough liability coverage?
- Life insurance is less expensive when you are young and healthy, but is it really a good idea for you? Should you invest in whole or term life insurance? How much insurance is enough to protect those you leave behind?
The fact is the answers to these and other insurance-related questions will vary according to the individual who is asking them. In many cases, people need the advice of a knowledgeable professional to help them make the right insurance decisions.
When you work with a captive agent, that agent works for a specific insurance company. Their job is to sell you as much insurance as possible. They may provide good advice, but given their limited options, the coverage they offer you may be overpriced or unnecessary.
Independent agents, on the other hand, work directly for you. Because your agent will be helping you build a policy that is designed specifically to meet your unique needs, you can be certain that you are not paying for unneeded coverage.
Filing Insurance Claims Can Be Tricky
Your insurance policy is in place to help you financially in the wake of a disaster or accident, but filing a claim can be complicated. When you have all of your insurance policies in one place and administrated by one agent, things can be much easier. Your agent can advise you about the proper steps to take to document your losses and can help you file your claim. When you have a knowledgeable agent advocating for you, you are more likely to receive the full amount for which you are entitled, which is another way an independent agent can save you some real cash.
Learn How a Trusted Choice Agent Can Help
The easiest way to find an independent agent near you is through the Trusted Choice network, which connects you to offices in thousands of locations throughout the United States. Because you will be working with a local agent, you can rest assured that your agent understands the risks and coverage needs specific to your area. Every agent in the Trusted Choice network has taken a Pledge of Performance in which they vow to provide their clients with honest and ethical advice and the utmost in customer service, so you'll know you're in good hands.
Find an agent near you today to discuss your particular coverage needs. You have invested a lot in your financial future; now make sure it is properly protected with the right insurance policy at the right price.