How do you know that you have the best insurance for your money? Are you overpaying for substandard insurance? Do your policies actually cover all of your risks? Here are a few tips from Independent Agency owner Brad Jones that you can use to review your current policies and determine if you need a new quote!
In the age of instant Googling, it’s easy for us to compare prices so we can save ourselves money. We can open our phone in the grocery store to see if we’re getting the best price on cereal, or see that the same shirt is cheaper online than it is at Walmart, or find out that our cable bill could be $40 cheaper if we just switch provider. With that in mind, did you know that nearly 40% of us have never taken the time to receive a comparison quote? Insurance carriers realize this, and nobody relies on this statistic more than captive insurance agents.
Are you constantly checking your policies?
A January 2017 survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and commissioned by InsuranceQuotes revealed some startling statistics. According to an article—Survey: 39% of U.S. Drivers Have Never Shopped Around for Cheaper Auto Insurance—published on InsuranceQuotes.com:
- “Thirty-nine percent of U.S. policyholders have never shopped their auto insurance for a better rate. In addition, only 52% are aware that they can shop and change insurers at any time and don’t have to wait for their next renewal date. […]
The study also found:
- “Generation X (ages 37 to 52) is the demographic least likely to shop for car insurance, with 44 percent saying they’ve never checked to see if a different company might offer a cheaper policy than the one they have now.
- “Millennials (ages 18 to 26) are the age group most likely to shop for a new policy on a regular basis, with 32 percent saying they shop around about once a year for a better rate.
- “Millennials are also largely unaware that they can shop for a new policy at any time, with 56% mistakenly believing that they have to wait until their current policy is up for renewal.”
Can your current provider give you options?
Insurance companies invest a massive amount of time and money training their agents to retain their clients so that they, the company, can increase their profits. It’s not client-focused service, it’s a profit-centered business. As the founder of Trophy Insurance Solutions, an independent agency in Mineral Wells, I understand this first-hand. I owned and operated a captive agency in Mineral Wells, and I and my team did not appreciate having to explain 30 percent or more increases in rate to our clients, especially knowing our clients could get better rates somewhere else.
I consider myself to be in the business of helping people, which is what good insurance should do for you. At a captive agency, my staff and I always felt like we were handcuffed and had no options to really assist the wonderful people and businesses who placed their trust in our agency. Now that we’re at our own independent agency, the team at Trophy Insurance Solutions can provide better education, more options, and more coverage from top carriers.
I’ve always said that when insurance companies compete for your business, we all win. As the client, you should always have multiple offers and options so that you can pick what is best for you. Now that we can offer more carriers, we can ensure that our client’s best interests are our primary focus, instead of also having to consider our parent company’s profits. Every one of our insurance offerings can be negotiated through many different carriers. If our client’s prices go up, we can work with them to switch to another company that is more competitive.
How can you get better rates?
We all understand the value of a dollar, the effort exhausted to earn it, and how hard it is to keep it — so why do nearly 40 percent of consumers never take a few minutes to ensure they are not being taken advantage of paying inflated premiums? Here are just of few reasons I have taken note of over the years.
- The consumer believes, or their agent has told them, their rates are fair. However, if you are working with a captive agent, you need to understand that they are handcuffed by only offering their company’s policies. If there are better prices, they cannot offer them to you.
- The consumer meets with the agent to discuss the increase. The agent lowers coverage or raises deductibles, which lowers the price, but decreases the value of your insurance. Do you truly have a strong insurance policy, or just an overpriced piece of paper?
- The assumption that receiving a comparison quote is time consuming or would be too much of a headache. Think of it this way, how much do you make per day or per hour? Trophy Insurance Solutions only needs approximately 10-15 minutes of your time to provide you with options. We have saved businesses over $30,000 per year on their insurance premiums and have saved families over $3,000 per year on their policies. In all cases increasing coverage and filling gaps that may have resulted in financial hardship. How much could you earn spending 10-15 minutes to receive an updated proposal?
- The consumer is related to, a friend of, or close to their insurance agent. Here is a unique way of addressing this issue with your agent after you receive a comparison quote from Trophy Insurance Solutions. Let’s say hypothetically you would save $1,100 per year with increased coverage if you were to switch. Take the quote to your agent, review the coverage, savings, and carrier financial strength. Your agent, trained in the art of client retention, will more than likely paint a doom and gloom picture for you if you were to switch. Simply explain to your agent that you do appreciate their relationship. Do you think your agent would dish out $1,100 from his or her own pocket to you for the sake of relationship each year? Of course, your agent cannot do this due to department of insurance regulations. But this allows us to take logic into consideration.
- The current carrier has paid claims and the consumer is comfortable with the carrier and agent. Insurance policies are contracts. Carriers would not be able to stay in business if they were in the business of not paying the claims for coverage outlined in the contract. However, there are a few points to consider before purchasing from a new carrier. Is the carrier admitted or non-admitted? What is the financial strength of the carrier? Do they offer the coverage package that fits your need? If the answer to question one is yes, the answer to question two is “A” (or better!), and the answer to question three is yes, you will be in good shape as long as your agent has provided you sound insurance advice and education.
Are you truly protected?
There is one last benefit I would like to point out about looking at your insurance needs. I have quoted thousands of policies over the years, and it is astonishing how many prospective clients are underinsured. I would estimate of all the people I have quoted 80% were not covered as well as they thought. I often see individuals with a net worth over $1,000,000 driving around with minimal liability limits. Having another professional provide you a second opinion regarding your coverage needs is a great idea. If nothing else, you can take the advice to your current agent and have your coverage adjusted.
Take action about your insurance!
In summary, it is a smart idea to take the time to receive an updated insurance proposal. You may find you are paying a fair rate for the coverage you have. Then again, you may find you have thrown thousands of hard-earned dollars out the window.
There is one last benefit I would like to point out regarding taking another look at your insurance needs. You may find that you have been very lucky the unexpected has not happened though you lacked the coverage to protect your assets. Simply taking a few minutes to be certain you are properly insured can benefit you in many ways. If you are interested in learning more about your insurance needs, Trophy Insurance Solutions in Mineral Wells, TX would love the opportunity to provide you the education needed to make smart insurance decisions. With dozens of carrier options, we are able to tailor a policy to fit your individual needs. Contact us today to see how we can help provide you the insurance that you deserve.
Trophy Insurance Solutions is an independent agency serving businesses and families across Texas and Oklahoma. We provide our clients the education needed to make smart insurance decisions while providing an unmatched customer experience.