Shopping for Auto Insurance – Your neighborhood insurance agent

Do you want an agent who is “Like A Good Neighbor?” May you would rather feel like “You’re In Good Hands” when dealing with your agent? MAYBE you just want someone who is “On Your Side?”

Well, chances are, al of these slogans bring one thing to mind: Your neighborhood insurance agent.

Ok, I may be a bit biased when speaking of neighborhood agents because that is where I have spent my career, but for me, personal service is key in dealing with insurance and financial services. The knowledge that you have someone you can speak with who knows you, your family, your personal situations, that has taken care of your insurance needs for years, is, well, comforting. Not all agents are as good as the commercials make you believe, but if you look around, ask for referrals, you can usually find someone who puts personal service at the top of their list of priorities. Some local agents are independent, meaning they can sell insurance from a variety of companies,  much like a broker, and some are captive, meaning they must sell insurance from only their parent company. State Farm is an example of a captive agent model. While price IS a concern when looking for insurance, keep this in mind:

Prices vary, and will always vary. What I mean is, company a may offer you the lowest price, for now. In 3 years though, their price may go up, and company b, who you switched FROM, may be lower than company a. If you spend all your time switching when rates are low, you have established yourself as a price shopper, and not a valued relationship to the company. As you have probably gotten from my repeated advisements, I recommend you stay in one place. Find a home you love and stick there! Get to know your agent, the staff, the different products they offer.

Most companies now offer such an array of products that you can get all of your insurance and financial needs taken care of at the same place where you have your car insurance. An agent who is really into personal service will often offer yearly insurance reviews. These are great opportunities for you to review your policies, see if any changes are needed, or see if additional policies are needed. Have a new child? Maybe you need life insurance. Your daughter is turning 16? You need to add her to one of your auto policies. You get the picture. Your neighborhood agent, in my opinion, offers the best combination of price and overall service for your insurance dollar.

The Good: Personal relationships, an agent and staff that can really get to know YOU, one stop shopping for insurance and financial needs

The Bad: You are limited to the products and prices offered by that particular agency or company.

Photo credit/Flickr/LoopZilla

Photo credit/Flickr/bucklava

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2009 at 3:53 pm and is filed under article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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