What is the first thing you think about when you need insurance for your business? As an insurance professional, one of the first considerations is deciding whether to go it alone with a “direct writer” or to work with an “independent agent” to secure coverage. This blog article will include the many benefits of working with an independent insurance agent.
What is a direct writer? A direct writer issues policies for only one company. They work for only one company and represent only that company. Examples you may be familiar with include State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive.
With a direct writer you have only one company to choose from, with no other options.
Lack of claim advocacy. A direct writer works for the insurance company and will remain loyal to them at the time of claim without anyone fighting for you in your corner.
You are held to their rate increases each year without being able to compare pricing from other carriers, or be left to shop out your insurance on your own, and who has time for that, especially while running a business?
Difference in Coverage.
Not all carriers are the same when it comes to covering your claims, or providing the same coverage protection. With a direct writer, you are stuck with what their policy covers without really knowing that there may be better carriers in the market that would provide you with better coverage specific to your needs.
Inability to offer all necessary coverages to properly insure your business. Most direct writers can only offer the basics such as General Liability, Property, and sometimes Commercial Auto, but as an example may not offer Workers Compensation, Employment Practices Liability, or other Professional Liability.
An independent agent doesn’t work for any single insurance company. He or she represents multiple companies from which he/she will shop for you, so you can focus on running your business. With more available choices, an independent insurance agent is more likely to find the perfect fit for your specific needs. If you experience problems with one company, your independent agent can easily find another one for you. Your Independent agent will go to bat for you if you need to make a claim as well.
Benefits of independent Agents
Options!! The independent agent offers you multiple plans from multiple companies. Because he or she can work with different companies, your independent agent can secure multiple pricing and coverage options each and every year without you having to take the time to independently shop your own insurance. If you have a rate increase, your agent can negotiate with the carrier to either reduce their rates, or provide you with multiple options with another carrier.
Claims Advocacy!! With an independent agent, you get personalized claims service because you deal with people you already know, not strangers. He or she will work with you and the carrier in the event of a claim, and will be on your side fighting for you!
Experience in working with multiple carriers and understanding which ones will provide you with the best coverage specific to your business needs. Not all policies are created equal, and an experienced agent will be able to point out the differences in coverage to help you make the decision best for you.
An Independent agent is a great resource in not only helping to properly assess all of your coverage needs that are specific to your business, but also can procure quotes for all types of coverage from one or more carriers. Rather than having to go through multiple direct writers to secure proper coverage, your agent is a one-stop shop!
You can develop a valuable relationship with your independent insurance agent and knowing your needs and unique circumstances is important in the insurance relationship. You are a person instead of a number.
Which One Is Right for Your Needs?
If you only need or want one insurance pricing or coverage option, then a direct writer may be sufficient. Have your insurance needs changed much in the past few years? Do you expect any changes in the future? If you want to preserve the option to change plans, or companies easily, an independent insurance agent is your best option.
Since independent agents offer more choices and potential savings, a business owner or manager doesn’t have to spend hours gathering quotes from multiple direct writers. This can all be accomplished with one phone call to an independent agent. If you need help identifying your insurance needs and prefer to have more options to choose from, then working with an independent agent, like Business Insurance Solutions, is going to be your best choice.