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» Independent Agent vs. Direct Writers: Personal Lines

November 25, 2019

Customer Service, Insurance

It’s fair to say that insurance has a bit of a bad reputation. Whether it’s related to poor service, limited coverage options or rising costs, it’s not surprising that many believe finding the best protection at the best price is a lost cause.

Fortunately there’s a resource that makes the overall insurance experience not only less stressful, but also reassuring, according to our Vice President of Personal Insurance, Morris Aitken.

“An independent agent truly works for the customer,” explains Aitken. “While a direct writer can suggest changes to your coverage to reduce rates within their platform, they don’t have the ability to quote other markets. As an independent agent, Presidio has the access and reach to focus on finding and providing comprehensive personalized solutions that address complex needs.”

Here are some of the top benefits of working with an independent insurance agent:

Benefit #1: Loyal Customer Service
If you have questions about your coverage, or need to report a claim, an independent agent ensures an actual person will answer your call—not an automated recording.

“We have a dedicated claims specialist in the office to help decide the best way to proceed with a claim,” Aitken states. “When calling a direct writer, the minute a claim is mentioned they typically open a claim pretty quickly. Unfortunately, this can negatively impact you by preventing the ability to shop the best rates. Our specialist makes sure your claim is handled appropriately with your specific interests in mind.”

Benefit #2: Personal Shopper Personified
Just like working with a personal shopper, an independent agent can review many different insurance companies’ rates and coverage options to help secure the best policies for your needs. This personalized approach is especially beneficial during a policy’s renewal period, explains Aitken.

“In most cases, during a renewal there is going to be an increase because the insurance premium is going up,” he says. “With a direct writer, they only have the ability to adjust the existing policy to lower a premium or give you an explanation as to why the rate went up. If the customer isn’t happy with the policy change or explanation, they’re the ones picking up the phone and calling other companies to get proposals.

“As an independent, we see renewals approximately 60 days prior to the release date. Because of this, we have the ability to proactively reach out to the customer and provide options to remarket you with 10 different carriers,” Aitken states. “Because every carrier is different, and each has different terminology or insures things differently, we’re the customer’s advocate in explaining the benefits of each for the best coverage.”

Benefit #3: Limitless Options
Whether it’s your family or business, an independent agent knows you deserve more than a “one-size-fits-all” insurance solution. As an Acrisure Agency Partner, Presidio is positioned to provide unlimited solutions for life’s constant changes. Being a part of one of the top 10 largest insurance brokers in the world gives Presidio access to hands-on, best-in-class service, specialized products and exclusive proprietary solutions from a global network.

Alternatively, a direct writer provides access to only one company—a fact that can be detrimental, particularly when faced with being non-renewed, according to Aitken.

“With weather patterns changing claims situations are becoming more and more common, and a lot of people are being non-renewed. As a result, many are taking rate increases from a direct writer because they have no option or face being non-renewed,” he states. “As an independent, it’s very rare we can’t find coverage someone needs.”

Benefit #4: Savings!
While independent agents are known for service, they also provide the best pricing by focusing on the fact that no one wants to pay more for insurance than they have to.

“A perfect example of how we save on the bottom line is through our management of multiple policies,” says Aitken. “There are times when we’ll see a drop in the auto premium, but an increase in home products. We have the ability to pick up your policies and move them to another carrier and mitigate any potential increases—an advantage I think most people would like from their insurance provider.”

Posted by in Customer Service, Insurance