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DANGERS OF BUYING INSURANCE ONLINE

In the modern era, many people are finding themselves shopping online just as much or more than the more traditional approach of going into a store, touching and feeling the item then purchasing it. As busy individuals and families find themselves with less and less time to do shopping the traditional way, the Amazon’s and online retailers of the world fill a much needed void in our lives. I for one, love coming home to the smiling face of the Amazon logo on my front porch. There are some things that just don’t make sense to buy online though-even though they are offered. Insurance, is one of them. Here are three reasons why you should avoid buying insurance on-line or from a 1-800 number.

  1. WHEN YOU BUY ON-LINE, YOU’RE TAKING ALL THE RISK

When you buy from a .com or a 1-800 number, you’re taking on all the risk. Essentially, you are assuming the liability for any coverages you didn’t understand or thought you had that you didn’t actually have. The liability for ensuring you have enough coverage to protect your assets (home, cars, 401K, future earnings, etc.) from attorneys. When you buy online, the financial future of your family is in your hands. Come claim time, how confident will you be that you actually added all the correct coverages and have adequately covered your assets for the damages you may cause and the medical expenses you may be responsible for? Did you buy enough coverage to replace your income while you cant work due to your injury? Do you have enough coverage to have the best of the best attorneys defend you in a long drawn out legal battle?

  1. WHEN YOU BUY ON-LINE YOU ARE SOLD ON PRICE AND NOT ON YOUR NEED

Many online companies drive customers to their website or their 1-800 number by advertising price. While price is important and should be a BIG FACTOR, most people would agree that insurance should first and foremost be protection. Adequate protection, the kind that a quality independent insurance agent can offer, is based on building a relationship-getting to know you and therefore what is being protected and what protections are needed. Really difficult to do by calling a 1-800 number. An independent insurance agent worth their salt will ask probing questions to determine what risks you have and what exactly is being protected (your family and assets) and present a plan that meets those needs and your budget as well.

  1. WHEN YOU BUY ON-LINE YOU’RE NOT LEVERAGING YOUR TIME OR RESOURCES

When you contact a local insurance agent you are employing their knowledge and expertise for almost free. Insurance agents are normally paid a small commission for guiding you through the process of purchasing adequate protection for you and your family. Insurance companies you purchase from price the agents commission into their total price and most (especially if you call an independent insurance agent) remain very competitive in the market. Meaning, you get to leverage the knowledge, expertise (and million(s) in Errors and omissions insurance in the event they make a mistake) for virtually no additional money. Simply said, when you work with a local insurance agent you get all they offer for no more money then you would pay from a 1-800 number or a web based company.

Solution: WORK WITH A LOCAL INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENT

When you work with a local independent insurance agent you gain a professional who understands risk, who will advise you on your options and who cares about you and your family. You also gain an advocate so when and if claims ever come your way they work on your behalf to ensure you get every dollar the insurance company owes you.

Want a good referral to a competent independent insurance agent who can help you accomplish all this? Ask three friends who they use, then do a quick google search and read the reviews. This will give you some indication who in your local market might be a good choice.

If this article was helpful and you would like to discuss your personal or business insurance needs, please give us a call or shoot us an e-mail. (806) 762-0544 or info@grimesinsurance.com

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HOW TO GET CHEAP CAR INSURANCE

Even if you’re driving the latest and greatest in luxury, you still want the necessary and essential coverage without overpaying, right? No one wants to overpay and everyone wants a great deal. Not only will I show you have a get a great deal on your insurance, I’ll show you have to ensure you’re getting the cheapest insurance possible on your ride.

  1. DEDUCTIBLES, DEDUCTIBLES, DEDUCTIBLES

The higher the deductible you choose the cheaper your insurance will be. Deductibles are usually $250.00, $500.00, $1,000.00 and sometimes higher. By opting for a higher deductible you are telling the insurance company “if I am at fault in an accident, I am willing to take on a little more of the cost of repairs in exchange for a lower premium”. You should look at your own accident or claim history and your bank account. If you have or could come up with $1,000 come claim time, and you don’t have a claim but every few years or more, consider asking your agent to run a quote at each deductible level and see how the savings stack up.

  1. DISCOUNTS, DISCOUNTS, DISCOUNTS

Every company I work with (over 40 auto insurance companies) offers dump truck loads of discounts. Discounts like telematics discounts (a discount for sticking a device in your car that tracks your mileage and in some cases your driving behaviors), good driving discounts, claim free discounts, good student (for young drivers that maintain an A/B GPA), Drivers Ed discounts (for your drivers that take a drivers ed class instead of being parent taught), pay in full discounts, paperless discounts, etc. Be sure to ask your agent if you have qualified for all the discounts possible and then follow-up with “how can I earn more discounts in the future).

  1. BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU REALLY NEED

In a household that has two drivers and three cars, do you really need to have rental car coverage? If one car goes out of commission would you really need to have a rental car. Having that rental car coverage on all three cars is going to cost you about $150.00, which you may not need to spend. How about roadside assistance? What does this coverage really cover- many insurance companies outsource this service and frankly they struggle keeping service levels high. After asking your agent some questions, it might make sense to call for a flat tire repair yourself from a quick google search then to wait for your company to dispatch a local repair show to deliver you some fuel. Being thoughtful isn’t always about skimping. Be thoughtful about the coverages you need in terms of liability and un-insured motorist. Bumping these coverages up by even double have little impact on your overall premium. Be thoughtful, not cheap.

  1. USE AN INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENT

By shopping and using a local independent insurance agent instead of captive agent you likely will get a much better deal on your insurance rates. A captive agent (State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, etc.) can only tell you what their respective company rates are and they will move mountains to convince you that their product is the best on the planet. However, calling a local independent insurance agent can open the windows of the insurance word to you. They will be able to tell you what the rates and coverages are for multiple companies, large companies like Nationwide, Safeco, Travelers and even smaller companies that you may of not heard of. If you really want to see if you are getting the cheapest insurance possible, you should be working with an independent insurance agent.

When you are shopping for car insurance, be sure to consider taking advantage of higher deductibles, leveraging all the potential discounts, and be thoughtful about the “other coverages” these things coupled with working with a capable  local Independent Insurance Agent will help you get the best deal possible on your insurance rates.

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to visit with us about getting the best deal possible on your insurance rates call our office at (806) 762-0544 or email us at info@grimesinsurance.com