I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, everyone has, you can’t miss them. Insurance companies claiming they can save you 15% or more on your car insurance, claiming to offer coverage that no other companies offer, claiming that your agent is only out to rip you off, persuading you to believe only their company will give you quick claim service. Most of these claims are a bunch of lip service.
Being a licensed agent and working at an independent insurance agency, I cringe when I see these commercials. Not because I’m concerned I’m going to lose clients to them (quite the opposite actually) but because they are so riddled with false information. You may ask, how can they get away with this? Well, the answer is simple, most people just don’t know enough about insurance to know they are being fooled. Please allow me to enlighten you.
The first topic I’ll discuss, and by far my favorite, is when the “Big Box” insurance companies make it sound like they have coverages to offer that the other insurance companies don’t. Very rarely is this the case, with any company. They do this to lure you in, to make themselves sound more appealing than your current insurance company, when the truth is; you most likely already have that coverage. One company brags about offering a homeowner’s policy that will replace stolen items with new ones in such a way where they give the impression that it is something special that only their company offers. False. This is called replacement cost coverage, every company offers it, and if you have a homeowners or renter’s policy, you should have it. If you don’t have it, find a new agent or insurance company because you’re not being insured properly.
Similarly, these companies will also advertise things like “accident forgiveness”. I’m sure you’ve heard about this from at least one company, probably more. They will also talk about things like “new or newer car replacement”. Again, these are things that most companies offer. What they don’t tell you in these commercials is that all of these things cost extra money. These are ‘extras’ that you can add onto your policy for an additional fee, not just something they give you for free just by being a customer. I honestly can’t think of a single client of mine that has opted to purchase these ‘extras’ simply because they just don’t’ want to pay the extra money for them.
Lastly, and this is what angers me the most, especially because I am an independent agent, is when the “Big Box” insurance companies make independent agents out to be the bad guys. Independent agents work for you, the consumer. We work to find you the best rate possible without sacrificing important coverage. We are here to give you advice. We want you to call us; to ask about your bill, to ask about coverage, to get advice about filing a claim. Having an app on your phone where you can file a claim online is not a good thing. Sometimes filing a claim isn’t always the best choice. One of the best things about having an agent is the ability to be able to call us and ask us if filing a claim is the right thing to do. We are here to help.
Don’t be fooled by the advertising you see, things aren’t always as they seem.
Have a safe weekend!
Meredith Gorden – CISR, Senior Client Service Manager