There’s an old adage about a cobbler’s child having no shoes. The idea is the cobbler is so busy working on other people’s shoes their own family goes without. I think the opposite is true in the insurance world.
Insurance agents see the worst of the worst and are cautious.
I believe in my craft and have seen the importance of good coverage. But hey, no one wants to pay too much for auto insurance – right? Just like my customers, I want good coverage but I want the best price. The truth is, I choose to pay a little more than I have to for coverage with a company I love. And here’s why…
The claims experience.
Case in point, my car was hit in my work parking lot just a few weeks ago. I was leaving the office after a long day of catching up only to find my car with a giant scrape on my bumper. To add insult to injury, there was no note left on my windshield.
I just returned from vacation and a claim was the last thing I wanted to deal with. I called my insurance company (as a customer, not the agent) to report the claim and spoke to a claims representative. Prior to the call, I prepared myself for a million questions, scripted responses, and a 20 minute arduous phone call.
To my surprise, the call took less than two minutes. There was no script, there were no unnecessary or inapplicable questions.
It was easy.
The claims rep was personable and efficient – she even made me laugh (she agreed that I deserved a glass of wine), and explained that I would hear from a claims adjuster in a day or two.
I got a call from the adjuster the next morning, before lunch. I, once again, prepared myself for a long and tedious call. Being an agent, I understand that insurance policies are contracts and there are plenty of t’s to cross and i’s to dot. I explained to the adjuster I received an estimate the night before. After a few quick questions and to clarify I wanted to use the shop for repairs that I had recieved my estimate from (yes, I did – they’re a fantastic shop and I refer plenty of customers to them), she issued a check to the shop directly.
That call probably took quite a bit longer, right? No sir, 4 freaking minutes. She answered my questions, scheduled my rental car, and issued the shop a check.
IN FOUR MINUTES, PEOPLE.
Is this company the least expensive option I have? They’re not. Have you ever seen a commercial on TV for them? Probably not. Do they have some cheesy mascot? THANK GOD, NO.
The benefit of being an independent agent is I can see several companies rates and I know what the claims experience is like. I actually pay about $25 more a month to be insured with this company. This experience reminded me why. Because they are the best.
I was taken care of. No scripts, no hoops to jump through, no apathetic overworked claims adjuster. That $25 a month is worth every penny.
Yes, my claim experience was an awesome one (insert happy dance here). What happens if yours isn’t? What can you do?
Call your independent insurance agent. Tell them what’s happening. This is their time to shine!
Put your concerns in writing. Send an email or letter to your adjuster and agent expressing your dissatisfaction.
Ask to speak to a supervisor, or to have your claim settlement re-evaluated.
Oh – and if your curious to know which company I’ve fawned over? Mutual of Enumclaw. They focus on thoughtful coverage. They use common sense. They’re real people and they understand that being there when it counts is what is most important. They partner with me as an agency owner, but more importantly – they partner with me as a customer.