Are Insurance Agents Becoming the Dinosaurs of the Insurance Industry?

Thursday October 4, 2012

By Janet Hunt


Photo courtesy of Spiridon Ion Depleanu

In today's fast paced world, not everyone has the time to sit down with an insurance agent one-on-one and talk about insurance coverage. With the increasing tendency for shoppers to buy products and services online, you may wonder, "Do I Need an Insurance Agent?"

The answer to this is both a yes and a no. Before you start to think I am crazy, let me explain. No, you don't necessarily need an insurance agent to shop and compare rates online. Sites such as NetQuote make it easy to compare rates from different insurance companies online. There are also many online insurance websites where you can bind coverage and even make a payment online.

Does this leave insurance agents out in the cold? No, not really. While you may not need an agent to shop for or purchase an insurance policy, you are missing out on the personal touch an agent can provide. There is no substitute for that hometown agent who is going to go that extra mile for you to make sure you are taken care of during an emergency. He knows your name and his children play soccer with your children.

Another thing to consider is that while online insurance sites are convenient, they are not great at giving advice. For instance, the computer screen is not going to come to life and tell you to make sure you get all the discounts you may qualify for such as multiple line policy discounts, good driver discounts or other incentives such as accident forgiveness. You can also not expect a computer screen to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you.

So, while you may not necessarily need an insurance agent, they sure are nice to have around. There will always be customers who want that personal touch to their insurance products. For that reason, I believe that those dinosaurs we call insurance agents will be around for a very long time!


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