As our society becomes more technology focused, the majority of goods and services are obtained through the internet. No longer do consumers look in the yellow pages or newspaper to find a local insurance agent; they are going online to find an agency's website or even going directly to insurance carriers to get a quote from their online platform. If they choose, consumers can purchase insurance online without ever talking to anyone, which begs the question: are insurance agents still necessary?
While online insurance purchases are convenient for some consumers, it's not ideal for the majority of consumers who want more value from the insurance company they pay their premiums to. Having an independent agent provides significant value to consumers that can't be ignored.
Some of the primary points to consider about the importance of agents:
Agents can help customers choose insurance policies that fit their needs.
Agents can learn more about the life and needs of their customers and tailor policies to cover those needs. Agents understand that every person and every situation is different, therefore a "one size fits all" option won't work.
Agents are much more aware of insurance products and services than customers.
This is an agent's only focus, whereas customers have other jobs and lives that don't allow them to stay up to date on happenings in the industry.
Agents can advocate for customers when issues arise with their claims or coverage.
Unfortunately, some claims create confusion or upset when they aren't handled to the expectation of the customer. An agent can be the go between the carrier and the customer and advocate for a resolution.
Agents can offer customers expertise they don't have.
Just as a customer would take their car to a mechanic to get repaired, they come to agents to receive guidance on their insurance coverage. Most customers know their knowledge is limited, and they depend on an insurance agent to provide them with the information they don't know or understand.
The value an agent provides far outweighs the convenience that some online insurance carriers provide. Think of how many times we get frustrated being transferred to a call center and talking to different people each time we have a question about a product or service. Customers still crave the human interaction and place an importance on knowing there is one person they can rely on when they have insurance related needs.
We are confident that Insurance Agents are here to stay even as our technology evolves.