It’s no secret how I feel about insurance. It seems like everyone has their hands out when it comes to getting a little piece of the action. From auto insurance to health insurance, homeowners insurance, business liability insurance, life insurance, death insurance. I mean, is there anything that we do or own that doesn’t require some sort of insurance?
Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been several occasions that having insurance has saved my butt from a particularly expensive endeavor. I’ve been in a couple of fender benders; some were my fault while others weren’t. I’ve had a car stolen from me and I’ve loaned a vehicle to someone who subsequently totaled it. My daughter’s dirt bike was totaled along with half of my roof when a really big tree fell on them AND I am an extremely accident prone person who could not handle my medical bills without my somewhat decent health insurance. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like paying for it.
I usually have a few money saving tips or tricks for buying a whole host of things, but when it comes to buying insurance, I have only one. Get an insurance agent.
How A Good Insurance Agent Helps Cut Insurance Costs
What I’m sharing is based on my own experience, so your mileage may vary. But one of the things that I learned early on in my insured life is to befriend a local insurance agent. This is the person who, if they really care about you, will make sure that you have the kind of insurance you need, only as much as you need, and will keep you insured with a company that will actually pay you. This person will work on your behalf if you experience an unfortunate situation.
I have worked with my current insurance agent for the past ten years. She knows my kids’ names and what candy they like. She knows my husband’s business, probably better than he does. She regularly asks me about how my day / month / year / life is going, and is genuinely interested in what I have to say. It’s not so much that she has nothing better to concern herself with, but that she is simply an agent that believes that looking out for her clients’ best interest will repay her tenfold in commission.
Here’s what I mean.
It’s my insurance agent’s job to make sure that I am covered against loss no matter what I may face. It’s just like how you would consult a lawyer for legal concerns, a butcher for the best cuts of meat for your July 4th barbecue or your doctor when it comes to your aches and pains. My insurance agent knows immediately that any changes in my life might necessitate a change in my coverage. She knows that she must keep me covered without over-insuring me and costing me money. She must listen diligently to everything I tell her and sift through all of the extraneous information in order to mine out the important stuff.
Did I say that I went for a motorcycle ride this weekend? Does that mean I’ve bought a motorcycle? If so, my car insurance won’t cover it, so she’s going to need to put together some quotes for motorcycle insurance. Did I tell her that I bought a new car? House? Got pregnant? Had a kid? Got married? Divorced? All of these things come into play when making sure that I am covered.
For her efforts, she retains my business year after year, reaping the commissions, building her business and benefiting from one of the best methods of free advertisement: word of mouth!
So, the reason for this not-so-eloquent ode to my insurance agent is for me to express that when it comes to insurance, cheaper isn’t always the best choice. Insurance is one of those topics that I would seriously advise you to seek professional help with before making a purchase. If you choose to do this on your own, you may be left paying way too much for a policy that is essentially worthless for your situation. Find an insurance agent you trust and let his or her expertise navigate you through the complex tangle of insurance products and select the one that is right for you. Not only will you save money in the long run, you know that your assets are as protected as they can be and you and your family will be as protected as you all can be from an expensive loss.
Created July 12, 2010. Updated July 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.