Chances are that at some point in time you have purchased an insurance product through an online system. Or you have called the carrier directly and have gotten a quote over the phone. You probably thought, “Hey, it’s easy,” “I don’t have to worry about sales calls,” “This site tells me that it’s less expensive if I apply online,” or “It’s the quickest way to get coverage.” While some of those statements may be correct, people tend to make major mistakes when dealing directly with insurance carriers and not using a broker. The items below reference the downside of not having an agent in the numbered sections. The remaining content is about what you receive in having your own agent.
Your coverage is likely not examined by a tenured insurance professional who may or may not know your specific industry inside and out. Furthermore, you do not have the benefit of someone who understands the inner workings of all of your insurance coverages and risk exposures.
Let’s face it, no matter what your industry is, you likely have several lines of coverage or policies in place. You want to work with someone who understands how and if those policies work together, covers all of your exposures, and/or provides coverages that you likely need. Last, you need someone to confirm that you are adequately covered…or you aren’t. The only way to know this is to benchmark your coverage and evaluate these and other factors that have surfaced for others in your industry that are similar in size and business type.
It’s doubtful you’ll receive accurate pricing that correctly identifies your risk. Plus, you may not have access to the most competitive pricing or providers.
Just like in any business, it’s about competition. When you have an agent, you typically have someone who is able to be your advocate and quickly tell you where a carrier’s pricing is. Agents work for you, the client, not for the insurance company. You should get the right coverage in place at the absolute best price that is available.
Through online brokers, you should expect to receive minimal customer service and no dedicated team to service your account.
At Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., we provide you with an expert in your industry who understands the challenges you may face today or in the future. And you have a dedicated team that is available to you during and after business hours. When you have an agent who you can call directly or meet in person, the days of calling through a central customer support number and asking for a certain department are over. Your Gallagher team typically provides two or three points of contact who understands your situation thoroughly and can help you when those unanticipated issues surprise you
Given the fact that I am an agent, yes, I have a bit of a biased view toward using agents versus going directly to a carrier. Nevertheless, whether a company is my client or not, I believe that using a broker is an absolute necessity to maintain the most operationally and financially sound organization. I absolutely believe in the fundamentals of competition among the marketplace with an unbiased and thorough understanding of your available options. That is what a broker brings to you. At Gallagher, we know that we can help you no matter what industry you work in and no matter what challenges you have.