Barbour County Fair Parade 2015Picture this – you’re at home watching TV and among the barrage of commercials, an animated reptilian pops on your screen and starts promising you significant discounts for just minutes of your time.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Everyone enjoys saving a few extra dollars, especially when it comes to reoccurring bills.  So you decide the talking animal on the screen sounded genuine, like he had your best interests in mind, and you call and get all setup and you even saved 15% for switching.  You’re feeling great!  But accidents do occur — even to the Richard Petty’s and Mario Andretti’s of the world. Whether you find yourself in a fender-bender or up a tree, you’re now reaching for your insurance card and prepare for the aggravation of automated customer service, and suddenly you wonder just what you might’ve given up in the little time it took to get an insurance quote from that friendly green critter.

Price is only one of the considerations that make up an insurance program.  If you’ve ever owned anything of value, you do your research to ensure that your items are properly protected. Unless you are quite versed in legal lingo, you can find yourself scratching your head and maybe a little anxious.  Luckily, you don’t have to go through life’s mishaps alone.  Opting to work with an independent agent could be just the safety net you need when you have to call on someone to help make sense of the mess. Here are 10 reasons to consider working with an independent insurance agent instead:

  1. Customer Service – Whether you have a couple questions or you’ve been stricken with the unthinkable, a claim, would you rather cycle through an automated recording or be prompted directly to your agent? No brainer there.  In such a circumstance as an incident, your agent can help you not only report the claim but also explain exactly what your policy will cover. Agents are trained and specialized in their field, making it their mission to make sure that you, your family, or your business is taken care of.
  2. Personal Attention – Similar to the way a real estate agent will sift through properties in order to help you find your ideal location, an insurance agent will walk you through many different insurance companies’ rates and coverage to better tailor to your needs. Believe it or not, this personalized and catered approach comes at no extra cost to you, that’s right, your independent agency will assist you with no additional cost.
  3. Community Involvement – Local insurance agencies also actively give back to the surrounding community. As local business owners, many of their principles put a strong emphasis on community involvement.  From sponsorships to fundraising or serving as members of non-profits, there are many ways in which you may witness your local agents being involved leading to greater confidence about your decision to work with them.
  4. Local Knowledge – While it may be satisfying seeing your insurance agent’s involvement in the community, it may also surprise you at their knowledge of the area – something that could only come from someone who truly lives and breathes the culture. By living in the area for a number of years, your agent may be able to use their knowledge of the land to better reduce your risks. Think about it, an agency in California may not necessarily be aware of the flood dangers in the spring or the bitter winters of West Virginia.
  5. Understanding – Independent agents understand that insurance can seem confusing considering you don’t work with it on a daily basis. Your local agent can work with you to better understand the finer points of your plan and advise you in terms of what’s in a packaged deal and what’s not.
  6. One-Stop Shop – Independent agencies act as a catch-all for insurance plans, with the ability to take care of all your coverage needs in one fell swoop, limiting the number of companies you deal with and assist you in organizing it all into a neat package. Whether you’re looking for health, life, or dental, on a family or business level, it’s not uncommon to talk to the same agent that insures your car.
  7. Reputation – Time is a great indicator of who the greats are, and an insurance agency’s reputation is just that…a test of time. Chances are your local independent agency takes an extreme amount of pride in the time they’ve spent serving the area. Not only does their lengthy track record speak well for their business future, but it will also give you a sense of confidence in your day to day, knowing that your interests are taken care of.
  8. Knowledge – When you’re sick, you consult a doctor. When you need legal advice you instinctively dial your lawyer. Why not consult an industry expert when you need help with insurance? In addition to a time-tested record, your independent agent has had the pleasure of working with a number of different companies and is knowledgeable about what each brings to the table.
  9. Saving Money & Time – While catchy ads and funny animals and their respective companies can save you money in the course of a phone call, an independent agent can save you both time and money in the long haul. Instead of supplying an instant rate, an agent will work through the necessities and cut the fat by asking you questions and familiarizing themselves with what you’re really after.
  10. Protection & Peace – Lastly, and most importantly, working with an independent agent will leave you with a sense of ease, knowing that when you save money on your insurance, it won’t be coming out at the expense of comprehensive coverage. When it comes to shielding you from the storms in life, an independent insurance agency has you covered at all times.

Allegheny Insurance Services, Inc. has been providing peace of mind to clients for over 100 years. Contact one of our agents to schedule your FREE insurance review.