Shopping your personal Insurance Las Vegas

By: Mary Thompson, Capstone Brokerage President, May 14, 2015

It is time to renew your policy. Hopefully you received a letter from your insurance agent suggesting an annual review of your policy needs. Maybe you even received a personalized phone call to help explain your rate for the coming year and options to offer you more coverage. Either the insurance carrier or your trusted insurance agent can send you a notice; but you have to make the decision if you would like to stay with your current carrier or shop around.

Here are 3 tips to remember when shopping personal lines insurance such as homeowners, automobile coverage, renters insurance, etc.:

1. Don’t choose your Coverage based on premium and cost.

Saving money always sounds enticing, BUT you should not make a decision based only on cost when it comes to insurance. Often times lower cost means less coverage. Look closely at coverage limits, deductibles and exclusions when a lower premium is presented. Sure it sounds fantastic to save 30$ a month now, but remember in the event of a claim that little savings could cost you so much more. A knowledgeable insurance agent can help with this, especially to ensure you have proper and adequate coverage.

2. Understand the difference of having a direct writer versus an independent insurance agent.

I see the commercials all the time for direct carriers, companies such as All State, Farmer’s, State Farm, etc. They make it sound great to have coverage placed with them with the catchy jingles. While they may offer coverage that works for you just remember when it comes time to renew your policy, the person helping you over the phone can ONLY place your insurance with that company. That is why it is called a direct writer; they sell insurance for the company direct to you, with no outside options.

An independent Agent has the ability to shop your insurance policy needs to multiple insurance carriers. They are able to tailor your individual insurance needs and strategically place coverage for you. If your rate increases with your current carrier an independent agent will look to other carriers to find you comparable coverage. When you call your agent, typically, you will get the same person on the phone every time versus recordings, prompts, and random customer service. An independent agent usually gives you personalized attention and doesn’t provide cookie cutter insurance.

3. Understand what you are buying and like who you are buying it from.

Have the policy explained to you, make sure you understand the limits, how the deductible works, and most importantly, what is and is not covered.

Pick an insurance agent who is knowledgeable, experienced, honest and easy to work. Having an agent who understands both your needs and the insurance requirements is EXTREMELY important. Make sure you trust them to be able to make sure your property and liability exposures are covered. If there is ever a claim on your policy you will work directly with the agent or company you choose, so make sure they provide excellent customer service to you throughout the process of placing coverage.

Shopping around isn’t as hard as it sounds and could potentially save you money. There are many benefits to having an independent agent. Just because you don’t see a commercial blasting savings promises doesn’t mean that you can’t save. For more information about personal insurance needs contact your personal insurance agent.