Our latest Insurance Op-Ed from the founder and former director of the Big “I” Virtual University
A fellow insurance coverage nerd received an email from a homeowner who had been insured with a well-known direct writing insurer for 45 years. He had windstorm damage to a fence and the carrier had denied the claim that he believed to be covered. So, who can he turn to?
Well…no one. He elected to serve as his own agent by buying directly from the insurer. Just as the adage goes that an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client, a consumer who buys directly may have a fool for an agent.
But, in this case, the homeowner did some internet research and discovered an article my insurance nerd buddy had written about fence coverage on homeowners policies. He sent the article to the insurer but to no avail. So, he emailed the author and asked him to give him a call to help him. My fellow insurance nerd works for an organization that represents independent insurance agents, so you can guess what his response was. Respectfully and professionally, of course.
Do you really save 15% by cutting the agent out of the process? I’ve blogged about this here and here and here. The answer most of the time is, no. But let’s pretend the answer is yes. What does saving you 15% get you? Well, it saves you 15%…unless you have a claim you think is wrongfully denied. When you stand to lose thousands of dollars on denied claims without the intervention and advocacy of an agent, that 15% is long forgotten.
More about the author…
William C. Wilson, Jr., CPCU, ARM, AIM, AAM is the founder of InsuranceCommentary.com. He retired from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America in December 2016 where he served as Assoc. VP of Education and Research and was the founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University for over 17 years. He is the former Director of Education & Technical Affairs for the Insurers of Tennessee and, prior to that time, he was employed by Insurance Services Office, Inc. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Fire Protection & Safety Engineering.
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