When it comes to buying insurance, the first step is to figure out whether you want to purchase through an insurance agent or direct from a company. While the two may seem one-and-the-same, the differences between the two can majorly impact your trucking business. This article aims to help you decide which option will work best for you and your trucking company.
When you choose to buy direct from a company, you are also choosing to buy one of the standard insurance packages. These packages were designed with a “one size fits all” mentality, so you might have to buy a package with coverage you don’t need in order to receive coverage you do need.
Contrary to popular belief, insurance agents do not have the ability to negotiate a policy rate. However, the agent will be able to provide you a list of options at different price points. By being independent, agents also have access to other carrier policies and are able to tailor the policy to best suit your needs. Additionally, the agents may reach out to carriers most people have never even heard of, or don’t know provide commercial trucking insurance, which allows them to find even more coverage options for the insured (you) to review.
As mentioned previously, when you choose to buy a standard insurance package direct from a company, there’s a chance you’re overpaying. Since the package is not tailored to your needs, there may be coverages within it that you don’t necessarily want or need. Additionally, when it comes time for renewal these agencies will only show you rates from their employer since it’s their job to keep you insured with that company.
Agents own their own business, thus must generate income by charging the insured for the service provided. However, even with the additional fee, going through an agent usually results in a cheaper premium—sometimes up to 25%—due to their ability to price shop. Furthermore, when it comes to renewal, independent agents are able to reevaluate your premium based on new rates from multiple insurance companies. Therefore, the chance for cost savings increases.
One of the biggest differences between buying direct and buying through an agent is the experience. On one hand, when you call an insurance company to talk to someone about your coverage, odds are you’re going to get transferred to someone in a call center. Yes, you will be speaking with an individual who has passed the same exams as personal agents, and therefore can address all of your needs. However, the biggest difference is that the next time you call you most likely will not be speaking to the same individual you spoke to previously.
On the other hand, working with an agent allows you to form a personal relationship since you know that when you call you’ll be talking to either the agent or someone on their small team. These individuals will be familiar with your policy, instead of simply reading general information off a database. More importantly, independent agents will be there to advocate for you during a claim.
We’ve all seen the commercials guaranteeing an insurance quote in 15 minutes or less, so for some it seems logical to go online and purchase insurance. If you are shopping for your best price though, it means you are spending 15 minutes on EACH insurance companies’ websites. Not only is this time consuming, but it results in multiple companies gaining your personal information (phone number, email address, etc.).
When you work with an independent insurance agent, the agent does the searching for you. So while it may take some time, it’s the agent who puts time into reaching out to all the insurance companies, not you. Agents also realize time plays a significant role in a trucker’s career, which is why Truck Writers has a five minute certificate turnaround standard—don’t be the one holding up the loading dock, waiting on a cert.
When you’re shopping for trucking insurance, maybe you don’t necessarily care what’s in the package as long as you’re covered. In that case, shopping direct from an insurance company may work for you. However, if you want more insight into your policy and a more personalized experience, then finding an agent to create your optimal insurance coverage plan is your best option.
To find out more about working with an insurance agent or to receive a personalized quote today, please contact Truck Writers, Inc.