By Morgan Granger
When it comes to purchasing any form of insurance, many people have negative attitudes and beliefs about their companies. They worry if their company will fairly compensate them if there is a loss or if their monthly payments are unjustly high based on just one previous speeding ticket. Furthermore, when actually shopping for an insurance policy, people often blindly choose a company based on a catchy commercial or an approximate quote generated online. While this approach may work for some, there is a high level of risk in choosing a policy this way because of the lack of a personal connection generated between you and your agent. A simple solution to this problem is choosing to be insured by a local agent. This week, we are here to update you on just a few of the many advantages of insuring your home, car or other investment at a local agency, such as Nationwide Insurance in Chester, Maryland.
Having a local agent helps divert you from the possibility of using a misleading online or over the phone insurance service. With a local agent you have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with an agent who can assist you in setting up an insurance policy and help give you balanced coverage while at the same time giving you pricing based upon your individual situation and status. Each customer is unique in what types of coverage and how much coverage they need, so meeting in-person allows the customer the opportunity to explain their individual situations and needs. Additionally, a local agent may be willing to meet with you after hours if you are unable to come speak to them during regular office hours. Lee Granger, owner of the Chester Nationwide office understands that “often people’s lives are very busy and they have to work 9-5 during our scheduled office hours. Being able to meet after-hours to discuss policies with people allows the client to take full-advantage of the benefits of a local agent so they do not feel pressured to switch to a larger, less personalized insurance agency.”
Moreover, speaking to an agent face-to-face can help you learn about the various ways to save money, such as by getting multiple policy discounts. Living on the Eastern Shore many people own boats, trailers, motorcycles or even small businesses, that when bundled together can save large sums of money. There are over 5,000 boat owners is Maryland with over 800 of the owners being from Queen Anne’s County alone! That is a very large number of boat owners who could be bundling their boat insurance with homeowner’s or car insurance for massive discounts annually. Owning these types of items or businesses are unique to the slow paced lives we often lead living on the Chesapeake Bay and in a small town.
Another advantage of using a local agent is the advice you receive about your area’s specific ratings that only someone who lives and works in the area would have extensive knowledge and insight. Having someone who knows the risks and possible coverages you need specific to your area should always be considered. For instance, a local agent would know if your home is located in a flood area and if it would be advisable to purchase flood insurance along with your general homeowner’s insurance. A larger corporation would not have as extensive knowledge about your local areas associated risks.
When an accident happens, such as a large tree falling on your home (unfortunately, an especially prevalent accident during summer storms in our area), you want answers immediately. A local agent can help you get to these solutions quickly because of their accessibility and opportunity to come to your home and take photographs right away, offer other local vendors for repairs, and even write claim checks right on the spot. Being able to talk to the same person each time you call with a question or need to change something in your insurance policy is a comforting feeling whether after an accident or because of basic inquiry. Local agents such as those at Nationwide, have the time to talk to you on the phone and answer your questions whereas a larger company with many clients would not have the opportunity to do so as extensively. Nationwide Insurance in Chester has a small staff of 4 agents and a customer service representative who handle all client needs. Your calls and concerns do not get lost on an answering machine or between representatives. Often you connect right to your agent on your first call who can immediately pull up your policy to answer all of your questions and service your needs.
Lastly, when you chose to insure your property or investments locally you support your community by supporting a local business. Your homeowner, car, boat or any other type of insurance policy is too important of a purchase not to discuss with an agent. Wouldn’t having a local agent who you may see out a nearby restaurant or at your child’s little league game make you feel more confident in your coverage?
Statistics by BoatOwnersWorld.com