First let’s discuss a common myth about online life insurance call centers. I’ve been asked many times if the consumer can buy insurance cheaper online instead of a local agent. Whether you choose LOCAL, online or long distance, the prices remain the same for the same Insurance Carrier and Same Plan. The truth is that there are adjustable factors with insurance quotes that an agent or agency can move to make it look as though his/hers/theirs is cheaper. For example, length of time the coverage is guaranteed, options within the plan, the health class that you apply at. In the end, Apples to Apples our pricing amongst agents and agencies is the same.
It is however important to choose an agent or agency which has many carriers to choose from. Insurance companies trade places daily for who has the best pricing based on the above adjustable factors. One additional factor one should not overlook is the actual underwriting done by any specific carrier; a good agent will know this is a big factor as it also fluctuates from month to month. This is why a smart agent will not always look at the lowest price as the sole basis for choosing a company or plan, he/she/they will also take into account the flexibility of a companies underwriting to sometimes give you a health class better than what the others may offer.
Now when looking for an insurance quote in San Diego we find that most consumers will usually need more coverage than many areas of the country due to the fact the obligations and incomes here in San Diego tend to be greater than say in Ohio or Michigan. This does not mean that we pay more per $1,000 of coverage than other parts of the country simply that we need more units of $1,000. In Ohio someone may get by on having $150,000 to $200,000 of Insurance as their mortgage may only be $140,000. Here in San Diego our mortgages are more in the ranges or $300,000 – $500,000. Here is the funniest part though. Many times a consumer can buy $250,000 – $300,000 for almost the same price as $150,000 – $200,000. It’s just like Cost-Co when it comes to buying insurance; volume gives you break points in the price. Usually companies have similar break points like $100,000 or $250,000 etc. But some companies may have them at other intervals of purchase.
Are there any advantages one way or the other when choosing LOCAL, Online or Long Distance?
I guess it depends how you look at it, since price is the same with all 3 options it puts you back to selection of carriers, the knowledge of the agent/agency and the quality and consistency of the people you deal with.
If given the choice I prefer to work with someone local. I like having a relationship that allows me to feel comfortable with the person handling my insurance or retirement services; I want them to look me in the eye when suggesting choices about me or my family’s future and current needs. Does this mean that we don’t sell insurance or retirement services by phone or internet? No, it just means that if possible, I believe there is no replacement for customer service and care. If you buy a policy through internet or phone from a call center, you take a great risk that the agent you purchased from will no longer be there when you need them down the road. Retention in these call centers is very low and the focus tends to be on volume over substance and quality.
Also I believe every policy and retirement plan is best served when the agent at least delivers it in person or goes over it with you one on one in person. These are big choices and deserve both parties full attention. There are many quality agents and agencies here in San Diego, whether you chose me Christopher Wilson or my agency, Insurance Quote San Diego or another agent you may personally know, just apply these above factors to the situation and demand excellent service and superior knowledge. Your family depends on you being picky and selective. Some of my best and favorite long term clients have just drilled me to no end at the beginning of our relationship. But once we move past that part, the trust is in place and a great friendship ensues.