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The 60’s and the glory of the independent insurance risk manager: a.k.a. agent

April 8, 2009

Cindy Donaldson - Marketing Director, Founders Insurance Group

The world as we know it has changed and so has the insurance industry.  People can now search the internet, get a price quote in minutes and buy with a click of a button. But at what cost?

Don’t get me wrong – I love the internet. I’m a big fan of blogs, Twitter, Facebook and shopping.   But there are certain things that you should buy from a person and not a machine – insurance is one of them.  Why?

The independent insurance risk manager does just that: helps his or her clients manage their risk.  They ask questions about your current needs and future needs.  They understand your family, your business  and what is at risk if something catastrophic should happen.  A computer can simply process the information YOU give it. Sure, when you buy on-line you answer  many of the same questions that a good insurance risk manager would ask, but that is where the similarity ends.  Computers are processors not counselors – they cannot replace a human.  Food for thought:  Damage to your car isn’t the biggest risk a person can face – or even damage to another person’s car.  The biggest risk is liability.  If you hurt someone while driving your car and get sued, you could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now increase that risk – you own a house. If your auto coverage doesn’t cover that potential risk then your house is on the “pay me” list.  When you shop for auto coverage on-line you won’t necessarily be asked about coverages you want or if you own other assets that may be at risk.  Like I said, food for thought.  I bet you just took out your auto policy to look at it!

At Founders, we often see people who find they are grossly underinsured after a problem occurs – ie an auto accident.  They didn’t buy their insurance from an independent agency – they bought it online.  These customers think they are fine – they have state mandated coverages.  State mandated does not necessarily mean good coverage. So is it worth spending a bit more time with a person and protecting what you value most – your family, your home, your assets?  You bet! Just an FYI, in the state of Connecticut the minimum auto insurance is $20,000 per person per accident, $40,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage.  Now imagine that you are a Connecticut driver with minimum insurance, you own a home and you get in an accident.  You are at fault and the person you hit has $300,000 in medical bills.  Your insurance will only cover $20,000 – so where is the rest coming from?

The moral of the story is – the internet is a powerful tool – use it wisely.

The 60’s weren’t all bad. Be like my parents, find a good independent insurance risk manager and proudly hang that calendar on your kitchen wall.

Cindy Donaldson

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