Have you ever bought insurance from an agent?

I’ve only ever bought insurance online. But I was reading this book on insurance and it says most people still get their insurance from agents. Am I missing out on anything here? Am I being woefully financially imprudent?

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There are various sorts of insurance. Conceivably the answer would be different for different kinds, depending for example on how much you know about that type of insurance.

no idea how to even find an agent. sounds like more work than getting a quote online


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Car insurance.

An agent would prolly try to sell me UL + CI + ROP, amirite @SpaceLobster ??? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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If you only buy online, then you are limited to buying only what you are shopping for.

I have worked with good agents and bad agents.

All agents will try to upsell you on what they know how to sell. Some of this may be good. Some not so good. You can always listen to them and then come here for help with the purchase decisions. Agents can be helpful.

My sister-in-law asked me to look at the policies that she was sold by her agent, because she thought she was paying too much. She had 25/50 personal auto limits under her agents advice that liability wasn’t important because MN is a no fault state. I told her that was hogwash, and she needed much higher limits (she had a million dollar house and both her and her husband were 6 figure earners). I tried to explain that the most important policy to her was her agent’s own E&O policy.

Years ago, I bought personal auto insurance online, but then a few months later, I bought a new policy over the phone for substantially less. Fortunately, I got a prorated refund on the earlier premium.

Disclaimers: OK boomer, interstate relocation, turning 25, underwriting amirite

Years ago I had a problem and found an agent. she placed my homeowners and car.

I rent now, but have been with her for 30 years,and every renewal she’ll check around for the best rate on the car

I used to have an agent for my auto insurance, but that was way back before the internet was a thing.

Actuaries always forget about aadb.

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Depending on the company (and the agent), the one advantage of having an agent is when you find that you have a claim. They can help you with what needs to be done to get the claim going.

Also, if you’re looking to manage overall risk, an agent can also help you identify things to consider. Granted, they’re also going to present it in such a manner as to try and sell it to you; but if you don’t know what you don’t know . . .

The first time i bought auto insurance i bought it from an agent. And he was helpful in walking me through what to think about. But since then I’ve moved to buying from carriers who write direct business, so I haven’t talked to an agent in many years.

Yes. My insurance agent founded his agency in 1995, I bought auto/home from him in 1996. I’ve been with him since then. When shit hits the fan it’s nice to have someone else there to help clean up the mess.

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I went through agents to get auto and renters insurance years ago, but these days I’m comfortable getting homeowners, auto, and personal umbrella direct.

My wife and I ought to get a few things covered under an inlnand marine floater, but we never seem to get around to doing that. I’ve had “create an inventory…” on the household to-do list for a very long time; if/when we ever do that, there’s a decent chance I’d go back to an agent since I haven’t touched personal lines professionally in about 20 years. I guess if/when we move across a state line, I might check with an agent to make sure I’m not missing a quirk in the local variation of auto liability coverage.

Our current active life insurance coverage comes through work, although I do have some very old whole life policies my parents bought for me, which is serviced by an agent. I will say that when adjusting the ownership of life policies as my parents passed, changing addresses, and eventually filing claims for the policies on my parents, I had better experiences working with the agent than trying to go direct to the insurer. That being said, my father had a couple of old whole life insurance policies I hadn’t known about (grandparents purchased them when he was a child), and those carriers seemed to magically find me as executor a few months after he passed.

My parents had an annuity that they bought through their financial advisor. They “inherited” that advisor from my grandfather, and I stayed with the same firm when I inherited the estate, since it was past time to inject a bit more sophistication than my prior “just put whatever we can save in a diversified set of mutual funds” long-term saving strategy. That annuity transitioned to a rollover product after my parents passed, so I guess you could say the advisor is serving as the agent for that product.

Whereas when I had a claim the agent told me to call the company’s 1-800 number… zero help whatsoever.

I rate shopped for auto online, the carrier with the best rate went through an agent.

For life insurance I used an agent who got me a pretty good rate.

They sometimes find out when the payment fails to go through.
I had a life company send me a request to call a client and get new banking information because a payment failed to go through. And they were kind enough to attach a copy of the bank withdrawal that was very clearly stamped ‘account closed, client deceased’. I mean, that’s fine, but that’s the way you ask me to contact the client’s family? If I was going to be an idiot about it, I could’ve ignored it, because it’s the life company’s responsibility to handle that, not the advisor’s.

I never shirked that - I delivered probably dozens of death claims. I’d assist with the paperwork, pick up the cheque from the insurer and hand deliver the claim to the beneficiary. But that was my choice, and certainly not the life company’s authority to require that I do any of that at all.

And FWIW, that claim above, was the only time I was uncomfortable. The beneficiary was very aggressive and unhappy with me (very bad circumstances, nothing to do with me). I could’ve just ignored the life company and let them deal with the beneficiary.

I know with 100% certainty that there had been no premium paid on those policies in the 5-6 years prior to my father’s passing, since I was effectively my father’s accountant since he was clueless about such things. (My mother handled all the money. When she passed, I had to teach my father how to deposit a check…)

These were just a couple of policies my father’s parents had taken out on him in 1946 and 1947, of which there had been no record in my parents’ files (my mother kept excellent records), and which my aunt and cousin (who settled my grandmothers’ estate) had no knowledge of.

I dunno, I’ve wondered about that before.
Some companies must have some policies thatve been on the books for longer than would be reasonable for someone to still be alive. They must do something with those, bit I dunno what.
Someday I’ll have to do some research and write a post about it.