As an independent insurance agency, we’ve learned two things: (1) facts and inquisitive minds are good allies and (2) knowledgeable customers are great assets. As an agency, we look for opportunities to educate ourselves and our customers to stay on top of changes that might make a difference when that moment of truth, a claim, occurs.
For example, insurance marketing can often be deceptive. Unless you explore deeper, read the fine print, and ask questions, you may not understand exactly what you’re getting. For example…
THE PROBLEM Recent commercials by a national insurance company seem to mock other insurance companies for raising rates for claims:
- for paying a depreciated value on a new car damaged in an accident,
- for charging a higher rate for a new driver,
- and it goes on and on…
The same insurance company then tries to make the case that they won’t raise your rates even if you have a claim, they’ll pay you full replacement value for your new car, they’ll give you special discounts for your newly licensed driver, etc.
THE TRUTH Most companies now offer the same or similar benefits and optional packages. What is not said clearly in the advertising is that you must either qualify and potentially pay extra for ‘accident forgiveness’ and the other options when you purchase the policy.
How do you qualify for accident forgiveness? You qualify if:
- you’ve been accident- and ticket-free for the last 5 years,
- you just pay more,
- or both.
The extra premium for the optional benefits can be a 7% – 15% more than without the option. Some agents just add optional coverages without discussing it, even when the additional cost is not shown on the proposal. It’s no wonder that ad rating companies use words like ‘Beware the Disclaimer’, ‘Gimmicks Galore’ and ‘Bait and Switch’ when describing many insurance company commercials.
Our Recommendation: Read the small print ad disclaimers and ask questions like:
- What standard coverages are included?
- What optional features cost extra?
- Why do I need this?
This is just one reason why it still makes sense to have a knowledgeable, professional and independent insurance agent. Let the caring agents at MLI help you sort through the marketing soundbites, get answers to your questions, and ensure that you and your family have the insurance coverage that is best for you. Call MLI today at 770-926-9444 or contact us here.