A JD Power and Associates survey finds that independent auto insurance agents hold some advantages over getting direct quotes from insurance carriers. Even with the speed and convenience of getting a quick phone or online quote available today, you may be surprised how much more often independent agents actually convert sales when compared to consumer driven inquiries.
That survey found three major advantages that independent insurance agents have over carriers themselves.
Consumers rely more on agents to recommend which carriers to quote.
There have become so many different carriers for auto insurance that consumers are usually going to just quote those that are off the top of their heads. The advantage that an agent has in these situations is that agents have lots of experience with many different carriers. An agent is familiar with what carriers will quote based on the individual consumer. This independent advice saves the consumer the time and headache of quoting carriers that won’t give them the best deal.
While price still matters, consumers say the most important influencer on whether to purchase the quoted policy or not is making sure they understand coverages.
The problem with simply choosing the lowest quote is that you may not know if the coverage you’re getting is really worth saving a few dollars in the short term. As with anything, consumers want the most for their money. Paying a few extra dollars a month for significantly better coverage is worth it for everyone. Understanding the coverage gives the consumer peace of mind that they are choosing the right policy. It could also save them money down the road if an accident or other incident occurs.
Consumers lean on agents for guidance when trying to understand premium calculations and selecting the right coverage.
Beyond just the overall price, the most important thing about an auto insurance policy is understanding how the policy’s premiums are calculated. These calculations can widely differ between carriers. An independent agent can deliver a far more personalized quote than an online quote from because an agent knows how these premiums are calculated. The same person could actually get a better (less expensive) quote from the same carrier with help of an agent.
Another analysis of that same JD Power study by Digital Insurance reveals some more good news for independent agents. About half of the consumers in that study first visited a carrier website for an auto insurance quote. Only 27% went to an agent first. But here’s the good part. Just 10% of website quotes led to a sale. Agents closed 33% of their quoted prospects. That’s a huge difference. Consumers may like to research online, but they still want an agent to seal the deal.
While some independent insurance agents may be worried that automated quotes will eventually put them out of business, for now there is no reason to worry. The results of this JD Power survey show that consumers still need that human experience to prove to them that they are getting the best deal on their auto insurance.