When it comes to coverage, most individuals, and even most businesses, are overpaying, under-covered or both. The shame here is that the situation is entirely avoidable. You can shop smarter for coverage without working harder. In fact, with a smart approach, you’ll save time and effort as well as money.
Think Beyond Local
A common mistake that individual and commercial clients make is to think local only. In years past, private and business coverage were very localized industries. The Internet, however, has changed that, and it is likely that the company best suited to serve your needs exists outside your local region.
The Internet is an Invaluable Tool
Shop smarter for coverage by using the Internet. Every strong coverage option, even the local one, has a Web presence, and numerous very useful third-party sites exist. Even if you strongly prefer having a local agent, you can use the information available online to provide you with a stronger negotiating position.
When it comes to shopping for coverage, the most useful aspect of the Internet is price comparisons. Comparison-shopping services allow you to enter your information just once, and then provide you with a list of quotes for service packages that match your needs. One of the great advantages here is that you get an instant assessment of what the going rate is for the coverage that you require.
Interview Potential Providers
Once you have a short list, start with background checks and brief interviews. Whittle that list down even further. With the remaining companies, perform a more extensive interview. Listen to the plan that they will set forth for your family or business, and get a sense of the kind of personal attention that you’re likely to receive going forward.
Throughout this entire process, keep notes, a journal even. Having this information on hand will make it easier to compare the experiences you have with the different companies. It’s also helpful to ask each company all of the same questions. So if you think of something, jot it down so that you have it available to you later.
This is a Negotiation
Remember, this is a negotiation. Providers can seem a little inflexible on quotes, but you can negotiate prices and features. This is particularly important when the company that you prefer provides you with a quote that’s higher than the best on the table. Often, you can use that best quote to get a better deal with the company that you prefer.
Shop smarter for coverage by being patient and thorough. Use all of the tools that are at your disposal. Don’t be married to the idea of having a local agent. These days, remote agents are just as good, and thanks to technologies like Skype, there isn’t the drop-off in service that you might expect.