So, why do I need an agent? Why shouldn't I buy directly from a company on-line?
The simple answer is because you are not an agent and while you think you understand insurance you probably don't understand insurance!
Insurance companies advertise (Geico spends over $1 BILLION per year) to get you to buy directly from their companies- cutting out agents and allowing them to retain a bit more money by not paying agents (very small) commissions.
You ask,"Why is this a problem if they pass some savings on to me?"
Well, in several ways buying direct savings tends not to be that great; maybe switching carriers saves you some money... but you could have saved the same amount of money probably even more by having an Independent Agent shop several carriers for your best rate.
There are other ways that "do it yourself" insurance purchases can harm you.
Frequently when someone calls me for a quote and provides me their current coverage they are missing something important... Medical Payment coverage or Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage, for example.
I think consumers often see something they are not familiar with and assume they don't need it. "Oh, I have health insurance, why would I need Medical Payment insurance?" Well, Medical Payment coverage should cover someone in your car who doesn't have health insurance. It covers funeral, chiropractic, massage and even health care deductible expenses up to the policy limit! $10,000 of Med Pay coverage probably costs you about $2/month; not a great savings... This is something your agent (well, a good and experienced agent, like myself) would have explained to you.
Same with the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. What if someone is texting, runs a stop sign, hits your vehicle and puts you in the hospital for a week... Bad enough you are hurt and out of a vehicle and work, but what happens when you find out that person who hit you doesn't have insurance or maybe they have the "State Minimum" coverage. Well, if you would have been guided by an experienced agent to buy the UM/UIM coverage (again, maybe $5 per month) you might not have to worry about the $100,000 medical bill.
These are just a few of the ways an experienced Insurance Agent can help you. Please don't think just because you hear something on TV repeatedly that it is true; you wouldn't do this with your political candidates so why do it with your insurance... oh, wait....LOL.
Make good choices people!
David Ornstein, LUTCF (agent for 27 years)