Benefits of Using a Local Insurance Agent

A local insurance agent will discuss the best options to protect your home, family, and business, help you through the red tape of claims, and give you peace of mind. At Nicholas/Tobin Insurance, you’ll speak to a real person who will help you every step of the way. The experience is a personal one…you’re a name, not a number.

The insurance industry is quickly becoming commoditized, to the detriment to the individual consumer. You may have heard that GoodWorks/New Milford Insurance was recently acquired by a national agency and will be closing their New Milford office. While the loss of a local insurance agency hits home here in New Milford, the fact is this is happening across the country. Local agencies are being swallowed by large conglomerates, leaving the consumer at a disadvantage from a financial standpoint as well when they try to maneuver through the red tape when they have a claim.

Let’s talk about how the consumer benefits from local insurance agencies.

Benefits of Using A Local Insurance Agent

Better pricing

Your local insurance agent can do the comparison shopping for you. They have the ability to check prices and coverages with numerous insurers. Certainly you could spend your time shopping around different insurance carriers. But time is money, and you’re not paying extra for your insurance agent to do that for you. And, rates vary widely, so chances are your local insurance agency is going to find you better rates than you could find yourself!

Richard Schipul, owner of Designing Eden, was able to save a significant amount of money by switching his insurance. “When I moved my business and personal policies to Nicholas/Tobin Insurance, I was actually able to get more coverage and save two thousand dollars on my personal policies. I feel confident that I’m always getting the best rates possible because when Nicholas/Tobin Insurance learns of rate increases, they’re able to start looking for other options before the increase takes place.”

One stop shopping

Your local insurance agency can insure your car, your home, and your business. When you bundle different types of insurance policies, you often are able to get a discount.

An independent insurance agent will also explain the different aspects of insurance that you may want to consider, such as umbrella insurance and riders you may need for expensive jewelry, artwork, or other expensive items that may have limited coverage under your homeowner’s policy. If you were to lose your engagement ring only to realize it had limited coverage under your homeowner’s policy, how frustrated would you be? Your local insurance agent is going to be more in tune with your circumstances and will help you tailor your policy to your needs.

Industry knowledge

Insurance is complex. Coverage varies from state to state and they even vary within the same state with different carriers. An independent insurance agent who does this for a living knows how to compare “apples to apples.” They will explain terminology you may not be familiar with like gap insurance, and actual cash value versus replacement cost. Unless you know the insurance industry really well, chances are you’re not going to get the coverage you truly need by shopping around yourself.

Rose Koulouris of Affordable Automotive says “Nicholas/Tobin Insurance professionals are prompt, knowledgeable, and give you the personal service that you expect from professionals. They have taken care of our personal home, cars, business, and commercial property. Jeff Kilberg, along with his team have always made us feel “safe.”

Local knowledge

Because local insurance agents live in the same area as you, they have the specialized knowledge needed to help you protect your assets properly. They’re familiar with local area construction costs, so they know what the actual replacement costs would be for your area. They know where the closest fire department is located, which affects your insurance rating. They know the distance you travel for work, which also affects your auto insurance pricing.

Additionally, there are also certain risks associated with certain areas. Flooding in New England is a real threat, and a local insurance agent is much more likely to recommend basement water coverage for those living in a potential flood zone. The representative from a national company who isn’t familiar with where you live and your particular circumstances may not even consider recommending that coverage. In terms of local knowledge, the expertise of a local agent is invaluable.

Personalized Service

Having a local independent agent that you can call when you have a claim gives you peace of mind. A good agent has your back…they will guide you through your claim and fight for you if they have to. They will help you through any red tape. On the other hand, you’re just a policy number to the customer service representative at that national conglomerate. They’re happy to help you when they’re taking your money for your policy, but who has your back when your claim is denied?

Knowing what to do after a car accident is important, no matter how flustered you may be. A few years back, client Michelle Nahom nicked a car in a grocery store parking lot. But it wasn’t just your average car…it was a very expensive make and model. “I called Jeff Kilberg, my insurance professional at Nicholas/Tobin Insurance. Even though it was a weekend and he was leaving for vacation the next day, he told me exactly what to do and immediately put my mind at ease! He emailed one of their staff members, who contacted me first thing Monday morning. They took care of everything. I always feel like I’m in good hands with their staff.”

Keeps money in your community

There’s a reason why shopping local is such a hot topic these days. Local businesses employ local workers. They also tend to use other local business services like accounting and marketing. When a national company comes into a community, they tend to put small local businesses out of business, and local jobs are often lost, as they put local businesses out of business. The bottom line is local businesses keep money and jobs in your community.

Good Neighbors

Local businesses tend to support local causes, and Nicholas/Tobin Insurance is no exception. Our owners are on the boards of a number of local non-profits, including the Pratt Center, New Milford VNA, and the New Milford Chamber of Commerce, donating both time and money. We’re also very involved with the Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut.

In fact, that is one of the reasons Swank on Bank owner Lyn VanBusKirk gives for doing business with Nicholas/Tobin Insurance! Lyn says, “I love doing business with Nicholas/Tobin Insurance company because they give back to the community and when I have a problem, I can just run over and talk to them instead of waiting for answers on the phone. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Commoditization versus the independent agent

With all these reasons to work with a local insurance agency, why does the insurance industry seem to be leaning so heavily towards commoditization? Economies of scale probably play a big part. Central contact centers and automation may be more efficient than individualized customer service, but the customer loses out in this scenario. Keeping the local insurance agency relevant ultimately is in the hands of the consumers and whether or not they continue to utilize the independent local agency. We hope you will, because we provide a service you simply can’t get from a national agency.

At Nicholas/Tobin Insurance, we feel that our customers deserve a personal experience. If you want to be able to talk to a real person rather than an automated message after a loss, and you want an agent that understands your needs, give us a call. We are here to help you through the insurance maze, talk you through your options, and put your mind at ease. We’d love to be your local insurance agency…we’ll be there for you every step of the way. To make an appointment, call us at (860) 354-4466.

Nicholas / Tobin Insurance, located in New Milford, Connecticut, provides its clients the highest quality insurance products and services available today to protect them, their families, and businesses. We offer homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance, car insurance, business insurance, travel insurance and more! Our commitment to service means our team of licensed insurance professionals is here to help with simple policy questions, consult with you to determine appropriate coverages and be available 24/7 when trouble strikes, and you need assistance managing through the claim process.

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