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Guest Column

March 16, 2013

A flesh-and-blood expert won't hoodwink you


It may take us longer than fifteen minutes, and we may trouble you with a few more questions. That is where the value is obvious though. We don’t like surprises. We want to get it right the first time. No agent looks forward to an upset client on their doorstep. That’s right; we don’t hide behind the 800 number.

The day you suffer an accident or a property loss, you’ll be stressed out as it is. Will you have the patience to dial the 1-800 number and make it through all the prompts? If you do, how high will your blood pressure be by the time you get someone on the phone?

A loss is a stressful time in one’s life, and that’s when it pays to have an agent — someone who you can call and even stop in to see.

You get what you pay for. Typically our rates are competitive with direct carriers, but there are times when their rates appear lower. Usually this comes back to coverage. Insufficient coverage could cost more than you ever imagined should you suffer a loss. Insurance is a contract that one shouldn’t enter without understanding the agreement. But insurance agents have been trained in risk management; we’re concerned that your policies not only fit your budget but your needs.

I saw a commercial yesterday that advertised an “anonymous” quote. That really got me going.

Folks, please don’t be fooled into this bait-and-switch marketing tactic. I am here to tell you, free of charge, that there is no such thing as an “anonymous” quote; those offered always seem super-cheap, until actual rates are returned. Then, those fifteen minutes resulted in nothing but a bogus quote offered only to keep you on the phone with a high-pressure salesperson. And you could have had that batch of cookies!

Insurance agents don’t sell to you. We cover you. That’s what matters most

SHANNON S. STOCKDALE is an independent agent with Gordon B. Roberts Agency in Oneonta.

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