It’s not an Apples to Apples Comparison

Are you really Price Shopping or looking for Insurance Coverage?
A common statement I hear from new prospects is that they want a quote with ‘Apples to Apples’ coverage limits. It seems that these insureds are looking for the lowest possible costs with all coverage being equal, but is that really the best way to go about shopping for your coverage?
With this approach, what you are telling the agent or broker is that you are simply a price shopper, and that you will be placing the coverage with the lowest price provider.  Apples to Apples quotes have the tendency to perpetuate prior errors, and only serve as a way to gauge which carriers have the cheapest price for specific coverage at that moment.  Although this may give you financial peace of mind in the short-term, you may be putting yourself, your family and/or your business at risk.
As the agent or broker will focus all of their energy on securing the lowest possible price for you, the risk of exclusion of other important factors is high.  Ask yourself, would you select a doctor based solely on their pricing?  How about a CPA?  If you were facing a criminal charge, would the lowest priced attorney be your first selection?
When it comes to your coverage, you need to be engaged in the process and seek out a knowledgeable broker/agent.  When you dictate the coverage details it also tells the agent or broker that
YOU are in charge of your insurance plan.  We all like to be in charge and in control, but what happens when you have an uncovered loss?  What happens if you could have secured coverage for the loss you just suffered, but YOU chose not to secure? YOU are in charge of designing the insurance plan. When you run your insurance program, you are also responsible for any coverage gaps.
Are you really prepared to be in charge of understanding:
• All of the available coverage?
• Limitations and restrictions in all of your policies?
• How your policies work in relation to the other policies?
• Changes in the insurance marketplace including new coverages that may be available?
• Trends in liability awards?
• Determining the proper mix of coverage?
What about insurance companies?  Are they all the same?  Is the right insurance company for you just the one with the lowest price?  Every insurance company that I deal with is unique in their approach and claim handling.  Every company has their sweet spot when it comes to the clients that fit best within their pricing and abilities.  If pricing was the sole factor in every buying decision we would all drive the same cars.  The reality is, some people like Ford, some like GM, some like Dodge, and some like the more exotic Porsche or Lamborghini;
they all get you from point A to point B, but there are differences with each brand, including the price.
Instead of telling the broker or agent that you want an ‘Apples to Apples’ quote, prepare yourself to ask some of the following questions of your broker/agent:
• What do you recommend?
• Why do you feel that this carrier is the best fit for me? How does that carrier differ from other carriers?
• What am I missing?
• How can I keep my cost under control AND maximize my coverage?
When people ask for an ‘Apples to Apples’ comparison, I always wonder why they would want to take on the risk that can easily be handed off to a competent agent or broker. It seems to me that you would want a quality carrier, that offers good service, and that fits your needs.
As the economy may influence your decision to shop for lower priced insurance coverage, keep in mind paying less up front for lower coverage could cost you more in the end.