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Pepper, Johnstone & Company Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

A "Lending Tree" approach to insurance: why independent insurance agencies look out for you better.

So, when you get ready to purchase an insurance policy for auto or home, who comes to mind?  State Farm? Nationwide? Allstate?  That’s what a lot of people would say.  However, there’s a better, more effective, more comprehensive solution that’s right under your nose:  an independent insurance agent (such as Pepper, Johnstone & Company.)  What’s the difference, you might ask?  Well the differences are many - and we’d like to break them down for you here.

Single option versus multiple options

With a State Farm, Allstate or a Nationwide, known as “captive” agents, you get THEIR coverage.  Period. There are no negotiations to that, no alternate options that suit your lifestyle better, no latitude.  However, with an independent insurance agent, they take the time to really get to know you, and thoroughly understand your insurance needs and wants, design coverage specific to your needs, and then they SHOP IT with multiple independent  insurance carriers (i.e., Travelers Insurance, The Hartford, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, etc.), until they find the RIGHT one for your unique circumstances.

We as consumers are faced with multiple options for almost every purchase decision we make these days.  Braeburn vs. Fuji apples. Toyota vs. Nissan. Dish TV vs. cable. Why shouldn’t you experience the luxury of choice in your insurance policies as well?  This only makes sense.

With captive agents, these agents are employees that work for the insurance carrier they represent. They are considered "captive" because they can only sell products offered by the insurance carrier that employs them i.e., a State Farm agent can only sell State Farm products. With an independent agent, they work for YOU, because independent agents are truly "independent" in that they are not employed by any insurance carrier, thus, they are free to shop your unique insurance needs with multiple insurance carriers to find you the best coverage at the best price. 

Independent agents are like the “Lending Tree” of insurance

Independent agents are in fact a lot like “Lending Tree’s” concept - you can shop multiple banks on your own, or you can go to Lending Tree and get multiple quotes that way.  Same with an independent insurance agent. And because the independent agent knows you and your needs so well, they can advise and steer you toward the plan that makes the most sense for you - they don’t earn special commissions for leading you toward one plan versus another plan, so they are entirely unbiased through the entire process.  Independent insurance agents like Pepper, Johnstone & Company take a consultative approach when working with you, so that they know what types of quotes to shop for, because they know intimately what your coverage needs are. You are not just a number with them; a customer. You are a “client” that they hope to serve for a long time to come.

When claim time comes, you have an advocate

If you have traditional insurance through Nationwide, Allstate, or State Farm, you deal with one of their claims adjusters during the claims process. Many times, the independent insurance agent can act as a great go-between on your behalf with the insurance company.  So you literally have an advocate who is always on your side when you have to file a claim. To us, this is one of the more beneficial reasons to work with an independent insurance agent - to have someone who is strictly looking out for YOU, not just someone who’s looking at saving their company money by denying claims or making low settlement offers.  

Independent insurance agents come in all different sizes and types; we at Pepper, Johnstone & Company feel that our experience, competency, carrier relationships and consultative approach with each client is what helps separate us from the rest and will serve you best in the long run.  

Pepper, Johnstone & Company protects your family and business with a choice of multiple independent insurance companies to choose from, for home, auto, farm, life and business.  We've helped countless people save money on their insurance while making sure they're properly covered.  Visit us today at our website, or give us a call at 256-232-7818 to get us working on a quote for you today.  You can also request an online quote here.