What Buying Home & Auto Insurance Taught Me About Travel: 5 Myths & Facts
I really hate spending money on insurance. I know it is crucial to have if you ever have a problem, but until then, it feels like money down the drain. That’s just the attitude I have, although I know insurance is necessary. Because of this attitude, I did my research a few years ago for what seemed like the cheapest policy. I did everything online and never had to deal with an annoying salesperson. I get all sorts of discounts for being a good driver, staying with the company, and for having auto & condo insurance with the same company. I pay the auto insurance every six months so that I don’t have to think about it, and I never think about the condo insurance since it’s paid with my mortgage. I thought I was being smart.
For the purpose of networking, I recently had a conversation with an insurance agent named David. Usually, an insurance agent is the last person I would want to talk to, but we were just sharing ideas about what we do and the sort of clients we are looking for. It was a fun, friendly conversation, and I found myself thinking it’s too bad the current situation forced us to talk on the phone instead of in person. We probably talked about travel more than insurance since it’s typically a more fun conversation. In learning about his business, though, I understood that he likes to look at people’s current policies and then help them to understand the coverages they have, in addition to letting them know if they have what they need.
I also learned that an insurance agent is like a travel advisor. They are there for you all the time—when things are good, as well as when things go wrong. This same friendly guy is the person I would call if I had a car accident. With my online insurance company, all I have is a phone number, and who knows who I would deal with if I had a problem.
After thinking about it for a few days, I contacted him and told him I’d like for him to look at my insurance. It felt like the sort of situation that wouldn’t involve any pressure, and I was right. He quickly wrote back with some information for me, and we had a phone conversation to talk about it. I found out that I could pay a little bit more for auto insurance and get far better coverage. Then, when we looked at my condo owner policy, we found out I had too much coverage, which saved me money. When the two were bundled together, that was another discount, and since I’m not driving much right now, I was able to get a low mileage discount, at least for now. In the end, I would have personalized service, exactly the coverage I need, and be spending less money!
After thinking about the change over the weekend, I contacted David. I told him that I hate making phone calls, especially to people who are going to try to get me to stay with their company. That was really my only hesitation in canceling my current insurance policies. He told me that he would see what he could do to handle it for me. We then started to get the ball rolling on my new policies!
Myth: I thought having an insurance agent was sort of old fashioned. People think travel agents/advisor are old fashioned
Fact: Especially after COVID cancellations, people are realizing that the personal service of a travel advisor is so valuable. We need more personal connections anyway, so having a good insurance agent is a good idea.
Myth: I thought having an insurance agent would cost me more money. People think they’ll spend more money using a travel advisor
Fact: Sometimes it might cost a little more, and sometimes it my cost less. The goal is for the client to have what they need & want, and in the end, the value is so much greater.
Myth: I thought of insurance as big business, rather than supporting small business. Travel is also big business, but using a travel advisor supports small business.
Fact: An independent insurance agent is just like an independent travel advisor. Both are running a small business and need clients. I was being a hypocrite by using an online insurance agency. If you want to support small business, use an insurance agent and a travel advisor.
Myth: I figured if I ever needed to file an insurance claim, my online company would be fine. People think they’re saving money with online travel agencies, until something goes wrong.
Fact: Fortunately, I’ve never filed an insurance claim, but I have dealt with travel problems for myself and for clients. The hold times alone can be horrible. If you use a travel advisor or an insurance agent, they take care of all of that for you!
Myth: I thought I’d be dealing with a seedy salesman who just wants my money. People have a similar negative image of a travel agent/advisor.
Fact: Getting a new insurance policy was surprisingly enjoyable, and I feel like I have exactly what I need for less money! As a travel advisor, I’m not a seedy salesperson. I want people to have amazing trips within their budget, whether it’s 2 nights at the beach, a Caribbean cruise or a 10 day adventure in Europe!
If you want to support small business, get the best value for your budget, and receive personal service, let me know! I’ll be happy to share contact information or my insurance agent, and of course, I would love to help you plan a trip! Either way, life is about experiences, so why not have as many positive (or elevated) experiences as possible? Contact me via the form at the bottom of my website: www.pilkingtontravels.com.