Just like how you can taste the difference when you buy produce from your local farm stand as opposed to getting it at the grocery store, some things are just better when they’re local. That stands true for insurance as well! (Granted we may be a bit biased.)
While you can go online and “in less than 15 minutes” get an insurance policy through one of the large national companies with the recognizable brand mascots, how can you be certain you’re purchasing the right type and amount of coverage for your specific needs? Are you aware of all the different discounts and credits you may qualify for? Without the recommendations and expertise of a local insurance agent, who has spent decades in the insurance industry (like us), you could be paying too much, or worse you could be lacking necessary coverage for your unique situation or lifestyle.
Do you know how much car insurance you should have? What level of homeowners’ insurance will allow you to fully recover after a loss? Similarly, how much business insurance will protect the risks you face in your specific industry? Does your business need cyber fraud coverage, or workers’ compensation? The purpose of independent insurance agents like McSweeney & Ricci is to answer these questions (and more) for you. It’s our job to find the insurance coverage best suited to your individual needs and budget, and help you adjust your coverage as those needs change over the years. We’ll get to how your insurance needs may change in a minute, but first we want to define some common insurance terms.
What is a Direct Writer?
Those large national companies constantly advertising on billboards, sky banners, tv and radio with the memorable mascots (think little green gecko, and perky brunette wearing a white apron) are called direct writers.
Difference between Direct Writers, Captive Agents & Independent Insurance Agents
There are many differences between a direct writer and an independent local insurance agent like McSweeney & Ricci Insurance.
No Dedicated Agent Looking Out for You: Direct writers offer the option of purchasing coverage online or thru an app sometimes without ever having to speak to a representative. This may sound convenient but again, how can you be certain you’re getting the right coverage for your needs? If you are able to communicate with a representative from one of the national companies, the likelihood you’ll ever speak to that same person again is slim. Also, where direct writers are nationwide, you can’t be sure that the person you speak with is familiar with Massachusetts’ ever-changing insurance laws.
What’s the difference with a local agent like us? When you request an insurance quote for your home, vacation home, car, boat, condo, apartment, your business or even life insurance from McSweeney & Ricci, you’ll hear from one of our experienced agents within minutes. We’ll ask questions to get to know your specific insurance needs. If you decide to entrust us with your coverage, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Account Manager. Our Account Managers have years of insurance experience and keep informed of all Massachusetts and New England insurance laws and requirements. Our team partners with you to select the best insurance program for your needs.
It’s our job to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, to look out for your best interests and advocate for you. If you have questions, you can call, email your Account Manager directly or even Live Chat with us over our website. We’ll assist you with any of your insurance needs, help guide you through the claims process if you have a loss, and for our clients we can even do a number of RMV Registry procedures in our office, such as issuing new license plates, transferring plates, or renewing a registration. If you’re insured with a captive agent or direct writer and you experience a loss or have some other issue, you may wish you had a dedicated Account Manager advocating on your behalf.
Additionally, you’ll have the freedom of choice in your insurance selection. We will run quotes with the multiple insurance companies we represent to find the best combination of coverage and price. This brings us to the next big difference.
Only One Insurance Company to Choose From: Direct writers represent one insurance company, so placing your insurance with them means there’s no flexibility, no choice. You could also get your insurance from what’s called a captive agent. Like a direct writer, a captive agent only represents one insurance carrier. So, you would only have that one option. As opposed to placing your insurance with an independent insurance agent, like McSweeney & Ricci where you have multiple top-rated insurance companies to choose from.
Help with Your Changing Insurance Needs
If you’re a young adult who only needs a simple car insurance policy, you may be fine with a direct writer or captive agent. In the future, you may purchase your first home and need car, home and umbrella insurance. Maybe you get married and need to protect an engagement ring and purchase life insurance. Or you may start your own business and need a Business Owners Policy, Cyber Liability and Directors & Officers coverage. Over time, your insurance needs may become more complicated. As your insurance needs increase in complexity, your risk exposures also increase. Without the guidance and expertise of a knowledgeable local insurance agent, how will you know what you need? The Account Managers here at McSweeney & Ricci are professional risk advisors, skilled at recommending the proper type and level of insurance coverage to address a multitude of risks.
The Choice is Yours
There are some insurance policies that residents of Massachusetts must legally maintain. For example, Massachusetts drivers are required to carry minimum limits of auto insurance, businesses with employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance and while Massachusetts doesn’t legally require home insurance, mortgage lenders will most likely require a homeowner’s policy to be in place. You may have no choice about carrying some forms of insurance, but the choice of where you get your insurance is all yours.
Insurance can be tricky. The risk advisors at independent insurance agencies like McSweeney & Ricci have insurance knowledge, local expertise, and access to numerous insurance companies to guide consumers toward appropriate insurance solutions for their specific needs. Our team knows Massachusetts’ laws and that state minimums may not provide enough protection in the event of a loss. We feel there really is no substitute for the guidance and expertise that comes from partnering with a local independent insurance agent (like us) for your insurance. (But again, we’re a little biased.) We hope you’ll carefully consider the options and select the best choice for you. Of course, our team at McSweeney & Ricci would love to hear from you and help answer any questions you may have about insurance. We hope you’ll give us a call, send us an email or live chat with us here on our website.
Let’s talk. We’d love to show you why local really is better!