Melinda Robinson, Insurance Consultant at Andres O’Neil & Lowe Agency

In today’s world, young people seem to refer to the internet for everything. Social media, driving directions, music, watching movies, making purchases and to sell items are all examples of how we utilize the internet. Purchasing insurance coverage online has become common place and where our youth tend to go to for assistance. The older generation still value the input and direction of a local agent. With this trend, one might ask, “Are the youth getting the personalized expertise that a local insurance agent can provide?” Such as: understanding what the coverage limits refer to; what the out of pocket expenses are as well as the types of protection coverages in different states; how the policy extends to other non-owned items and other unknown events. These are all questions that might better be answered by meeting with an agent face-to-face to discuss insurance needs.

I recently took a poll of 20 people, ranging in age from 16 to 86 years of age.

The younger group’s responses from the survey can be summarized in the following way:

Do you value your insurance agent? I buy direct.

Do you understand your insurance coverage?  I just told them I wanted the cheapest.

Are you insuring your items for full coverage?  I would think so, as I asked for full coverage.

What limits of liability do you have?  I don’t know. I just told them I wanted full coverage.

Answers from the older group were:

Do you value your insurance agent?  I trust my agent. I meet with them annually to discuss changes in coverages and to make sure that I have the updated recommended coverage limits to best protect me.

Do you understand your insurance coverage?  Yes. My agent has explained and we have discussed the coverage that I need.

Are you insuring your items for full coverage?  I have elected the coverage by design on each policy to best protect my out of pocket expenses should a loss occur.  My agent has designed my policy with a higher deductible to help with the insurance premium costs.  I elected a deductible limit that I personally am comfortable with and this helps with my rates as well.

What limits of liability do you have?  My agent follows the industry and contacts us with additional products that can give us extra protection in case of a large claim.  I discussed with my agent that I don’t want to be underinsured. My agent offered a personal umbrella policy that allows extra protection over our auto and homeowners insurance.

The responses above clearly show that technology is driving many youths’ decisions. It’s apparent that to be successful in the insurance marketplace and reach our youth, we need to be able to relate and deliver the same education and service through both ways of purchasing insurance.

Andres O’ Neil and Lowe Agency can adapt to both the internet based and local agent purchasing model. Let us be your agent and help consult through handheld devices, apps, online internet rating, and/or the conveniences of having a local insurance agent and having a hard copy of your policy contract.