Buying homeowner’s insurance online
In most business transactions, you can tell the commitment a company will make to you based upon the effort they put into selling you their product or service. Most companies that now sell products and services online do so for their convenience, rather than yours.
That being said, how much harm could it really do you to purchase a home insurance policy online? As it turns out, a lot, and there are a few very important ways that an online insurance company will not be able to cover you.
Why it’s a bad idea
Unlike companies selling homeowner’s insurance online, insurance companies selling home insurance through agencies (the Big 5, and you know who they are), incur the expense of office staff and the other “sticks and bricks” going into maintaining a business presence. However, these offices, although expensive, also provide a place where you can go to when you have a problem and need direct assistance.
Nothing could be more important than selling a product like insurance for homeowners. In fact, insurance is not a product; it is a service. When you file a claim, you want to know the company is going to be responsive, investigate the loss quickly, and pay the claim.
If you bought your homeowner’s insurance online, you likely bought it from a service call center, with a person answering the phone who may or may not even know about the actual insurance you need. Most insurance is very much an as “needs” based decision, in that there is no “one size fits all.” You can’t find a policy that fits you well if your insurance company can’t see you!
When you file a claim
If you have a sinkhole claim, and later find out when you need a sinkhole investigation that you bought insurance without sinkhole coverage, you have a major problem. Not only that, but you are not likely to be able to meet with someone, but you will instead be put on a phone queue with someone who doesn’t know what your home needs, and likely isn’t even in Florida!
Think about it this way: the last time you hired someone to mow your lawn, did you meet with the person? Probably. When was the last time you hired, and obtained service from a physician, simply by doing an online search? Never. Why would you take those chances with your biggest investment (your home) by shopping for your home insurance online?
Certainly, there will be a day when this will work, and you can buy insurance with comfort and confidence. Unfortunately, that day has not yet come, and purchasing a premium online just invites problems into one’s life.