Your first insurance experience may start with a simple policy or two — car insurance, renters insurance and not much else. But as life picks up, a new job, home, relationship and children may give you more than your initial policies can handle.
You can buy insurance directly from some companies online. But choosing your own policies and limits may leave gaps in your coverage that you might not think about or recognize.
That’s why every Erie Insurance policy comes with a friendly face right in your neighborhood – a local, independent ERIE agent to help you get the coverages you need and never pay more than you should.
Why do you need an insurance agent?
Insurance agents are professionals who know the nuances of the industry. Although you can shop for quotes, policies or endorsements by yourself, it’s best to have an expert by your side to help you understand the best coverage options for you and your family. (Related: 9 Life Changes to Tell Your Insurance Agent About)
Here are some advantages of trusting an agent with your insurance shopping experience:
- You get personalized service. There’s a level of convenience to automation, but it’s hard to beat a real person who can get to know you personally. Your ERIE agent can discover what matters most to you and ask questions to uncover which policies and options will be the right fit. At ERIE, our agents know how valuable a little kindness and personalized attention can be. In every interaction, they strive to bring compassion, understanding and goodwill.
- They can help you make the right decisions. Even if you know what kind of coverage you’re looking for, the best choice might not be obvious to you. Trust an insurance agent to provide you with a range of options and advise you on the benefits and limitations of each policy.
- They know your area. Local ERIE agents understand the risks associated with where you live and what your neighbors are experiencing, such as the cost of living in your area or common claims. Find an agent close to home and have confidence knowing you can always schedule a quick chat if need be. Your local ERIE agent lives where you live and cares about the community. They can answer your questions and make the insurance buying process easier for you.
- They know the language. Multiple insurance contracts can say the same thing in different ways. Without an insurance pro in your corner, you could purchase a policy without knowing exactly what you’re getting. Let an insurance agent help you cut through the jargon and tell you exactly how a policy benefits you. Our agents know insurance inside out, back and forth and upside down. Your ERIE agent can demystify insurance for you so you can focus on enjoying life.
- They’ll compare prices for you. ERIE agents understand the differences between each provider’s policies. They can compare rates and coverages to get you a the best policy to suit your needs.
- They’re looking out for your best interests. One of the biggest perks of having an independent insurance agent is that they don't work for a singular insurance company. That freedom prevents them from providing you options and advice that primarily benefits the insurer. Trust your ERIE agent to look out for your best interests and use their knowledge to your advantage.
When is it time to find an agent?
Working with an insurance agent can be beneficial at any point in your life. But it becomes crucial as you take on more responsibilities.
You should always report certain changes to your insurance company to update your policy (or policies), but significant adjustments in your family life or finances may demand more time and attention. Once your coverage options become overwhelming, it may be time to find someone to walk you through the process.
Here are some signs it’s time to have a professional in your corner:
- You’re newly married or divorced. Your spouse or ex-spouse, along with their possessions, are often included in your coverage. Since your priorities shift with a marriage or divorce, an agent can help you make sure those changes are reflected in your policy. This could include updates to your auto, home and life policies including anything else that’s shared between both of you.
- Your family is growing. When you welcome a new baby (or multiple!), you might need to adjust your coverage to protect your new family. If anything were to happen to your home, car or possessions, ensure that your entire household is protected with the right policies and coverage options based on your agent’s recommendations.
- Your teenager starts driving. When your baby grows up and gets behind the wheel, that can add a layer of complexity to your auto policy. Teen drivers are involved in more accidents than any other age group, so ask your ERIE agent how you can get quality coverage without breaking the bank.
- Your child is starting college. An agent can help you understand how a child going off to school affects your policies. For example: You could get a break on auto insurance premiums if your child doesn't have a car on campus. And you may consider adding life insurance to cover student loan debt in case of the unexpected.
- You’ve bought your first home. As a first-time home buyer, it’s your first time buying homeowners insurance, too. Insuring your new place accounts for the roof and walls, but it also includes your belongings and other protections that make a house a home. Talk to your ERIE agent about the basics of homeowners insurance and learn how you can protect one of life’s biggest investments.
- You’re renovating your house. A home renovation can boost the value of your property, meaning your old policy may not cover what your home is worth if you file a claim. As your living space grows and changes, an insurance professional can help you understand how to update your policy and make sure you’re covered properly against a loss.
- You’ve moved. With relocation comes an entirely new property to insure. You’re busy enough moving your stuff in and getting settled; rely on your ERIE agent to help you insure your new house.
- You bought a new car. Buying a vehicle is cause for a fresh look at your auto insurance, especially if it’s your first new car. A new set of wheels comes with up-to-date features that might make updating your policy a little more complex. (These days, even a fender bender can damage high-tech sensors more than you’d expect.) It’s best to talk with an agent who can ask the right questions so your ride is well protected.
- You started a business. Business insurance is meant to help protect your new venture, even if it’s out of your home. An expert on business insurance and other policies will come in handy as your company grows — especially after what you’ve invested to get it started.
- You’re considering life insurance. As you get older, you may consider how to best care for your loved ones after you're gone. It may be when you’re comfortable with the life you’ve built or immediately after you start a family. Either way, it’s wise to ask an agent how you can provide everything your family needs if something were to happen to you, your spouse or your partner.
- You’ve accepted a new job. Benefits packages vary by company. A new job could cause you to lose some benefits, or a salary change can impact the coverages you can afford. Consult with your ERIE agent and learn how to get adequate protection to supplement your group life coverage provided by your employer. (Related: I Have Life Insurance Through Work. Isn’t That Enough?)
- You got a raise. When your salary increases, so does your standard of living. And in this case, it might be time to reevaluate your life insurance. Your ERIE agent can help you adjust your current policy or add additional coverage to ensure that your family has the financial support they need based on your increased income.
- You’re retiring. In retirement, you’re now living off your pension or retirement savings and social security. This stage in life can affect each of your insurance policies, so start having conversations about keeping your coverage in place before you retire.
- You made a big purchase. Generally, people think of insurance policies as protection for their home, cars and family. However, a large purchase – such as an engagement ring – might need separate coverage from the belongings covered under your homeowners insurance. Depending on the item, your agent can help you find ways to include it in your coverage for pennies on the dollar. Learn more about personal valuables insurance.
- You switched lenders. You may have switched mortgage or auto lenders to save a few bucks. Just make sure you tell your agent about switching lenders, too. If you don’t, your provider could send claims payments to the wrong lender, making the process complicated and time-consuming.
Get the support you deserve
Nobody should walk through life alone – that’s why every ERIE policy comes with a real person to help guide you through your journey. With each and every milestone, we’ll get to know you and make sure you have the coverage options you need and none that you don’t. Contact your local ERIE agent and get the support you need to protect what matters most to you.