Walmart Begins Selling Auto Insurance Online

By Amy O' Connor | April 30, 2014
Walmart

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:08 am
    Got Insurance? says:
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    Does the insurance come from China as well??

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:57 am
    M. Prankster says:
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    “The annual savings reported by customers in Pennsylvania was $1,168 on average.”

    We are only required to maintain limits of $15/30/5 in PA.

    That must be some bare bones coverage.

    Scary.

    • April 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm
      NC Drive says:
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      When traveling I’ll think I will opt not to drive in PA.

      • May 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm
        DJ says:
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        It’s called UNDERINSURED coverage…

    • May 5, 2014 at 10:56 am
      PA Agent says:
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      As a PA Agent this is painful to see because people will switch coverage for a cheaper rate and have no idea what coverage they just sacrificed. It is scary when anyone will do anything to make a buck.

      To get savings like that you are def. on some bare bones coverage!

    • May 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm
      Agent says:
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      Perhaps Libby will buy some of that good insurance in Pennsylvania since she lives there. Look at how much she will save. One stop shopping for her groceries, drugs, insurance. What a deal.

      • May 9, 2014 at 2:25 pm
        Libby says:
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        It is more likely that dumb, Texas rednecks will buy from Walmart than level-headed Pennsylvanians.

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:10 am
      Agent says:
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      Pennsylvania must be living in the dark ages requiring $15/30/5 as minimum limits. Numerous states have increased minimum limits in the past 30 years. I guess the plaintiff lawyers have a field day up there suing under UIM.

      • May 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm
        Libby says:
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        Even backwater Texas has 30/60/25. Go figure.

        But we have PIP. Do you?

  • April 30, 2014 at 11:06 am
    GenXUnderwriter says:
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    Wait till Wal-Mart gets dragged into their first E&O suit because a customer thought something was covered that wasn’t. Sure, they may be “only a marketing partner”, but plaintiffs attorneys always go for the deepest pockets!

    • May 6, 2014 at 11:38 am
      Agent says:
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      Wal Mart is not worried about suits. They have a legion of attorneys on staff. They get sued all the time by alleged “falls” in the stores and the plaintiffs almost never win anything.

  • April 30, 2014 at 11:25 am
    Original Bob says:
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    It is rumored that Walmart is in negotiations with Congress to purchase the designation of “Too Big to Fail”, ensuring that they eventually will get the last available retail penny in our pocket, and the naming rights of America to change it to the United States of Walmart.

  • April 30, 2014 at 12:13 pm
    RALPH holdfer says:
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  • April 30, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    jtownagent says:
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    Will Walmart received commission? Can’t believe they are doing it for free. If so who will be licensed at the company.

    • April 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm
      Libby says:
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      They’ll probably get an override.

      • May 6, 2014 at 8:30 am
        Whodathunkit? says:
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        No overrides for unlicensed individuals in PA Libby.

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:19 am
        Libby says:
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        They’ll have to get something. Maybe a rental fee to for the computer. They don’t do anything for free.

        • May 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm
          Ram says:
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          The articles says Walmart would be getting a monthly fee from the insurers to market their insurance products. I assume they would charge a small portion of the fee just to integrate the insurers’ URLs in their site.

  • April 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm
    philip says:
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    McDonalds is next. You’ll get a sausage & egg bisquit and a HOT cup of coffee while you’re waiting on the quote!

  • April 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    Big D says:
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    Glad to see Travelers is in the picture here. Their rates are so high it will be easy pickings when someone needs to shop. Fishman can’t get enough rate increase now! Mark my word, TIC is losing a ton of business!

    • May 1, 2014 at 9:29 am
      tweety bird says:
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      I think that Mr. Fishman and his main office in Hartford, CT should be more concerned about his Claims Dept. in the New York offices. They spend so much money in defense attorneys fees that it’s a joke. The sad part is that some of the (BI) Liability adjusters even brag about how they make up phony contacts just to get rid of there pending claims! oh WAIT! And now, they are training “ALL” of there unit’s one by one to become (Multi-line) adjusters! yeah that will not work in New York!

  • April 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Website says:
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    Kinda brings new meaning to the “People of Walmart” website, doesn’t it?

  • April 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm
    Rosie says:
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    The Waltons and the company executives will inflate their bursting at the seams wallets even further, while the workers scrape by on a wage you cannot survive on. There’s a special place in Hell for people like this.

    • May 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm
      Phoenix says:
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      You mean while the workers scrape by on the wages they agreed to when they took the position offered? You know, the position that requires little more than a pulse and 98.6 degree body temperature.

  • April 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    Tim says:
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    “Walmart customers using AutoInsurance.com, which is operated by Fort Lee, N.J.-based licensed property/casualty insurance agency Tranzutary Insurance Solutions, will see multiple quotes from each of the carriers.”

    On the bright side, since the agency is based in Fort Lee, they’re probably stuck in traffic at the George Washington Bridge.

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:15 pm
    R D Nolte says:
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    • May 1, 2014 at 8:57 am
      agent14 says:
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      RD Nolte, a wise man once said: “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    • May 1, 2014 at 8:58 am
      jack says:
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      RD Nolte- pay off your house and ride a bike and you wont need insurance. You are so damn smart I thought you would have figured that out by now.

      • May 1, 2014 at 10:07 am
        Libby says:
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        Never thought I’d agree with Jack!

    • May 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm
      Phoenix says:
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      • May 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm
        jack says:
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        Phoenix-And those damages (whatever the amount) would come out of your pocket had you not bought insurance. I’m not saying injury lawyers don’t suck! trust me after spending 10 years as a bodily injury claim rep for Allstate-State Farm they suck big time. But someone has to pay, would you rather it be the taxpayer? Hell, lets just make healthcare free and we wouldn’t need attorneys….right? Wrong! Because this nation is 50% lazy blood sucking, you owe me something for doing nothing, you owe me something cause I’m black, you owe me something cause your white and somebody has to pay for my crap people.

        • May 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm
          Libby says:
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          Gee, racist any?

          • May 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm
            jack says:
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            Libby- I’m 1/32 black so I cant be racist.

          • May 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm
            Libby says:
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          • May 2, 2014 at 8:48 am
            JACK says:
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            And Harry Reid said I didn’t have much NEGRO dialect either.

            You see Libby…it’s only racist when a conservative says it. So given that fact I really don’t care what libtards think or say about racism,homos,guns,etc.

          • May 2, 2014 at 9:41 am
            Libby says:
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          • May 2, 2014 at 11:58 am
            jack says:
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            Libby- what if he’s half white-half black? Cause Obama is one racist dude.

          • May 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm
            Libby says:
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            The color you are does not decide if you are racist or not. It is your attitude towards the other race. I don’t think Obama is racist, ie. thinks whites are inferior to blacks, as much as he is promoting programs that will benefit less fortunate minorities. Just because they target by race or ethnicity does not in and of itself make them racist. Minorities in urban areas ARE less fortunate than their white counterparts. If you want to lower crime and alleviate drug usage, why wouldn’t you target programs for those very people? It’s not racist. It’s common sense.

            Now, argue with me and tell me what a racist/bigot I am.

          • May 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm
            Sarah says:
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            Just because he is pointing out the fact that there are those who present the argument that they are owed because of their skin color does not make him a racist but makes those that make the argument a racist. There is a difference and the claim is being made by progressives every day.

          • May 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm
            Sarah says:
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            “he is promoting programs that will benefit less fortunate minorities. Just because they target by race or ethnicity does not in and of itself make them racist. Minorities in urban areas ARE less fortunate than their white counterparts”. (BS)

            I think that stating that one ethnicity is less fortunate than another is racist in itself.Using skin color as an excuse for failure and crime and blaming others for their misfortunes, is ignorant and racist, by bringing attention to their misfortunes brings nothing but more of it. How about being color blind? That would be best for everyone.

          • May 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm
            Destro says:
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            Jack you’re 100% right about it’s only racist when a conservative says it. Well it’s only a big deal when a conservative says it. Congressman Alvin Holmes calls Supreme Court Justice an Uncle Tom? No problem, not mentioned at all anywhere. That same congressman says that 99% of white people would abort their children/grandchildren if they were mixed race? No one in the media bats an eyelash. Why? Because he is black. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan (R-WI) says that inner-city individuals (note he never once mentioned race) live in a welfare culture and he’s immediately branded as a racist by every liberal within earshot. Despite the fact that he’s talking about ways to improve those impoverished, the talking heads and Al Sharpton’s of the world call him a vile racist hatemonger.

            Eric Holder is questioned by a senate committee about the shadiness involved with a litany of scandals and he goes to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference and grandstands about how NO ATTORNEY GENERAL has EVER been treated like that (obviously because he and the president aren’t white).

            I don’t care what Libby says, the amount of racism/racist language used by those on the left is astounding and they are never held to the same standard and only reported by conservative media outlets (who also cover conservatives who say similarly stupid things).

          • May 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm
            Destro says:
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            Sarah,

            I think I just fell in love. ;-P

          • May 5, 2014 at 2:57 pm
            Destro says:
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            Also Libby, I think you’re confusing racist with supremacist. The two aren’t mutually exclusive but there is a difference. There is no doubt that Obama has instituted racist policies/programs (policies/programs based entirely on race).

          • May 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm
            Libby says:
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            Sarah, instead of trying to turn things around and make me appear racist, try listening to what I say.

            More poor, disadvantaged people live in urban areas. The majority in places like Chicago, Detroit, and L.A. also tend to be minorities. This is fact, not racism.

          • May 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm
            Libby says:
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          • May 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm
            Destro says:
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            And I think we’ve come to see through your statements that you are in fact the racist. We’re not saying that you’re an angry racist or some kind of supremacist. It’s just that you believe that the color of somebody’s skin explains all of the problems in their life. It’s a racist, anti-personal-responsibility notion often pushed by liberals that essentially says because of somebody’s skin, they are less than.

            It’s subtle racism and the policies that mirror this thinking are and have been very detrimental to communities.

          • May 6, 2014 at 11:23 am
            Libby says:
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          • May 7, 2014 at 9:09 am
            Destro says:
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            “I am in no way racist”

            LOL please, race is almost all of the abject nonsense that you’ve been spewing lately. You call me a “rabid conservative” and then tell me to grow up? Take some of your own advice please, you have the online maturity level of an 18 year old liberal who only watches MSNBC and The Daily Show (that is in no way a compliment).

            You want to talk about reasons for the problems? How about liberal ideology that incentivizes stagnation and laziness. Welfare programs that incentivize people to remain poor. Or we could just talk about the systemic exploitability of welfare programs.

          • May 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm
            brokie says:
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            Not only is he racist, he’s stupid. It is “you’re white and ‘because’ not ’cause’.

          • May 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm
            Libby says:
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            Destro – Wow. You’re a consummate venom spewer.

            If you want to talk about “Welfare programs that incentivize people to remain poor. Or we could just talk about the systemic exploitability of welfare programs.” I’d be happy to do so. I also believe there is much abuse and it should be addressed.

            But I refuse to debate with you on any topic anymore because you are a contentious jerk.

          • May 11, 2014 at 8:49 am
            Destro says:
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            So it would seem this round goes to me.

          • May 12, 2014 at 9:44 am
            Libby says:
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            Yes, you won the venom-spewer, contentious jerk award.

    • May 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm
      Look at it this way, RD says:
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      If you have been so mistreated by agents for 70 long years, that would put your age at about 86 now, at least. Sure getting crusty in your old age, aren’t you? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it! Kind of like going or not going to WalMart, huh?

  • May 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm
    Roger says:
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    I call this rod and real marketing. They throw out the bait (low premiums) and real you in. Then in court you loose your assets because they low balled your coverage. Once again proving that they are baiting you. A professional agent is going to explain the various limits of liability and Uninsured Motorist. State minimum Liability limits are a joke and these guys over the internet don’t care what happens when you have a claim. Find a “Trusted Choice” agent and you can sleep at night, knowing you choose not to roll the dice with your families assets. Auto, Home, Umbrella with one company will best protect your future. Plus, you can walk into an agents office and talk to them face to face, about whatever is on your mind. Hooks are sharp and they can hurt very bad.

    • May 6, 2014 at 11:48 am
      Agent says:
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      I think this is much like GEICO and their strategy of low balling coverage to get a price. It is taking a page out of Uncle Warren’s strategy. Not good for the customer, but the low information people don’t have a clue about what is going on and just want to pay the minimum.

      • May 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm
        Agent says:
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        Has anyone ever tried to write a Walmartian? They are an interesting breed.

    • May 9, 2014 at 9:20 am
      Agent says:
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      In most states Insurance Licensing, bait and switch is an illegal activity and cannot be done at peril of losing a license. I guess it doesn’t apply today with the big online carriers. GEICO, 21st Century, Allstate, Progressive are the biggest bait and switchers in the market today. Flo is one of the worst telling consumers to just “pick a price” they want to pay. The low information consumer who has no clue fall for that line.

      • May 12, 2014 at 11:06 am
        Libby says:
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        I see the bait, but where’s the switch?

  • May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    T Dubya says:
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    Problem now is Walmart will throw its considerable political weight behind the “nationalization” of the P&C busines, eliminating the state insurance offices and opening up the nation to a huge consolidation of the business. Small regional carries can kiss their fannies good bye.

  • May 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm
    Mike from Jersey says:
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    I have been saying for years that what has been missing from my personal lines insurance buying options was the ability to purchase products designed to protect my financial stability from the same place I buy toilet paper.

    Now that Walmart is in the insurance business I informed the agency I have used to place my auto and homeowners these past 10 years that they are losing my business unless they start selling toilet paper.

  • May 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    TX Agent says:
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    Brings back memories of the Allstate office located under the escalator in Sears Stores…Look at how well that worked!!!!

    • May 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm
      CL PM says:
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      Do you mean how those agents helped to build Allstate into one of the largest insurance companies in the country?

    • May 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm
      Agent says:
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      Allstate consistently screws their agents with declining commissions among other things. No wonder they formed a guild/union to deal with management.

  • May 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Mike from Jersey says:
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    I have been saying for years that the only thing missing from my personal lines insurance buying options is the ability to purchase products intended to protect my long-term financial stability from the same place I buy toilet paper.

    In order to be fair, I have informed the agency I used to place my auto and homeowners policies for the past 10 years that I will stop doing business with them unless they start selling toilet paper.

    • May 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      Yes, we going to open a “food court” as well. That should keep the clients happy.

  • May 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm
    buckeye ins agent says:
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    This comment is for the agents – don’t laugh this is scary stuff. The lizard was considered a low end company for a long time. I see them in a lot of quality households now with higher limits coverage at half or less of what most carriers are selling it for. Their claims service is getting good marks too so you can’t pick on them for that either. This is a legit threat to the agency model as we know it. The carriers need to get more aggressive and the agents need to step up their game or sell the agency.

    • May 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm
      Libby says:
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      Let them have the personal auto. Write commercial lines. There’s more money in it.

      • May 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm
        MA-Broker says:
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        Until they prove the online model works and expand it to small commerical, then middle market, etc, etc, etc.

      • May 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm
        MA-Broker says:
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        Until this proves that the online model can work(at least as a platform), and then it gets expanded into small commerical, then middle market, etc, etc, etc.

      • May 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm
        Libby says:
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        Poppycock. You obviously don’t write much in commercial lines other than BOPs.

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:53 am
        Agent says:
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        Sorry Libby, I am not going to cede Personal Lines from the Auto only carriers. We do very well bundling customers for Auto & Home with companion credits. We also don’t lose many since we wrap up all their coverage and often sell Personal Umbrellas since they are inexpensive. Commercial Lines does have higher premiums per account, but a solid book of Personal Lines is very lucrative.

      • May 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm
        Libby says:
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        That’s fine, Agent. Far from me to tell you how to run your shop. Me? I’ll stick with commercial lines. You couldn’t pay me enough to work on personal lines again.

        • May 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm
          Agent says:
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          Libby, I seem to remember you lamenting the fact that you took a significant pay cut to move to Pennsylvania. Why not try to write the Personal Lines on your Commercial customers? I have all my Commercial customers Personal Lines. They have substantial homes, autos, boats, RV’s, Personal Umbrellas. You are leaving some extra commission dollars on the table for other agents to gobble up. It might be a way for you to increase your income assuming you are The Agent.

          • May 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm
            Libby says:
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            We have a personal lines department that does that agent. It’s not my expertise and I don’t pretend it is.

        • May 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm
          martin says:
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          Libby… You should never leave money on the table.. Sell everything!

          • May 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm
            Libby says:
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            I’ll leave the P/L to the P/L experts. You aren’t my competition.

  • May 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm
    philip says:
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    Actually I’m not far from retirement. My ins license has been renewed for another two years. Wonder if I could take on a part-time job greeting, checking bags,etc., as I hold my laptop and handout ins quotes at the front door of WalMart.

    • May 6, 2014 at 11:55 am
      Agent says:
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      Perhaps poor Stan can get a job with Walmart selling off his laptop and he can do better than his current $9 per hour job.

    • May 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm
      Agent says:
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      Libby, are you not a producer for commissions in your agency? I don’t rate Personal Lines, but do a quick worksheet for the info and my CSR rates it up and then I sell it. Those commissions sure seem to add up over the course of a year. I wonder if your Personal Lines department knows how to solicit Personal Lines from your Commercial Clients. They probably don’t know them from Adam.

      • May 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm
        Libby says:
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        I’ve told you over and over Agent. I’m a Claim Manager. And when I was a producer working for commissions, my agency didn’t pay for any account under $5,000 in commissions. We didn’t even write personal lines. A concept I know you can’t understand. But that’s why I could handle a $1.2M revenue book.

        • May 9, 2014 at 9:29 am
          Agent says:
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          Are you talking about your current agency or the one that cut you loose in Colorado? Any agency that doesn’t pay commissions to a producer if it was under $5,000 in commissions has a dork for an owner. Is your current Personal Lines department a “call in” department only? Any agency that neglects Personal Lines and makes no attempt to increase or expand it is foolish. I have actually gotten Commercial business from developing Personal after I found out they were owners of a business.

          • May 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm
            Libby says:
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            “Any agency that doesn’t pay commissions to a producer if it was under $5,000 in commissions has a dork for an owner.” – tell that to the dork that is making a multi-million dollar salary agent!

            “Any agency that neglects Personal Lines and makes no attempt to increase or expand it is foolish.” – tell Marsh, AON, AJG, and all the others how foolish they are, Agent. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

            This model is so way above your level, I understand why you can’t comprehend it. WE DIDN’T NEED THAT LABOR INTENSIVE, LOW REVENUE BUSINESS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. That’s not what we did. We would have gladly referred it to you if you weren’t such a tool. Luckily we had relationships with other referral agents that were happy to have the business and leave ours to us.

          • May 20, 2014 at 10:22 am
            Agent says:
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            Libby, I hate to tell you this, but the vast majority of agents in this country do not go after business that is written by Marsh or any of the other big houses. There is plenty of really good accounts out there that are $250K and under and they don’t have the sharks after them all the time either. The typical agency I know is roughly 50/50 between Commercial & Personal. Your agency/brokerage has too many eggs in one basket and if your Commercial facilities blow up, you have nothing to fall back on and you will be sent down the road like you were back in the Colorado days.

          • May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm
            Libby says:
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            Agent – that tears it. You are a complete idiot.

            I know the vast majority of agents don’t go after Marsh business. That’s because it takes a very elite and professional shop to secure that type of business. You wouldn’t have a chance.

            I really don’t give 2 shits about the typical agency you know, as they are as rinky-dink as you are. You have no professional designations to your name, know nothing about risk management, and don’t even have claims or loss control services in-house. You’re small time, small potatoes and not even within my atmosphere.

            So go screw yourself and your little petty digs. They, and you, mean nothing to me.

  • May 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm
    Boonedoggle says:
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    I hope their claim service is faster than their check out lines!

    • May 12, 2014 at 10:07 am
      Agent says:
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      Leave it to Libby to completely miss the big picture. An Independent agency in the boondocks of rural Pennsylvania is not exactly Marsh Mc or AON. Libby, perhaps you should clarify if you are a broker or an Independent Agency. If you are a broker, I can understand you concentrating on your core Commercial and doing quotes to agents. If you are an agency, you and your owner are fools for concentrating strictly on Commercial and neglecting additional revenue generated by Personal Lines of your Commercial clients.

      • May 12, 2014 at 11:02 am
        Libby says:
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        Try to listen and comprehend, Agent. I have been in this business for 33 years. I have worked at many different agencies. I am an Agent and a Broker, as I represent the client and I often present quotes through carriers with whom I am not licensed (broker). I AM NOT a wholesaler, if that’s what you’re getting at.

        Large agents (Marsh, AON, etc.) tend to call themselves brokers because they usually represent the interests of their clients while also being agents of represented carriers. It’s a mind shift a small independent agent in West Texas can not fathom, so don’t even try.

        We wrote large, risk-managed accounts in the multi-million dollar range. We counseled them on risk management, risk transfer, loss prevention and loss control. We also partnered with them to control their total cost of risk instead of just peddling insurance products. This is an area you are not familiar with, as you just sell insurance.

        Right now, I am a claim manager in a large local agency in PA. That’s because this area does not support the kind of business I wrote in other large metropolitan areas.

        I don’t even know why I try to explain anything to you. You either don’t listen or you don’t retain the information I give you. You’re either illiterate or dimwitted. Or both.

        Now, having said that, you go ahead and write all the personal lines, individual life and health, and small commercial BOP business you want. That is your model and there’s nothing wrong with it. But don’t try to tell Marsh, AON, etc. that their model is wrong, because they seem to be pretty successful doing it. And it makes you look like a fool.

        • May 12, 2014 at 11:47 am
          Agent says:
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          Libby, how is your organization designated? Are you a Broker or an Agent? Do you write business direct to clients or do you provide quotes to Independent Agents to sell? You said you had a Personal Lines dept to do Personal Lines and you wouldn’t touch it with a 10 ft pole. Does your Personal Lines dept sell direct to the public or is it a go between? We have a few “Brokers” we deal with on Personal Lines if our standards won’t take someone, but it is very limited. Please don’t compare your small Podunct, Pa agency to Marsh & AON. That old dog will not hunt.

          • May 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm
            Libby says:
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            Agent – I am not comparing my current agency to Marsh or AON. I said I used to work for a couple of alphabet houses in large metropolitan areas and that’s how they did it. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!!!

            I am an AGENT. Read my lips. I sell RETAIL insurance, not WHOLESALE (assuming you know the difference.)

            I have an agents license, but that does not preclude me from also having a BROKERS license as I do sell insurance (through wholesale brokers) through carriers with which I am not licensed (in other words NOT AN AGENT.)

            How long have you been in this business? I can’t believe you don’t know the difference between an agent and a broker or the difference between a broker and a wholesaler.

            Here’s something that may help: “Insurance brokers can be best described as a kind of super-independent agent. Brokers can offer a whole host of insurance products for you to consider. Brokers are required to have a broker’s license which typically means the broker will have more education or experience than an agent.

            Brokers also have a higher duty, in most states, to their clients. Brokers have the duty to analyze a business and secure correct and adequate coverage for the business. This is a higher duty than the pure administrative duty of the agent. However, this expertise comes at a price. Brokers typically charge an administrative fee or premium payments are higher when purchased through a broker.”

            http://businessinsure.about.com/od/agentsandbrokers/a/agentnbroker.htm

  • May 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm
    D says:
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    “The site is able to pre-populate information fields by accessing consumers’ existing policies and directly integrates with carriers to facilitate quoting.”

    Really! – accessing consumers existing policies?? How do they do that without breaking the law?

    • May 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm
      philip says:
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      The only thing my system will do (pre-populate) is indicate current carrier and how long it’s been in effect, named insureds, vehicles and vin’s. It indicates nothing about limits of libility or if physical damgage and what deductibles are on the policy. I can’t compare apples to apples unless the insured knows what he has (and many don’t) or they bring in their current policy. SO….Wal-Mart and Overstock keep your nose outa my business!

    • May 5, 2014 at 7:50 am
      CL PM says:
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      That is not against the law and it has been in place for close to 10 years. Insurance companies have access to multiple contributory databases, the most popular being Current Carrier, owned by Lexis Nexis. Most of the successful PL companies use these databases and it is starting to spread to CL, which will help to enable on-line sales of small commercial policies (BOP, small Auto, Umbrella, etc)

      • May 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm
        Agent says:
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        CL, I wonder how all the companies participating in Esurance are doing writing business these days now that Allstate owns Esurance. I asked a Safeco rep one day and I got a glazed stare from her. Hey Safeco, how does it feel to have Allstate knowing and quoting your rates? How is that working out?

        • May 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm
          CL PM says:
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          Agent – I don’t understand your question. Esurance, since their inception in 2000, has been a standalone carrier. They don’t have other carriers “participating” in them. Before being owned by Allstate, they were owned by White Mountains and before that they were independent. Perhaps you are thinking of some of the on-line aggregators like insure.com. If Allstate bought an aggregator, then your comment would be spot-on, but that is not what they purchased with Esurance.

          • May 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm
            Agent says:
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            CL, it was my understanding there were several participating carriers within Esurance and it was like a comparative rater so a customer could put the info in and get a quote from Safeco, Travelers or some other carrier in the Esurance line up.

          • May 13, 2014 at 8:51 am
            Libby says:
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            Since all rates are filed, aren’t they accessible to every carrier?

          • May 13, 2014 at 11:41 am
            agent14 says:
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            Libby, base rates are filed, but in states that allow insurance scoring and various credits, the true rate a client gets is not known until the client provides personal information and goes all the way through a particular carrier’s quoting system. The result in not public knowledge.

      • May 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm
        Agent says:
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        Lexis Nexis drives me crazy. I got a call from a Safeco customer some months ago and he had received one of their post cards addressed to the insured’s son who is not the policyholder about a change on the Auto coverage. ??????????????

    • May 7, 2014 at 10:34 am
      Agent says:
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      D, there is very little privacy anymore on anything. I got a quote in the mail a few years ago from Allstate. They knew what cars I had, all the info on my home etc. Of course, they had no idea who I was so they low balled the quotes with bad limits, coverage, but I got mad and reported them to the Texas Dept of Insurance. Did no good, but they were reported. They somehow got access to the data base on Auto owners in the State and made up a quote out of the blue.

    • May 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm
      Agent says:
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      Libby, if you are a super independent agent, what is so super about an agency that neglects a significant amount of Personal Lines business and does not coordinate between Commercial Lines and Personal Lines? Surely, you should realize that Personal Lines insurance volume is huge in this country with 300 million + citizens.

      • May 13, 2014 at 8:55 am
        Libby says:
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        Agent – if you don’t understand the concept, far be it from me to try to explain it to you. Many of the large houses either have a centralized sales center approach to personal lines or a high net worth department that writes only the high value clients associated with commercial accounts. They leave the other stuff to agents like you. Believe me, you are not a threat to our commercial business because you can’t do what we do.

        • May 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm
          Agent says:
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          Believe it or not Libby, but Independent Agents like me have the same capabilities to write larger accounts like you do and I have several. I am a generalist agent and I take on all sizes of accounts, I just don’t specialize in large accounts with multi state exposure. If an agent loses one of those, it hurts a lot more on revenue than losing a mid market or smaller account. I can protect myself from the sharks out there with my approach. I also do not neglect Personal Lines because they provide a good, steady income stream and we tend to not lose Commercial Accounts that we write the Personal Lines on. We usually end up with several of the employees of the firm on their Personal Lines as well. They like the personal touch rather than an impersonal call/sales center where you get a different person every time a call is made.

          • May 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm
            Libby says:
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            Good for you, Agent. I’m glad what you’re doing works for you.

            But I beg to differ that you could handle the kind of account I’m talking about. You’d never even make in the door. These are multi-national million dollar accounts. Sorry, but you can’t compete.

            But that’s OK. There’s plenty of business out there for all of us. We don’t all have to be the same to be successful.

            I’ve worked in shops like yours (currently) and I’ve worked for the big boys. I do enjoy the large commercial accounts more. There’s more for me to sink my teeth into. But it’s all insurance and we can all do it well.

          • May 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm
            Libby says:
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            Let’s not make it a competition.

          • May 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm
            Agent says:
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            Libby, are you saying that in your rural area of Pennsylvania that you are writing huge accounts and run up against Marsh, AON etc and can compete with them? You are blowing smoke again and I am not buying it.

          • May 15, 2014 at 8:54 am
            Libby says:
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            Agent – you have once again proved yourself a complete moron. If you can’t follow, and comprehend, what I tell you I’m done with you.

            Of course I don’t work on those accounts now. And as I have told you over and over and over, I am now a Claim Manager.

            I USED TO work on those kinds of accounts before I moved to rural PA.

            I have 34 YEARS in this business. I have done almost every job, on every type of account, that you could imagine. Much more that a little West Texas agent that has done the same thing over and over ad nauseum for the last 30 years. Which makes me much more well-rounded and insurance-intelligent that you. Deal with it and quit trying to down me. It makes you look petty and a little jealous.

  • May 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    ExciteBiker says:
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    Will independent agents continue to sell Safeco and Travelers products, or will they refuse to do business with carriers that are apparently seeking to undermine the independent agency system and turn insurance into a commodity available at WalMart?

    I wonder what these carriers are telling their agents… “blah blah blah, increasing our Brand Awareness, blah blah blah…” Sound about right?

    • May 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm
      Libby says:
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      The dollar signs seem to be blinding them to protecting their brand. But in all fairness, they are using an agent, Tranzutary Insurance Solutions.

      I just went on their site and it gave me a minimum limits quote, a higher limits quote, and another higher limits quote. There was a problem with finishing the calculations, so I don’t know how the pricing compared.

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:59 am
        Agent says:
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        Libby, they run quotes in the blind with no reports for claims, violations, accidents. Then, when it is uploaded, the quotes go up when the activity hits. GEICO does the same thing and their quotes often double when the policy is issued.

        • May 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm
          Libby says:
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          I realize that, Agent. I was only relaying my experience on the site. I thought I really shouldn’t comment on it without going to it first. Silly me, I got 3 thumbs down for trying to be responsible.

    • May 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm
      Agent says:
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      Excite, insurance carriers are W—– for the premium dollar. Safeco tried going direct some years ago when they had a former Progressive guy running Personal Lines. That didn’t work out so well and they fired him and they returned to the agency channel and have grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Travelers has also tried selling direct with little results. They also lied to their agents and said they would refer direct Auto customers to agents to pick up the home. No referrals ever received.

      • May 7, 2014 at 9:27 am
        SWFL Agent says:
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        Agent, what are you saying? We all know that selling directly can be profitable. Geico has already proved it. They grow and make money. Plus they wouldn’t be growing if “quotes often double” the majority of the time. Here’s what I think you’re saying: Safeco & Travelers aren’t smart enough to figure it out. By the way, Travelers will NEVER figure it out because their IS folks can’t design adequate delivery systems for the IA channel, much less for the direct market.

        • May 7, 2014 at 10:27 am
          Agent says:
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          SW, we had two conflicting stories about Berkshire Hathaway. GEICO is growing, but Berkshire Hathaway profits are falling. Hmm! Are they robbing Peter to pay Paul? Buffet will be retiring soon. I wonder what the direction will be in the near future. You are right about Travelers. They did recognize that their Personal Auto was way off base and installed Q2.0 which is better, but they have a long ways to go to be a top market for us again.

          • May 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm
            SWFL Agent says:
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            Good points. One thing we do know is that Geico can certainly take a few more risks on the investment side with the Berkshire-Hathaway money behind them. A luxury that the other carriers don’t have.

          • May 8, 2014 at 5:03 pm
            Agent says:
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            Hey SW, did you see the story in Property Casualty 360 where AIG had been selling coverage to companies with Cuban connections while AIG was owned by the taxpayers. Cuba was and is under sanctions to do business with so they had to pay a substantial fine for doing it. AIG is the most thuggish of the carriers and to think we bailed their butt out to the tune of $182 billion is revolting. Before they got in trouble on the sub prime mess, they were big rigging on Commercial and got caught along with Marsh Mc and several other carriers.

        • May 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm
          Agent says:
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          Quotes often double when they quote in the blind with no reports being run and then the activity hits. If the customer is clean, they may be better in some cases. Our carriers are better on clean drivers as well, especially if their credit is good. If you like minimum limits U/M, GEICO is the place to go.

  • May 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm
    Sarah says:
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    This has been coming for decades now. Lets look at Banks in the Insurance Business, Warren Buffet and Geico, Now a new company says they can steal your business in 7 1/2 minutes vs Gieco’s 15 minutes. If you want to see what is happening in the future look to what Wallgreens, CVS, and Wallmart have done to prescription shops/ drug stores across the country. Or Expedia, Priceline has done to travel agencies? Almost all of the personal lines insurance products sold in this country will be sold online within the next 10 to 15 years.

    Commercial lines & Specialty lines will be the only product we will be selling 15 years from now.

  • May 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    Libby says:
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    Wow. I happen to agree with Sarah. Did hell freeze over?

  • May 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    CL PM says:
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    And small commercial is now starting to be sold on-line. Selling CL will likely be limited to simple risks that can be covered with a BOP and small Auto risks (5 or less vehicles). It is already happening today. This is because business owners expect to be able to buy insurance on-line. They can purchase many things for their business that way, so why not insurance? It is about what the consumer wants, not what those in the insurance industry want no matter how much we like our traditional methods of selling policies.

    • May 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm
      Libby says:
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      Yup. Go with it or go by the wayside.

  • May 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm
    Dave D says:
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    I hope you all realize that this article is not a news article- it’s an advertisement for Walmart and the online carrier. Think for a minute: the artcle states that the average savings per online customer was over $1100/yr. Really? I’m an insurance agent and $1100 is about the average premium my customers pay per year for their auto insurance. So if someone out there can really save my customers $1100/yr then they’re going to have to give it to them for free. The person who wrote this article evidently knows nothing about insurance to have used such a high number.The article is pure “news as marketing”.

    • May 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm
      Agent says:
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      Dave, Allstate, State Farm, 21st Century, GEICO, Progressive have all advertised for $400+ savings. Walmart can save how much?

    • May 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm
      Agent says:
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      After all Dave, Obama said he would save the average family $2,500 per year on their health insurance. Walmart at least was not that extravagant on the savings deal. How did the savings work out for the average family? When you base everything on a lie, usually reality catches up with you.

  • May 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm
    rosemary mcnally says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • May 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    KMV says:
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    This has little to no effect on the Independent Agent. More competition for the Geico’s and Progressive’s of the world. Give the customer a great deal on their Auto Only, and let the customer find out the hard way that their now, monoline home, is being non-renewed or going up 25% in premium because they took their auto policy away. The educated consumer is with the IA. This is not our competition.

    • May 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm
      Agent says:
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      Good one KMV. Yes, most carriers do not like stand alone HO. The customer loses their companion credits, the carriers either non renew the home or increase the premium. In the agents case, Travelers cuts the commission on the stand alone HO. The low information consumers don’t realize the impact of moving the Auto to one of these bad coverage, low limits carriers. It has to hit the fan and usually does.

  • May 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm
    agent14 says:
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    KMV and Agent, I agree. Travelers does not want monoline homes. Even though my Travelers rep, bless his heart, says they do. My reply: “If Travelers wants monoline homes, they will pay full commission. By the way, I then ask him, what is the commission on mono-line homes?” (all that can be heard is crickets chirping)

    • May 9, 2014 at 9:37 am
      Agent says:
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      Yes 14, while Travelers was running off business in our agency with their rate taking, they had the guts to tell us that by the way, we will only be paying 10% on monoline home. This is all the while offering some of the highest Auto rates in the office and making it impossible to bundle business. Thank goodness, we didn’t have many monoline homes on the books with them.

  • May 9, 2014 at 11:04 am
    Scott says:
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    Walmart has made a nice business with their “MoneyCenters” taking cash to pay phone bills and such that most of us would pay online. I wonder if they consider their future in auto insurance to be something similar. It seems like a decent fit if they focus on the minimum limits customers and leave the customers with houses and other assets to professionals. Though with Safeco and Travelers, they have the wrong panel to write non-standard.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    martin says:
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    I don’t quite understand the last part of the write up. JD Power stated…. “Customers who left because of bad service ended up paying more to another entity.” That’s not always the case.. We as independents can offer a very competitive price, we just don’t have billions to spend on advertising like Geico and Progressive. Besides, most of my customers don’t mind paying a little more for a relationship and good service.. We better start thinking about consolidating with each other in the future so we can keep these wolves at bay.

    • May 13, 2014 at 9:59 am
      Clay says:
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      yeah, that did seem pretty random (and surprising).

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    martin says:
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    The CHEERS theme will always be my way of selling…. “you wanna go where everybody knows your name.” my clients pay for me, the Insurance is their free gift…

    • May 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm
      Libby says:
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      Free insurance is against the law in the state of (insert name.)

      Just some humor on a Friday afternoon. We used to say that when a client wanted us to bind coverage with no money down.

      • May 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm
        Agent says:
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        A very wise agent told me when I first started out that you don’t have the sale until you have the money. There are no free rides in life.

        • May 12, 2014 at 9:47 am
          Libby says:
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          Yup. We used to say “The sale’s not made until the premium’s paid!”

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:41 am
    KentU says:
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    Has anyone in this blog actually gone to Walmart to get an auto quote? I plan to do so sometime this week. I am curious how their system will work. As a Farmers agent, I have been referring some of my real pain in the rear customers that carry bare minimum, always have billing problems and are a constant reinstatement problem to Farmers 21st Century. They are the 15% of my book of business that cause 85% of my problems. Auto insurance at Walmart seems like a good place to refer these type of customers.

    • May 12, 2014 at 11:10 am
      Libby says:
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      I went on the website autoinsurance.com to see how it worked.

    • May 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm
      Agent says:
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      Kent, as a Farmer’s Agent, you really don’t have anywhere else to go with many consumers, do you? Looks like you are pawning off the pain in the butt customers and won’t mind losing them to Walmart. We usually send them to Progressive who will write anything for a buck. If they don’t like Progressive, they are free to go somewhere else.

  • May 12, 2014 at 11:21 am
    paul says:
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    Costco has been doing this through Ameriprise for years. Safeco and Travelers (and others) have been whoring through aggregators like Insure.com and Insurance Noodle as equally as long they’ve been taking rejects from Nationwide agents who first generate too much smoke twisting the square peg into the round hole with Nationwide, but our carriers eagerly swallow up their rejects. Allstate, who does tons of advertising both for its agents and for Esurance, completely neglects Encompass as an orphan and does absolutely nothing to promote the company or its agents. Folks, I think the writing is on the proverbial wall. Like the life insurance industry before us, the majority began focusing on sophisticated risks and left the commodity sale behind. No more kitchen table sales – that was abandoned to Primerica decades ago, that and Start Farm filled the void too. So too the IA channel needs to recognize that personal lines will not be sold, it will be bought from the lowest bidder, piecemeal and inadequate to provide proper protection, after all, who at the self-serve swipe machine is available to professionally advise the person, who by the GEICO-ization of the marketplace has been programmed to believe lowest price equals best coverage and service?

    • May 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm
      CL PM says:
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      I think what needs to be recognized is that there are different types of risks that will gravitate toward different distribution methods. If you are a single renter with one car, you can easily buy insurance on-line to cover your vehicle and your apartment. Very little need for an agent to help you. However, as that person marries, has children, buys toys, they are going to need help. Insuring a nice home with 3 cars, a boat, and a motorcycle gets pretty complicated for an on-line transaction by someone with little knowledge of insurance. That type of customer will always need the help of a local agent.

    • May 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm
      Agent says:
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      Didn’t Safeco & Travelers participate in Esurance prior to Allstate acquiring Esurance? I don’t know how that has shaken out since then.

  • May 12, 2014 at 11:28 am
    paul says:
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    GEICO’s retention is in the mid sixties. They don’t run reports until the first renewal after they have captured the account, so is true with many direct-writers because the cost to check every tire kicker is prohibitive. Warren Buffett is in the insurance business for the float. Period.

    • May 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm
      Agent says:
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      Paul, where I come from, a retention in the mid 60′s is nothing to brag about. Our Personal Lines companies are retaining 85-90% and that is pretty good in our book. If we have a carrier get out of line on rates, we have 5 others to go to. Not so much on captives and online markets. What you see is what you get. Of course, the geek buyers of GEICO will leave for a dollar since they mostly shop online and have no loyalty whatsoever.

  • May 20, 2014 at 9:01 am
    Teresita M. Revell says:
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    This is a great idea. In fact this is similar to the insurance kiosks that I’m working on putting in an even better location than Walmart!



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