Is Google going to run the independent agent out of business

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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by mccluney »

Well Golden, you are correct. Those are the same people who will respond to Progressive's ad "How much do you want to pay". They will in many cases be woefully under insured. It is most likely that these internet shoppers will buy inadequate coverage as there will be little or no expert advise on the other end off the transaction.

It is the same mentality that occurs when a home owner looks at their dwelling limit knowing that homes in their area are selling for much more. Gee, they would say, If I call my agent it will cost me more money, because the agent will want to increase my coverage. Of course the homeowner has little understanding of market price vs building costs. But, he does not want to increase his premium. Hey, the homeowner will say, I won't have a loss.
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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by Shagster121261 »

vla01001 wrote:
Why would a personal car insurance buyer need an agent?

Couldn't agree more with Goldenarms...

The general buying public will only continue to be hurt and confused buying online storefront insurance because coverage will not be thoroughly explained nor will all the right questions be asked. When coverage gaps deny claims, who will they turn to? Will online storefronts be able to recommend they buy the CDW to save them the deductible when hit by a UM/UIM? NO!
If you believe the agent has no value to the everyday consumer, then you will be one of the first to go out of business and we PROFESSIONALS won't miss you at all, since you're already giving the consumer the idea that YOU have no value, but we'll be more than happy to provide our services to your very disappointed former clients!
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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by insuranceoldie »

That's the big question. The outcome depends on you. Are you an order taker or insurance professional? For decades the 'experts' have heralded the fall of the independent system, which is at an all time high as I type. If you want the key to this conundrum keep reading.

Your client is your key to success. Therefore attract the client that wants your services, which is not price shoppers. The easiest way to succeed in this industry, as an agent, is to set yourself apart from the herd. Then be professional above all and deliver on your service!

Oh yes. We have been expanding our footprint for over 25 years. Selecting the right clients and enjoying this wonderful industry. Here's wishing you much success also!
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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by fmi »

I believe independent agents will still exist after Googles launch. The insurance industry, historically, has always been competitive. Since the late 1990's more consumers have shopped online. Furthermore, Google is just another online resource. It's being able to adapt to change that will make us all successful. We need to leverage our local presence and get more involved in our communities so that we are known to be the trusted advisers with all the resources. Good luck!
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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by sacman »

I'm not too concerned about Google entering the market place and side with Lonestar and goldenarms.

want proof that people don't understand their policy?
Read the comments section of any Yahoo or Google article regarding insurance.
People have NO idea what their coverages are.

I had a long term client call up to cancel their policies with me because they found it online for substantially less for 'the same coverage'.
I asked them to bring in the policy and luckily they did.
Guess what.... house insured for 30% less, ded was 1% instead of $1000, no sewer/drain coverage AND.... ACV on roof.
A few minutes explaining co-insurance clause, difference between acv and replacement cost and guess which policy they kept?
I personally get really mad when this happens to my clients.
Not because I may potentially lose them as clients, but because I value their business and the relationship that I have with them and their about to get screwed over and wont know it until its too late.
Do you think the online center rep gives a damn?

With all due respect to vla01001 - hopefully you've read your auto policy that you bought online and compared the differences with your prior carrier?
You wouldn't believe how bad some of those policies are.
How many online purchasers know what their policy guidelines are for permissive drivers, for example?
Once claims are denied because the purchaser didn't read the fine print, they will probably go back to the agency model.

The younger generation may be more inclined to purchase their insurance online instead of an agent, but that may not always be the case.
As they age and acquire wealth and assests, they very well may want to be assured that things are covered properly.
As gaps in coverage and poor customer service become apparent, and they will, they will be more inclined to use a professional that understands the nuances of the policies and can advise instead of order take.

Another example: Not so long ago I had a customer buy a motorcycle on a Saturday afternoon and wanted to drive it home.
They called an online company to bind coverage so the dealer would allow them off the lot.
When I reviewed the policy a few days later it was for liability only.
The client had been driving a brand new $18,000 Harley around for about a week without comp/collision.
Think they have any trust in online insurance any longer?

I'm 50.... the area that I live isn't a large metropolitan city filled with a technology advanced populace.
I'm midsized, Midwest and don't see my market changing a whole lot in the distant future.
Sure the 20 year olds may buy their auto insurance online, but the 35 and older will still primarily use an agent.

So long story short.... Add value as an agent and you don't have to worry as much about Google closing your doors.
It might take a small bite out of your GWP, but my guess is your quality clients will still around for the long haul.
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Re: Is Google going to run the independent agent out of busi

Post by grizznation »

Hello to all.

I agree that online agencies can often times lead people in the wrong direction when purchasing insurance. But I think buying online offers a level of convenience that local agents haven't been able to provide which is why online agencies keep getting funding from all these big investors. It's easy and convenient to buy online and forget about it, so the masses will do just that.

But I would like to tell you about a product we're developing called Insuravision to help local independent agents sell policies online and still offer the level of expertise that an independent agent can provide. We believe our software will give you a huge competitive advantage locally as well, but that's not what this post is about.

I'm obviously plugging my own product but I believe our technology is the most revolutionary technology to hit the insurance industry since the agency management system was developed and will change the way insurance agencies communicate with prospects and clients.

Insuravision is a webRTC cloud based peer to peer real time communication platform that allows agencies to:

-communicate in real time with clients or prospects (chat, text, phone, or face to face) anywhere in the world (down the street or anywhere else). Once the software is installed on your agency's website, your clients will be able to talk face to face with someone in your office in about 15 seconds without ever downloading any software or inputting any username or password.
-real time document sharing- share virtually any document in real time that can be annotized, highlighted, and signed. (like quotes or policies)
-real time application filling and electronic signing. (fill out applications with clients together and have them electronically sign it when completed. (Acord apps, Company supplemental apps, custom agency apps, virtually any application)
-user can upload documents to be shared too that can be annotated and highlighted. (they have a question about a letter they received, or about an audit, etc)
-screen share (allows you to share anything on your screen (or on your multiple screens if you use more than 1) with your visitor)
-white board to take notes.

Our software allows you to meet with clients/prospects in a way that's never been done before. Think of it like skype/gotomeeting/docusign/file sharing with annotating/whiteboard/calculator all in one without the client or prospect ever having to download any software or input any usernames, passwords, access codes, or pin #'s.

So with our software it's possible to:
1. Call a prospect
2. Connect to prospect using Insuravision by asking him to visit your website and press a button. (the web surfing visitor can also click a "talk to us" now button at the bottom of your website and connect that way)
3. Once connected, the prospect can see your face. The prospect chooses whether you can see their face or not.
4. As your talking face to face with your prospect, you build a rapport with him building trust and discovering his true insurance needs.
5. You fill out the insurance applications TOGETHER in real time. Making sure all answers are answered correctly the first time.
6. You enable screen share and walk him through the quoting screens of one of your companies.
7. You download the quote and upload it to the virtual meeting where you can highlight and annotate coverages and prices.
8. He hesitates and you remind him how easy it is to talk face to face with anyone on your staff. You remind him that if he ever had a claim, he could be talking face to face with someone from your agency in 15 seconds time. You remind him that if he has a question about his audit, he can upload it to the meeting where your staff can help him fill it out in real time all without having to drive to your office or you having to drive to his.
9. He decides to go with your quote and electronically signs the apps and eft forms.
10. You go back to the issue screens of the company and walk him through putting in his account info for the direct draft.
11. Client asks if you write homeowners insurance too.
12. You pull up company brochures that write homeowners and begin discussing it.
13. You go to your rater and quote his home.
13. upload quote to meeting and highlight and annotate.
14. Get homeowners apps signed.
15. Using screen share, you bind the policy and give him his new policy number.

Can you imagine how much your agency would change if your CSR's communicated with clients and prospects this way? How much more efficient your agency would be? How many more policies could your agents could sell if they didn't have to spend half their day in traffic driving all over the city?

Our revolutionary software will change the game for independent insurance agencies allowing you to provide the convenience "online agencies" can provide and still be able to provide the level of expertise only an independent agent can provide. (Don't worry, I'm not selling it to "online agencies" and it's protected by multiple patents so hopefully they won't be able to copy ours.) I'm an independent agency owner just like a lot of you are and I want us to be around for a very long time.

For a demo of the software, please visit my P & C insurance agency, Raleigh Bartlett Insurance's website ( to see how the software works. Our company website "" isn't ready yet so you'll have to demo it through my agency for now.

Thank you all for reading.
Visit for a demo of the most revolutionary virtual meeting software the insurance industry has ever seen.
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