Over the last 10-plus years, there has been a significant loss of manufacturing jobs in our country. One of the reasons is automation. Computerized robots have taken over a lot of the manufacturing jobs was held by our parents and grandparents. They can run 24/7 and perform tasks with near perfection in many cases. However, commercial insurance is a whole different story. As a commercial underwriter for the last 28 years, I have seen many automation advances that have helped carriers and agents greatly improve their speed, accuracy, and efficiency. However, slick automation can never replace good old-fashioned customer service and human wisdom.
Commercial insurance can be complex. When you enter a business relationship with an independent insurance agent, you are counting on their knowledge, integrity, and reliability to make sure that you are properly protected from financial loss. You are also relying on their ability to shoot straight with you about exposure evaluation, loss control recommendation compliance, and pricing. An experienced agent is invaluable in renewal pricing and coverage negotiations with the carrier. An agent can also help ease reinstatement of a policy after a cancellation. Perhaps the most important thing an agent can offer that a computer can’t: guidance and empathy after a claim. When you are facing rebuilding your plant or office after a fire, you need a knowledgeable agent who can answer your questions. A computer will never be able to replace talking to a real person who is working to make sure you are receiving the best service possible.