Buying auto insurance may seem complicated at first, but when you break it down – with the help of an expert – it’s surprisingly straightforward. Amica insurance representatives handle all types of questions and concerns, but many center around getting the right coverage at an affordable price. Hearing what they say may help you see how thoughtful insurance shopping can reduce the total amount you spend for high-quality coverage.
Low rates vs. total insurance costs
Searching out the lowest rate may not always be the best way to control your overall auto insurance costs. Smart insurance buying is a balance between making sure you’re not over-insured and paying more for premiums than necessary, and having enough coverage to be protected financially in the event of a loss.
Finding that right level is a common conversation Amica representatives have with individuals. They do this by offering what-if scenarios to determine the prospective customer’s comfort level with out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.
“We try to find out what their actual needs may be, and then go through the education process of making sure they understand how those needs might apply to their policies, whether or not it’s something they need or would benefit from,” says Garrett Rosier, a senior account representative in Amica's Oregon Regional Office. “Our job is to find you the best rates, using discounts that are applicable, to get you the insurance you need – not what we want you to have.”
Misconceptions about coverage
Customers often use the blanket term “full coverage” to describe the policy they want, Rosier says, without necessarily understanding what that might mean for their vehicle. Joe Agnoli, a lead sales specialist at Amica's National Sales Center, says, “A lot of customers will come to us with old vehicles that they still have collision coverage on. We educate them: This car is 20, 25 years old. Would it be worth the claim to pay a $500 deductible?”
Sometimes, other types of policies are valuable despite the age of the car, Agnoli explains. “A customer may just want the state minimum liability coverage. Because no matter how old your car is, you could still injure somebody.”
A personalized claim journey
Reliable, fast claims service is a big part of what your insurance dollar should pay for, and worry can creep in if the process is inflexible or poorly communicated. Amica representatives avert this anxiety during the very first call customers make to report a claim by setting up a “personalized claims journey,” says Robb Waldner, senior assistant vice president in Amica's claims executive department.
This way, claimants select how often and through which medium they want to be contacted, whether it’s by phone call, text, email or tracking their claim status online. “We understand the importance of the initial touchpoints, explaining the process and recognizing this may be the first time a customer is submitting a claim, so we spend extra time on the front end,” Waldner adds.
Fortunately, technology has helped not only the process of filing a claim but also the conducting of damage appraisal. “Technology has allowed us to develop a photo appraisal tool where the customer can actually take pictures of the car themselves, and we can often estimate the damage just based on the photos alone,” Waldner says.
Motivation to keep your costs in check
After submitting a claim, policyholders often are concerned their premiums will go up or that they won’t be able to continue their insurance at all. Amica representatives take a “human approach,” Rosier says. “I usually explain that, yes, some companies do automatically non-renew customers based on how many claims they have in a year-over-year time frame, but we have our underwriters make sure that we’re giving it the common-sense approach, looking at the overall relationship.”
In the end, it’s about empathy and care above all else, Rosier adds. “We try to overcommunicate with the customer and make sure they’re fully aware of all the different options and preferences they have. As much as possible, we try to take the work and the burden off of them.”