Should companies support the Independent Insurance Agency System?
Thoughts from the President
We live in a world where social media carries more weight than social interaction. I’ve got a 15
year old daughter that seems to care more what is written on social media pages than she does
about speaking one‐on‐one to work out problems and issues. And, look at Facebook. Many people
of all ages are quick to post something about someone, before even thinking through the
ramifications of their comments.
When many of us went to school, the goal was to accumulate KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge was KING.
Today, there is more information that can be obtained from that little "smart phone" in an instant
than we could possibly learn or retain in a lifetime. The goal is no longer knowledge, rather it us
utilizing the information so quickly and easily gained to make "smart decisions", whether in our
personal lives or in our professional lives – or both.
Funny thing is that not everything on "the Net" is true or real. Yet, many take it as gospel.
Every day, I see a slew of advertisements. Many of these are "push" ads from something I read or
"Googled" on the net. Others are those every day ads that we see on the TV.
What really surprises me about this industry is that we are our own worst enemy. Rarely do we
learn the lessons of the past, but rather, keep repeating them. Buy business, even at a loss, and
when losses come piling in, get off it! Then do it again. Live by price, die by price.
Our society encourages "lowest price". Sales on everything. Black Friday pricing. Double coupons.
Etc., etc., etc.
We’ve even stooped so low as to advertise for insurance: "Only pay for what you need"; "Buy it
online and save, without an agent, in 10 minutes or less".
Just how many of our friends and relatives really understand all the coverages, endorsements,
exposures and risk transfer methods out there and how that could affect their situation?
Sure, I could cut the cost of my auto and homeowners policy if I take minimum limits for BI and PD,
forget the UM/UIM and take high deductibles. Maybe forget the "lease gap" coverage for my
leased vehicle and not take towing and road trouble service. And nothing will ever happen to my
But what happens when a loss does happen to good people? Cost conscious people want the best
deal for that insurance product they didn’t even want to pay for in the first place? What happens if
the "best price" meant the "least coverage" or inadequate coverage for their needs? Today, taking
responsibility is not our choice, so we have to "blame" someone. It must be that x@x@@@x
Insurance Company that "won’t pay". "I’m going to give them a terrible review and get them back"!
Now we are seeing insurance companies going direct for commercial lines insurance online. Again,
"lowest rate, cut out the middle man, go direct and save". If you think personal lines can be
complicated, how can commercial line be that easy?
I looked at a new site recently that allows the public to quote their own commercial insurance
"without an agent". "Save Money"!
It’s a very slick site! Anyone can do it. The site has many disclaimers along the way. It’s actually
easy to do. And, you can get certificates for additional insureds within 24 hours! Let me just say
that in the real world, additional insured endorsements can be complicated and costly. Just attend
one of your CIC updates!
We’re in a world where Amazon and Walmart pricing is what everyone wants. Heck, you can now
add the app "Honey" to your browser and it can find discounts for products on Amazon!
So in the reality where knowledge itself isn’t still the king, but utilizing that knowledge is! The most
successful agents I know don’t worry about price. As long as the price is "fair and in the ballpark".
They stand on their own to be sure their clients have all the coverages they need, no more and no
less. They share their expertise and experience along the way and know that most people can’t
afford to be insured against everything possible. They help their clients make the best purchasing
choices possible and realize value for their purchasing decisions. They care and become trusted
personal advisors, unlike the internet!
The conclusion is that the Independent Agency System carries as much or more value today than
ever! That’s why we believe in and support the Independent Agency System!
Joseph P. DeChatelets CPCU, CLU
Thoughts from the desk of the President
We all strive for purpose. Many of us work to survive. Throughout my journey, through many bumps and hurdles, I've learned many important lessons.
First, it's a job. Then, it becomes personal. It becomes a career. Along the line, it became my passion.
Today, I realize it's my calling. There is so much negative publicity about the insurance industry.
People hate paying the bill. They are forced to, and often view us as "the enemy".
When bad things happen to good people, that's our opportunity to respond.
To make people whole. Sometimes, this isn't possible, particularly when there is loss of life or if someone
chose to purchase less coverage than they needed in order to save money.
We are in an industry to serve. Often this requires us to educate along the way.
The overwhelming majority of us are truly striving to be fair and look for ways to respond responsibly.
Often, this takes strong negotiations skills and always requires empathy!
Some of the real hero's in our industry are often overlooked, yet they take great pride and purpose
in what they do.
Insurance is an industry of constant change. Every day, I learn something new.
I learn from people. I learn from experience and I learn from mistakes.
Embrace change. Embrace Knowledge. Always strive to become your best!
Joseph P. DeChatelets CPCU, CLU
American Resources Insurance Company is now offering e-billing for our direct bill customers.
In an effort to participate in green living, we offer your insurance policy billing to be
via email vs. paper billing. Your e-bill statements will look exactly as your current paper
statements and you will receive them the same day we process!
We will offer a variety of ways to sign up for e-billing:
1. On new accounts, a check box has been added to the Direct
Billing Request Transmittal with a space for the email address that the e-bill will be sent.
2. We will send out notices about signing up for e-bill on accounts that are already
receiving paper billings.
3. The customer can, at any time, provide their email address,
account number, and contact information via email to email@example.com or
call 1-866-204-6903 to provide the same information.
4. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email safe senders list, address book, or contact list, so that emails from us are not filtered into the junk or spam folder.
Remember that we also offer payments via ACH on both agency billing and direct
billing. The ACH authorization is on our website under the "Accounting" tab. We remain committed
to providing as many options as possible to our valued customers.