Monthly Archives: October 2009

Buying direct versus buying through an independent insurance agency

Direct writing companies are bragging about saving their customers lots of money on auto insurance. But we will show you why direct buying isn’t necessarily going to cost you less.

1. Advertising versus Commissions

The direct writing companies spend millions of dollars in advertising, while companies that use independent insurance agents spend a fraction of that on agent’s commissions.

2. Finding the right niche

Auto insurance companies are trying to ‘own’ a niche. Most direct writing companies are competing for the ‘ideal’ customer, a family who owns and doesn’t rent a house, preferably in a low-risk neighborhood, has an excellent driving record, more than one car, if possible all newer models. Those customers usually get a very good price from direct buy companies.

If you are not one of those ‘ideal’ customers, you will have to pay a lot more with those companies. Unless you visit an independent agent, who usually represents 5 or more insurance companies and is specialized in helping to match customers up with the right coverage needed.

3. Compare apples to apples

It’s not always as easy as it sounds. Check your existing policy against two from different companies. Be sure:

  • To match the coverage in each section, it has to be exactly the same (also the deductions)
  • To compare monthly payment rates if that’s how you pay (as annual rates will probably be cheaper, but don’t apply to you)
  • To list the same drivers and their respective driving records
  • To factor in any fees you might incur for canceling mid-term

4. Independent agents care

Most good agents will be more concerned that you get the ‘right’ coverage instead of simply getting you the cheapest price. In the long run this will give you peace of mind. Especially as direct writers don’t really provide any personal customer service and you can end up with a coverage that doesn’t match up with what you wanted. And you might learn this the hard way, should you get into an accident.


Just because a company writes direct, doesn’t mean that they will save you money, even if that’s what they promise in their advertising. Sometimes an independent insurance agency such as Homer Smith Insurance is the better choice. Think about it, and call us at 888-433-0031 or get a free quote or a coverage review. We have been serving Washington for almost 60 years, and we are also licensed for Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.


Your Homer Smith Insurance Team

Are you aware of the Special Limits on your Homeowner’s Insurance?

Special Limits on your homeowner’s insurance policy could leave you underinsured. If you don’t add additional coverage, companies limit the amount you can collect due to loss of

– Money

– Business property on and off premises

– Electronic apparatus in a motor vehicle

– Theft of jewelry, watches and furs

– Theft of firearms and equipment

– Theft of gold, silver or platinum ware


If you have a coin collection, a modest amount of jewelry, a gun collection or any of these other limited items listed above, you should discuss these values with your insurance agent or call Homer Smith Insurance for a review of your current policy.


You can reach us at 888-433-0031 or send us an email for questions, a free quote or a coverage review. We have been serving Washington for almost 60 years, and we are also licensed for Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.


Your Homer Smith Insurance Team

Help us support a good cause!

Join Homer Smith Insurance in supporting OlyCAP, building our local community. OlyCAP’s Encore! Program helps older adults. It is a social day care program for adults and seniors with a functional disability. Encore! gives participants an opportunity to participate in creative, meaningful activities in a community-based group setting. It also offers caregivers some respite from their demanding responsibilities. 


Adult day care is a great way to keep people in need of regular care at home, in the community, with family and friends for as long as possible. In 2001 there were more than 3,500 adult day centers in the United States providing care for 150,000 older Americans each day.  On the peninsula, there is only one – Encore!


Homer Smith Insurance invites you to become a community builder, and we’ll give you some help. If you purchase an insurance policy through our agency, and mention this blog, we will make a $10 donation to OlyCAP in your name.


Homer Smith Insurance is here to help you to make sure you have the right coverage. Call 888-433-0031 or visit our product pages for a free quote or a coverage review. Or simply stop by at one of our locations in Port Townsend or Sequim.


Your Homer Smith Insurance Team

Have You Checked Your Coverage Lately?

Our goal at

Homer Smith Insurance

, on the Olympic Peninsula, WA, is to protect you, your family and your business including your assets to the best of our ability. Understanding an insurance policy is not always easy, and it can be very complex.

A few days ago we had a new customer walk into our office in Port Townsend, WA and he asked us to review his coverage for his construction business. A close examination of the policy revealed that his business was not covered for damage done to roofs. Roofing is one of his main work-tasks! This discovery was shocking. If an accident had ever happened, this contractor would most probably be out of business. Of course, we immediately added that coverage, and the customer didn’t mind at all that his premium went up. Sometimes reevaluating your insurance coverage may cost you a little more that you expected. But sometimes it may cost you less. The important thing is to do reviews every on and off.

Please send us an email or call us at 888-433-0031 and we will help you make sure you have the perfect coverage you need. It will give you peace of mind!

Your Homer Smith Insurance Team

There’s more to Homeowner and Tenant Homeowner Insurance than fire coverage!

With our grocery cart, we rush through the store. Leaving one aisle and turning rapidly into another, we don’t see the mother with her infant. We hit her and her cart. The infant falls out, landing on the floor with serious injuries.


Or Saturday afternoon on the golf course. We think the group in front of us is well beyond our range. You hit your best shot, and unfortunately one of the members of the group in front gets hit in the head. 


Riding your bicycle to run errands instead of driving the car is good for our environment. What if you don’t see a pedestrian in a crosswalk and hit him, causing serious injury.


And how about your young child who throws a rock hitting a car or even another child?


The possibilities are endless. Are you protected? Call 888-433-0031 or visit Homer Smith Insurance for a coverage review. We are an independent insurance agency serving Washington, but we are also licensed for Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.