Only Buy Insurance From An Agent
Sharon, Jeannine, and I are currently seeing, on an all too frequent basis, automobile insureds who are “UNADVISED” on the coverages that they need, or should have based on their individual circumstances, verses the minimal amounts that the law requires them to have. The word “UNADVISED” is defined as being without advice, or counsel; uniformed. We attribute this lack of knowledge to the fact that many people are purchasing their automobile insurance coverage either online, or on the phone directly from the insurance company without the benefit of advice from an insurance agent.
The Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 69B 222.010 through 222.060 makes it unlawful for unlicensed insurance agency personnel to advise as to insurance needs, or insurance matters; or interpret policies, or coverage; or to solicit the sale of insurance by telephone, in person, or by any form of communication. However, despite this specific administrative code, it appears that the State of Florida looks the other way by allowing insurance companies to sell insurance coverage over the Internet or through phone calls made directly to the insurance company without providing the insurance consumer the benefit of the expertise, knowledge and guidance of an insurance agent.
We strongly recommend that you only purchase insurance coverage through an insurance agent. Do not purchase insurance coverage online, or directly from the insurance company over the phone. A good automobile insurance agent will first investigate your insurance needs by asking pointed questions about the members of your household, the number of vehicles you wish to insure, and the assets that you own which will need financial protection from liability. They will also advise you on the minimum automobile insurance coverage requirements, as well as recommend additional coverages that would be beneficial to your specific needs. Florida Law recognizes a duty that the agent owes to the insurance customer, called a FIDUCIARY DUTY which is the highest standard of care. The agent assumes this fiduciary duty by advising the customer on their insurance needs, and creates an obligation on the part of the agent to perform that duty in a diligent, responsible manner, and in the best interest of the insurance customer. If the agent’s FIDUCIARY DUTY to the insured is breached, then a cause of action can be brought against that agent for the financial damages caused to the insured by the agent’s error and omission in their handling of the transaction. So, protect yourself when purchasing car insurance and only consult with and buy from an insurance agent.