When you see the words "insurance agency" or "independent insurance agent," what does that mean to you? Do they sell insurance? Are they the insurance company? No. Independent insurance agents are your personal liaisons, your personal agents of change when it comes to getting what you want and need out of the insurance policy that you buy with the big-name insurance companies, like Progressive, Travelers, and many others. Your local insurance agent knows the distinct differences between each of them. The agents know where a lower price indicates savings, and where it means a dip in quality. They do the homework; you do the living.
We are used to doing things ourselves. But with insurance, we don't have to do it alone. We can have a helping hand. To show you what this means, we asked Susan Antalek Pagones, a Partner at Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, to give us a few examples of real-life situations where insurance is a must. If all goes well, all you do is pay a policy. But if something happens, you get to know the claims process real quick. Susan enlightens us a bit:
When Insurance Goes From a Quarterly Bill, to a Policy Claim
Susan recalls some of the tougher cases they have handled. “We had an insured family that had a fire and lost the whole house. We met them on the scene on the day after with a large basket filled with everyday essentials we take for granted - shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks - all toiletries you could think of, plus some gift cards to go shopping and to get clothes to put on their backs.”
This is the kind of detail and personal touch that continues to draw people to Antalek & Moore. They go above and beyond to stay on top of their insured customers. When Beacon and a good part of the mid-Hudson Valley lost power after the huge storm in May 2018, Antalek & Moore stayed open.
“We stayed open at the office running on jetpacks and laptops. I gave my cell number to any insured customer who wanted it, to call me after-hours with any questions they may have had. We asked adjusters to give our customers advancements on claims. This means that we asked them to cut a check for a certain amount right on the spot so that our customers could start the process of normality."
Antalek & Moore Advocates on Behalf of Their Customers
Susan explains what their mindset is at Antalek & Moore, what drives them to produce the kind of personal service that they provide: "Our customers become our family. In the time of need, you always help out family."
Sometimes problems can arise during claim-submission process after an accident or unexpected incident. Says Susan: "Sometimes the company may not always agree on certain things that should be paid at the time of a claim. We are the voice of the customer if we feel things should be covered, and we get right in there with the insurance company to advocate on behalf of our customer if there is a problem."
Lots of people in the Hudson Valley had major tree and house damage after the big storm in May. "We had a customer that had a HUGE tree fall on their house. The customer had previous plans to go away to visit Texas. We made sure that she did go, as her house was not livable. We worked closely with her son to help get the claim settled. There were many hiccups along the way. I was also on a planned trip, but kept in touch constantly by cell with our customer to help. I am not saying it was smooth sailing trying to get this customer back up and running in their home, but whenever they reached out to us, morning or night, weekday or weekend, we always made sure we were there to help out."
Going Local With Insurance Can Make Life Easier
Whether it's buying a home or starting a small business, you need insurance. With so many options available, shopping for insurance can be overwhelming. A Little Beacon Blog's Managing Editor, Marilyn Perez, used Antalek & Moore when she purchased her condo a year ago and was so happy having established that relationship with a local insurance broker to narrow down the best option for her.
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