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The Independent Advantage

A word from the owner

I was watching the TV a while back and it seemed like every other commercial was selling car

insurance for $781 less than you are paying now. Then I started to pay attention to what

insurance companies were making these claims. And not only did I see who was making these

claims but it became apparent that the general public probably did not know what type of

insurance company was making this claim. Allow me to explain the different types of insurance

companies out there and how you interact with each.

The first group of insurance companies are referred to as direct writers or captive agents. You

all have heard their names: State Farm, Farmers and All State to name a few. There are a

bunch of these agents in every town in America (or so it seems.) The parent company spends

heavily on advertising, that’s why we know their names so well. You might have been insured

with them at one time. But the downfall of the captive agent is just that. He is captive to that

one company. If you run into a problem, say a dramatic premium increase, he (or she) does not

have any other insurance company to offer a lower priced alternative. Or worse, if junior has a

speeding problem and gets a few tickets, you will be looking for new insurance on your own

since they do not have any other insurance companies to offer a replacement policy. Nice name

recognition, but only one company to do business with.

The next group of insurance companies out there are the online and 1-800 companies. Again

they are really good at advertising their name and big savings. Who hasn’t seen an ad for

GEICO or Liberty Mutual. And like the captive agent, they only have one company to offer to

you. But unlike the captive agent, they do not have a local office or a local agent. They are in

some nameless city and your call is getting answered by an agent you have never met nor will

ever get to meet. In my opinion they are there to sell you an insurance policy, not to try and

understand your unique needs and wants. One other cautionary tale, if you call them to help

you decide if you should submit a minor claim or not, you have just filed that claim.

By calling your insurance company you have submitted a claim whether you wanted to or not.

And that will likely cause your rates to increase. One final note I have come across in dealing

with former clients of these companies is if you tell them you want lower cost

insurance, they might lower your coverage to achieve your goal of lower premiums. Be careful

what you ask for.

Then there are the best of the best (not bragging here) type of insurance agents, the

independent agents like The Jemez Insurance Agency. An independent insurance agent is

usually locally owned and operated. Commonly referred to as a broker, they offer insurance

from many different insurance carriers. And because they offer many companies, they

represent (and work on behalf of) you the customer. Many independent agents have achieved

professional designations. We are required to attend annual continuing educational classes to

keep our licenses valid. We support (and insure) local businesses and nonprofits. For many

independent agencies, our employees live in the communities where we conduct business and

our children go to local schools.

In summary, we are proud to have been serving Los Alamos, Santa Fe and northern New

Mexico for 60 years. And we are thankful for you for allowing us to protect what matters most,

your family, your business, your community.

Customer Testimonials

Thank you Ana Olivas for your excellent customer service

Ever A

I have worked with Allen McQuiston for over 20 years.

SqueakyClean C

Anytime I call they are super responsive and very quickly get me what I need

Julie R

They do an excellent job of handling all of our insurance needs.

Pamela F

...I had high insurance rates before switching to Jemez Insurance Agency.

Chris M
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