Consumers generally think they benefit when they buy insurance direct but is it true?
To find out, we’ve asked people what matters to them when buying insurance, and in turn our panel used those criteria to evaluate the differences between buying insurance via a broker and buying direct online.
Why do consumers hate the middle man?
Primarily, customers perceive any middle man as an unnecessary third party, and conventional wisdom dictates that this means additional cost and possibly mistakes. Advertising by insurers, for example Norwich Union Direct (now Aviva), to ‘go direct’ has compounded this feeling.
What is important to consumers?
In order of importance, these are the things people said matter to them:
- Peace of mind that everything is covered.
- Security of personal data.
So let’s now analyze these items and let our panel judge how each performs when insurance is bought directly or when via a broker.
Contrary to popular consumer belief we found that broker pricing was actually better than direct insurance pricing.
The reason for this seems to be principally due to insurers providing different rates to brokers, in order that premiums are lower. Why would insurers provide special broker pricing? Simple: because the risk is lower for the insurer. Brokers are professionally trained to choose the right policy for their customers, and not to under insure, therefore avoiding unnecessary claims while maintaining the correct premium income.
‘Cutting out the middle man’ it seems, does not save money this time. On the contrary!
Many of the consumers in our test case were surprised here. At least half began our test with the impression that buying policies directly would be the easiest option for them. After trying both, almost all had changed their mind.
Whilst the online experience usually proved more pleasant than the phone, most brokers offered an online service, and were far, far more pro-active after they received the initial quote request from the consumer, often answering queries by personal email or call and helping to reassure customers with a human service. Furthermore, most direct services completely fell down when queries or changes were required that were less common, particularly later in the policy life cycle. Brokers really shone through here.
The results here were quite evenly balanced. In the case of the time taken to generate initial quotation figures, direct services (online) were consistently very quick, while some brokers answered quote requests by personal follow up.
The difference however was somewhat reversed when it came to mid term changes, documentation requests and one off queries. The direct services often fell back to large call centres whose staff had little or no real insurance knowledge. In this areas brokers were more efficient, making suggestions our consumers found highly useful, saving them lots of time.
On balance, the speed at which quotes were produced by the direct services was not significant to our consumers when compared to the speed and efficiency with which brokers generally managed their policies throughout the policy life cycle.
“As long as my broker doesn’t take too long to come back to me, I don’t care. It’s his problem while the clock is ticking, not mine.”
4. Peace of mind that everything is covered
We saw few surprises here. Brokers were largely far more efficient at cross checking policies than consumers, and also very good at educating their customers, explaining what types of cover were available and answering queries.
Direct processes were better than in the past but put too much focus on the consumer to do this work himself/herself to be able to compete with the level of service provided by brokers.
The really good Direct services centred around only covering the low risk policies, and leaving any consumer with non-standard requirements high and dry.
5. Security of personal data
This was a difficult one to test, and fell largely to our technical team. We did however take into account how consumers felt about their data security after using the various services.
In the case of Internet based services, the direct services tended to follow security guidelines marginally better than broker services, mainly due to the size of the organisations involved and lack of good software on the part of some brokers.
On the phone however, we saw a different story. Brokers, being far better equipped to deal with specific insurance questions and used to a human discussion, gave people a stronger feeling that they were in safe hands. The process of securing personal data was much the same as with direct, but the trust conveyed by brokers was better.
Summary of Results
So who won? Broker or Direct?
- Cost. [Broker]
- Ease. [Broker!]
- Speed. [Broker, though people admitted they were heavily biased due to point 2.]
- Peace of mind that everything is covered. [Broker]
- Security of personal data. [Broker]
We set out in this article to test the general perception by consumers that ‘going direct is better’, for the benefit of consumers and brokers on the whole.
Whilst we didn’t test every website and every class of insurance, the results with our test users were conclusive.
Whilst conventional wisdom dictates that the middle man offers little to the discussion and always has his price, in the complex world of insurance, perhaps things are not so simple, and after doing some research at RiskHeads we are now more certain than ever that the Insurance Broker’s day is far from over.
Our recommendation to all would be to trust your broker, let him shop for you, and you will likely reap dividend, whilst living an easy life!
Direct sales and purchasing is fine for motor and household insurance as they are pretty much standard products.
Clients with commercial policies to place need the advice and expertise of a broker as the wordings can vary tremendously – if anything this has got more complicated recently with loads of extras being offered which really are necessary
Direct Insurers mainly compete on price and therefore often strip out important cover or impose onerous conditions on you. Your broker is your agent, not an agent of your Insurance company, and their primary objective is to ensure that you obtain the right mix of cover and cost to meet your specific requirements. Something you will only fully appreciate when a cheque arrives in settlement of the loss you suffered.
I would think the brokers PI insurance for mis-sold insurance would also reduce the risk for the insurance company and therefore allow them to pass on the reduced risk as a cost saving.
There are obvious advantages to a consumer going direct to an Insurer as you would hope you would get a lower premium as it would not have a margin built into it for the Brokers commission/fee and this is where the dynamics will probably change for a broker to a degree if anywhere – the other side of the coin however is an Insurer can heavily depend upon a broker, the Lloyds Market as a good example, as the broker will be sought out by a Corporation or somesuch entity as they wish to use the cover and expertise the broker is known to provide.
Think scheme construction, bespoke coverage and the ability to understand the drivers behind cover when you think Broker as they would generally fulfil these areas.
The broker then ‘brokes’ the risk to interested Underwriters irrespective of whether they underwrite for a household name Insurance company or a syndicate for example.
So if Brokers were to be sliced out of the ‘3 way’ equation, although it can be more for more complex risks involving reinsurers, the Insurer could lose seeing business although on reflection it would not take long for business entities to approach insurers direct. Maybe you will see more Brokers becoming Third Party Administrators where they bring business opportunities to Insurers and have the expertise to then administrate that business within certain pre agreed limits.
This is very interesting, especially for those of us in the states who work with the independent insurance agent distribution channel. What was the size of the panel used to evaluate the differences between buying insurance via a broker and buying direct online?
This is a pretty surprising outcome, even though I have always championed the role of the (honest)broker! IF, as I suspect, this relates to personal lines it beautifully illustrates how badly served the broker channel…if not the entire industry…has been by insurers e.g. Aviva, whose enormous spend on “direct” was substantially funded by compromising (1) the integrity of the products in order to live-up to “we’re the cheapest” marketing strategies – tail wagging the dog! (2) loyal, established, relationship-led business from the brokers that, often, accounted for 50 – 70% of their book of business.
Unfortunately, I doubt that results like this will ever gain sufficient traction to “compete” with the HUGE advertising budgets and manipulated data, presented, by slick marketers, as facts on behalf of direct writers and aggregators.
Despite this there are great opportunities for quality “community” brokers to “exploit” this type of information as long as they recognise the customer pull of (1) service (2) relationship (3) recommendation. But they MUST guard against reliance upon unsustainable premium & commission levels because these are major weaknesses of some of the biggest brokers that are there to be exploited.
Customers aren’t the naive consumers that they were during the “rise of direct”. Recent reports confirm that they don’t like or trust the broader financial sector and who can blame them!? Informed BUYERS will seek and provide VALUE through recommendation – referral – retention. If the aggregators and direct writers can’t be CHEAP the “hard sell” will only get harder.
The power shift has already happened online though. In this arena the direct writers and aggregators pretty much have open road compared to the brokers. Insurance companies better share some of their prime online location to accomodate the broker in all online marketing strategies. Their main focus should be on production. The channel providing this production is less relevant to them provided the price tag is competitive. In this regard the broker is shining. Offering the online customer the choice of going direct or direct via a broker (even at reduced commission) is the smart way. When was the last time that offering the customer more convenience and more personalized service got archived with a “bad move” tag? I believe that brokers have a good online future, with lot’s of added value for the consumer, provided they are given the opportunity and adapt to the fast paced online consumer. Insurance companies and brokers: Consider renewing your marriage vows for an interesting future.
I’d like to thank everyone for their great feedback. I’ve been surprised by the very high standard of comments and your buzz all over the web. It seems The Death of The Insurance Broker is something that really struck a nerve, for obvious reasons. The jury is still out of course.
We’re already considering a follow up article with additional analysis and raw data for you guys to get your teeth into, including a split between commercial lines and personal and even a look at how insurance software can affect the results.
If there’s anything else you’d specifically like us to investigate, let me know. And subscribe to our mailing list above to hear it first!
As personal products and small commercial are commoditized the broker is going to lose the share of the market. Of course State Farm announced thend of the independent agent thirty years ago as Progressive has also tried. Funny, they continue to endure. Must be a reason.
I meant to leave a link to this recent blog item: If insurance brokers aren’t “adding value” for SME’s what does your future look like?
Excellent. Very well written, for all the estate plans and NQ pensions I have worked on in my short career, it would be great to have an article like this given to half my relatives who do not understand what I do.
Many of the people in the discussion raise the differences in wording as a point, but they’re making a huge assumption that all brokers actually fully read the wordings – ultimately they just place the business based on who their boss tells them to place it with, be it the guy who takes them down the pub the most or who they’re getting the best profit share from, whilst making sure that the basic covers the insured requires are present. I also does think it’s fair to say that wordings vary wildly – they don’t. Granted, some may offer some ‘perks’ that others don’t, but when you actually compare the wordings for all the major insurers such as Allianz, RSA, Aviva, NIG and AXA, the cover levels of cover are almost exactly the same. When you’ve been involved in pricing, you soon realised that these so called ‘perks’ or ‘additional covers’ being offered are only in the wording because the insurer has seen claims record that suggests a minimal exposure. If the exposure and the likelihood of a claim is seen as minimal enough for a major insurer to throw into their wording at no extra cost, is it even worth having?!
Furthermore, lets not kid ourselves that all brokers have 25 years solid experience of varied risks and are driven solely by their clients best interests. Many of them are highly inexperienced and whilst they talk a good game, they don’t have the experience or necessary thought process to enable them to truly understand the risk presented to them and identify gaps in cover – many brokers are effectively glorified telesales people. I’ve seen personal lines brokers placing commercial insurance without the first clue about what the covers even mean – yet the client is trusting them with their entire livelihood. Granted, there are exceptions to every rule, and there are many excellent and knowledgeable brokers; but for every diamond there is someone asking underwriters questions such as “Why do you need to know what this Property Owner is occupied as? What difference does that make?” or missing the fact that the insured believes their Gross Profit figure exceeds their turnover.
In addition, products are becoming more and more sandboxed; simple covers that cover every standard eventuality and, with the help of online data validation along the way, the details can be filled into an online submission form by anyone with even a basic grasp of insurance. For example, five years ago, who would have expected to see auto-rated Commercial Combined products considering the variety of risk represented? Yet now, any number of major insurers are offering them with a basic question set simply asking for premises addresses, construction details and wagerolls. Who better to know the intricacies of trade processes than the person completing them?!
In my eyes, the modern broker is used solely to comfort the client that they’re covered for every eventuality – whether they are or not is a different story – but were they truly aware of the extra 25-50% on their premium every year that this is probably costing them, you would have to wonder if they might make it their business to read up on their cover a little more themselves. I for one would rather deal with a client who knows what they do and how their business operates, than a broker who is trying to interpret what they might need.
Sorry to say that I agree with much of what Edith says! The disappointment is that it reeks of ALL that is wrong with the industry: insurers giving meaningless covers away; brokers that aren’t desrving of the name; insurers displaying a healthy disrespect for the needs of their pollicyholders and principle distribution channel!
Insurers need to have the courage of their own conviction…if indeed they have “it”. If you want QUALITY policyholders and brokers INCENTIVISE them at a level that is SUSTAINABLE and can be TRANSPARENT to all parties.
DO NOT set up to do the exact opposite then bleat about it.The solution is, really, as simple as I have spelt out but, as I know to my cost, the industry is crammed full of people (like Edith) who know what the problem is, are prepared to write about it but offer very little in the way of delivering a better policyholder proposition and incentive to real brokers!
I may be completely misunderstanding you David, but are suggesting that it is the insurer’s job to regulate broker’s competence by offering them incentives to be better at their jobs?! Surely the incentives that a broker gets is their commission, often a sizeable chunk of premium with no risk attached.
As an insurer, their job is to offer a transparent and competitive product to their customers. The policy wording clearly outlines the cover being offered and it is down to the broker and/or proposer to identify whether or not this cover is adequate enough to cover their business needs. As insurer’s are not allowed to offer advice (as a broker is) and ultimately do not know anything about how the company is run other than what is declared to them (as the proposer is), how can they be disrespectful of their policyholders needs when they have no understanding of what they are?
As an example, if you were going on holiday, I’ve little doubt you would scout out the hotel at which you’re staying. For example whether or not the hotel has a nearby beach. Now if you arrive at your destination and there isn’t a beach, is that the fault of the hotel or the tour operator that told you there was? Alternatively, if you booked it directly with the hotel and they never once said there was a beach there, is that there fault that you assumed there was, or should you have taken it upon yourself to look at a map before booking? The same principle applies with insurance. All the insurer can do is be completely transparent with the product they are offering and whether or not it covers that individuals needs is neither their duty nor responsibility. As a final exclamation, if you enter my garage forecourt and ask me to sell you a two door convertible sports car, is it my responsibility as the salesmen to find out about your lifestyle and try to sell you a four door estate car to accomodate your three children at home, or is it your job as the buyer to ascertain exactly what you need?
On this basis, I guess the question is whether or not the insurers should offer transparency to the extent of pointing out covers that may be missing from their offering that other insurers may have. That being said, you wouldn’t expect to see Tesco’s putting up signs advising you that Sainsbury’s microwaveable beef dinner has two extra potatoes, so why should insurance, as a retail product, be any different?
I really don’t see how any blame in this situation can be attributed to an insurer. Ultimately, if broker’s want to stay in business and stay relevant, they need to start earning their commission by proving themselves invaluable to the process.
To end with more controversy – is it not the case that most proposers simply use a broker because they don’t have time and/or can’t be bothered to work it out for themselves and would rather place the responsibiltiy on someone else’s shoulders?
You may indeed be misunderstanding me and perhaps the results of the “test”!
Holidays, cars, supermarkets don’t really cover or add anything to the points I was attempting to make. Albeit it is kind of indicative of how far our industry has fallen. So, let’s have another go:
How transparent would anyone (insurer or broker) want to be about the FACT that we have (generally) compromised the integrity of the products we create?
– if you like: 2 potatoes less = less “satisfying”
We learnt this trick by imitating retail in an effort to: generate competitive advantage (based upon price); secure market share (based upon GWP); aid the sales and operational process (reduce HR costs)…
– 2 potatoes less and inferior ingredients = Hmmm false economy!
Warren Buffett: “Price is what you pay value is what you get”
We should be about delivering peace of mind! If I can attempt to illustrate the difference between a QUALITY product and a product created to generate QUANTITY. Which, post loss, policyholder statement relates to what product?:
“Thank goodness we are insured”
“I hope we are covered”
Worthwhile covers (not the frivilous variety you mentioned), wordings that reflect QUALITY products (if you like, more Food Standards Agency than FSA!) and after sales that can focus on serivce would go some way to restoring much needed trust.
I could but don’t have the will to go on so, if insurers are really transparent (presumably the inference is that evil brokers are not!?) then why are direct products not – as you quoted – circa 25 – 50% cheaper?
I would be happy to discuss the matter directly with any parties that would be interested to do so.
I can see why broker pricing is better than direct as this directly relates to insurer’s comfort based upon ‘broker experience’ however my point is that it’s misguided for proposer’s to assume a broker’s experience means that they are covered and it also seems equally misguided for insurers to place the same trust. On the aforementioned basis, both the proposer and the insurer are paying heavily to bring a broker and their experience into the frey, but the question I would ask, is whether or not (on the whole) they are both getting value for money? I appreciate that no broker operates the same, but from experience I have found a high majority to lack the experience and understanding to really represent value against the cost of ‘including them’ – too often it is the underwriters that are forced to ‘unofficially’ guide the broker on what covers might be needed on a risk.
To illustrate my point, I’ve had any number of food risks sent to me over the years with no declaration of any composite panels, yet when you probe the broker to probe the client deeper, you find that the premises is head to toe polyurethane panelled. Now why didn’t the broker declare this material fact? In the vast majority of the cases of which I speak, it’s because they didn’t have the first clue what a composite panel was, let alone that they are present in the vast majority of food risks and in the case of polyurethane represent a hugely hazardous fire risk…so now the building has burnt down, the insurer who hadn’t been told about them has repudiated the claim and the client’s whole livelihood is in tatters. Now is that the fault of the product, or the fault of the broker?
I simply don’t see the compromised integrity of products of which you speak. Granted, some ‘niche’ insurers will perhaps toy with the wordings or excesses in order to make themselves appear more competitive, but they still tell you what cover you have! It’s down to you to decide whether or not that is adequate. Were you to compare, for example, the Commercial Combined product of the top five major insurers, the likes of Aviva, AXA, RSA, Allianz, AIG, NIG etc, I just don’t see where the major differences are, nor the compromised integrity. All of them give material damage with all risks including subsidence, business interruption, public, products and employer’s liability cover with optional extras for legal expenses, goods in transit and money. I don’t see any of them suddenly removing flood cover from their wording without explanation or secretly excluding manual work under the EL section of their policies – THIS would be compromising integrity. I don’t see how it can be suggested that it’s down to an insurer to offer EVERY cover possible at a competitive price – it is down to them to offer what they’re prepared to offer at the price they are prepared to offer it, present that to the client and/or broker and then let THEM decide whether it’s what they want or not. You seem to continue the suggestion that every insurer should provide every possible cover as standard?!
I am not suggesting for one second that brokers are evil or non-transparent, just that I do not always feel they bring the experience and value that both the insurers and clients are ultimately paying for.
This is all true. When we ran tests, and requested online quotes from direct writers and from online insurance brokers (such as Insurance.com and AnswerFinancial.com), it was not unusual to see quotes like $800 from direct writers and $400 from online broker (quotes were from the same company for identical coverage).
Thanks for this Igor, it’s nice to see further validation of our results.
Well done Adam. Great comments all round. Edith and David bring strong and valid opinions to the discussion.
A broker is paid to arrange the insurance and get the claims paid. They cannot persuade an insurance company to do that after the event. Therefore, a broker can only fulfill the role a client expects if they have a good all round understanding of the client’s organisation. This takes time and experience.
A detailed knowledge of the market and independence will allow them to compare the entire packages offered by the insurance providers. They may all have similar products yet their service may not be the same. If the price is different there should be a reason that a broker can explain. A prompt claims service can save a business and brokers know who provides this because they are at the sharp end.
Clarity about what is and isn’t covered is vital yet if an insurance company is investing more in advertising than claims brokers are the first to spot the trend. Every year they get the opportunity to make a new recommendation and it’s good to know there are comparable covers available from different providers with different levels of claims service.
Naturally, as a broker I love the results of the poll. It seems we’re doing the right thing and providing real value. I’d love to see another poll showing the order of priorities for the direct buying policyholder.
Much appreciated Jason. I’ll keep your suggestion in mind for future posts. Make sure you sign up to our mailing list (above top right) to receive our new articles immediately as they are released.
Edith, I think we have moved some distance from the original topic but I can’t help but respond:
There should be no place for “bad brokers”! One broker can only speculate as to the abilities of another. If they are regulated by FSA, have insurer agencies and clients then you would like to think that their shortcomings would prove to be their downfall or motivation for improvement. But, all too often, such firms are better at sales than they are insurance…I believe that is the point you are making. Sales = quantity which is the language that appeals only to organisations for whom market share and turnover have become more important than risk selection for profitability…insurers! Price will always be the principle tool for such a strategy. This is something that, like broker remuneration and operating expenses, are, to a great extent, the domain of the insuer.
If brokers that deliver the required volumes fall down in other areas and I know that many do, it is the insurer, the carrier of the risk, who can determine whether they accept the individual (or collective) risk. I have long argued that if a risk is misrepresented to an insurer – by accident or design – it is in the interest of the insuer, broker and client to decline to provide a quotation. This does not happen! If it did we wouldn’t waste so mch money on claims disputes, funding the legal fraternity, causing unnecessary stress for policyholders and reputational damage for the industry.
Some of the largest brokers and insurers in UK are the worst offenders when it comes to, effectively, endorsing these practices and yet they have been able to “get away with it” AND, in the process, negotiate unsustainable (immoral) remuneration packages that render transparency a forelorn hope.
You will just have to believe me when I talk about compromising product integrity to fund pricing because I hardly think that quoting the “top 5”, presumably by GWP is the basis for much of a discussion!? I don’t intend to bang the drum for any particular insurer but apparently there is a market for products from the likes of Hiscox, Chubb and a plethora of MGA’s who manage to deliver products that offer so much more than merely price.
That apart I am old enough to remember the old GA Maxplan policy. A genuine “All Risks” household product available to policyholders incl. a “free year” dependent upon claims free years. That was 30 years ago! in more recent times we have insurers spending money on TV advertising to boast about covering Accidental damage for glass and items in garden, sheds, garages, etc. I rest my case!!!
Our industry needs change every bit as much as our wealthy “cousins” in banking. But that maybe brings me back to the question of which (if either) version of FSA (Food Sandards of Financial Services) is most likely to actually achieve something about the quality of the basic ingredients. Because there is little sign that there is sufficient will to change from within and too many companies reliant upon the current models…no matter how flawed.
Thank you and goodnight!!!
I would agree David that there should be no place for ‘bad brokers’, but sadly there is. There will always be a place for a good insurance broker who can bring value for both the insured and insurer, but particularly at SME level we are seeing insurers sandbox their products more and more in order to enable the ‘bad brokers’ to trade with them with minimal experience.
To extend that idea, the whole reason for my belief that the insurance broker will die out, is that the more they sandbox these things, the easier it’s going to be for the insurer to trust the client to submit correct details themselves and to pass on the subsequent discount. For this reason, I certainly don’t see SME business being traded through brokers in five to ten years time – though I think the dillution of complex commercial will take a lot longer that that.
Aside from all of this – it’s always interesting to see the differing opinions and subsequent head butting of someone from a broker and someone from an insurer!
Love a good debate about important issues! I have been on both sides of the fence, I am sorry to say that, with few exceptions, it is a breeding ground for mediocrity. If it weren’t for technological developments, a few genuinely original thinkers and even fewer committed leaders I dread to think what state it would be in.
Despite this bleak assessment, I doubt that your vision of the future landscape is correct because, sooner or later, we will “clean up our act” (http://davidgwilson.spaces.live.com/default.aspx?_c01_BlogPart=blogentry&_c=BlogPart&handle=cns!7DF3163703347130!1122) and the early adopters will win BIG. Then we will do what we do best plagurise, dilute and start the whole process over again.
Have a nice day.
Wow – I don’t think there’s much I can add to this conversation that hasn’t already been said. I agree entirely with the inference that where a good/honest broker will win over is with delivering ‘value’. For me it’s also about giving the consumer choice, opening their eyes to a whole of market product range. It’s no supprise that online aggregators are so popular these days, aside from the constant Meerkat or opera singing tv adverts these aggregators (the good ones) are delivering both choice and value. Brokers are not so different to these aggregators in many respects, and if the traditional role of the broker is not to become a dying breed then they also need to move with the times.
What if …
going direct gives you a saving of more than 30% compared to the broker’s quotes, and what if – when you tell the broker about this – he storms off in a huff like a 3 yr old?
Bottom line, if you have to explain to your clients why they should be using you, instead of going direct, you’re not doing your job properly.
I prefer to work on the premise of “Show, dont tell”.
We are a business insurance brokers based in wakefield. We couldn’t agree more with this article, brokers provide a much better service. Sure the bigger companies have the volume etc but they provide the quality of service you can expect from a brokerage.
At our brokerage, as with any business, we have our differentiators. We differentiate ourselves from other brokerages of course, but more and more we are having to differentiate ourselves from insurance companies selling direct. I found your article today and conducted a poll with some of our brokers about what they think the broker advantage is…some of the answers I received were:
1. With a broker, you can have an assigned account manager enabling you to speak with the same person every time.
2. You can go into a broker’s office and meet face to face with your CSR.
3. Even on personal policies, brokers are well equipped to advise you on coverages you may or may not need – either saving you money now OR in the event of a claim.
4. When buying direct, you can often only purchase home and car. Our brokerage offers life, travel, recreational vehicle and other specialty coverages all from the same location and CSR.
5. Brokers can, of course, shop the market and pick the best rates/coverage for your unique situation. Companies can only quote on their own product.
As a broker, I may be biased, but the advantages of using a broker are many in my opinion. The 30% savings that Patrick mentions above obviously has other contributing factors involved and acting like a 3 year old wouldn’t be tolerated at any respectable business, let alone a brokerage lol.
I saved $600 in my first year after leaving a car /home ins. brokerage of 30 years plus substantial savings for family auto/home ins. bundling. Previously, with a broker and a claim-free record, my premiums only increased annually. No wonder, since it is well known that brokers don’t legally have to disclose kick- backs from their suppliers/ins.companies, that they are advertising frantically to maintain market share. Because , once this becomes more widely known, people will realize this hoax for what it is. Understanding personal insurance does not require a PHd and it does not enhance the insurance industry’s checkered reputation to suggest that it does. Message to the consumer: Do it yourself ; it’s easy ; and save yourself a bundle.