FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are many factors to consider when choosing an insurance agent. We are happy to talk through any questions you have about our business, the carriers we partner with, and how we can meet your insurance needs. Below are a series of questions we commonly receive when speaking with customers who are considering making a policy change or who are learning about Sparklebird for the first time.
The best way to get any of your questions answered is to give us a call or text at 919-803-6949 and let us know how we can help!
What carriers do you work with?
Many are listed on our site, but the most important thing to know is that we only work with reputable carriers that have strong financials. A cheap insurance policy isn’t worth much if a hurricane bankrupts your insurance carrier. Most of our carrier’s you’ve already heard of, but there are a few that you might not have, and for a good reason. Some carriers ONLY write business through independent agencies like SparkleBird. They don’t have an 800 number you can call to write a policy, so they don’t spend a lot of money on marketing. Looking to save money? Even if you can request rates from a carrier yourself directly, it's still worth a call to us - many carriers offer different, special rates to independent brokers like us!
Speaking of 800 numbers, if I don’t care about having a local agent, why wouldn’t I just call the company directly and cut out the middle man?
This is a GREAT question. The short answer is: believe it or not, it’s usually LESS expensive to have the “middle man” in this scenario. There have been a handful of times this year that we’ve quoted someone’s insurance with the same carrier they were already using, and their rates dropped going through us! The reality is that the carrier is paying someone to field phone calls, answer questions and write policies, so it’s either us, or they have to have more employees to do it. For a variety of reasons, it’s typically advantageous to have agents do it, rather than have far more employees. Because of this, writing the policy through us vs direct with the carrier will usually result in a lower premium for you. Occasionally they’ll be about the same, but even then, you’ll have a local agent to answer your questions, and not be paying any more for it!
What if I need to file a claim?
You may find many agencies have different answers to this question. For us, the short answer is, CALL US FIRST (and text us if you don’t reach us by phone). In case you don’t reach us right away, your initial responsibility is to mitigate further damage to whatever degree you can. This could be putting a bucket under a leak in the roof or plastic taped over a broken window, for example. A claim has to be filed in a reasonable amount of time, but not immediately. Assuming you’ve mitigated further damage, you can wait to speak to someone here if you want before making the decision about filing a claim.
In some situations, it’s an easy decision to make whether to file the claim or not, but sometimes there’s more to it, and we’re here to help. Some claims can hurt you more than help you. If after deductibles are paid, you only get $700 from the insurance company, but your premiums will go up $300/year for the next 3-5 years, that’s not a claim you’d want to file! Conversely, sometimes it’s just easy for us to talk through it with you to give you the peace of mind that filing the claim is the right decision. The bottom line is that our customers’ peace of mind is paramount to us, so we’re always happy to answer questions and talk through things with you!
Also, you’re always welcome to call your carrier’s claim line directly of course. We offer our services to help, but you’re not required to use them or speak to us at all before filing a claim, if you choose not to.
What if I have a claim in the middle of the night?
Actually, still call us (and text us). You can often reach us after hours, and if we’re at all able to answer, we will. The above information about claims and mitigation of further damage is still valid, but we understand that it can be a nerve wracking experience if you’ve never dealt with something like that before, so feel free to reach out at any hour. If you don’t reach us, leave a message and send us a text and/or email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as you can. And as mentioned above also, you are welcome to call the carrier directly. If you know for sure that a claim is the way to go (tree severely damages a home or car, or car accident where the car is badly damaged, etc.), then you don’t really have much reason to wait to speak to us before calling your carrier’s claim line, but we do still want to speak with you later to make sure we help where you need it, and in case there is anything else we can do for you while you’re dealing with that.
What types of insurance can you quote me?
So far, literally everything. As an independent agency, we’re often asked to write policies that other carriers won’t write and haven’t come across anything yet we couldn’t do. Most of our work is for people’s personal policies, or small businesses like contractors, restaurants, gyms, etc. We do everything from the every day, to the one in a million. Whether it's something simple like a new whole life insurance policy or a car insurance quote comparison for a vehicle you built yourself out of duct tape - we have a myriad of carriers we have great relationships with to help you find the coverage you're looking for!
What type of information do you need for a quote?
That depends on the type of quote. Sometimes we can give you a ballpark number with just a quick phone call - or at least tell you if we think there's a great chance we can save you money over what you're currently paying. For rates on auto insurance, you'll likely need to provide basic details like the make & model of your car, your license number, VIN information, and details on your recent driving record. We'll do all we can to make the application process quick and painless! Looking for rates from multiple companies? We'll do all that work for you once we have those initial details. Other business insurance policies or term/whole life insurance policies require various levels of input from you but we always strive to be respectful of your time and ensure we return your quotes as quickly and efficiently as possible!