In NU's Oct. 17 editorial, I reported on my experience shopping for and choosing a renter's insurance policy—opting, in the end, to go with USAA after a phone call with one of its representatives (a State Farm agent just up the street from me was also in the running).

The column sparked dozens of reader responses—most from independent agents. Some gently chided me for not getting the expert advice an independent could have offered. Others were absolutely outraged I hadn't considered independents, and called for my head/threatened bodily harm (luckily, I do have good life and health benefits).

Here are just a few samples of the sentiments expressed—followed by what I think is one lesson that can be drawn from this.

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