- Car Insurance
The internet and the availability of comparison websites have made it easier than ever to purchase insurance. Consumers can get the very best deals based on their demographic and driving record, and they don’t need to spend countless hours repeating the same information over the phone and going through the same processes.
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However, many consumers still work through local insurance agents, and not without reason. In some instances, as discussed in this guide, working with an insurance agent is the best option and will lead to the best outcomes.
1. A Local Agent Simplifies the Process
Insurance is a complex business, especially if it’s your first time and you don’t really know what you’re doing. It’s complicated further by the fact that insurance needs differ from consumer to consumer, and you can’t simply use a cookie-cutter approach.
If you’re buying auto insurance online, you’ll need to research everything yourself, calculating how much liability coverage you need, whether you need collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, and what other extras you should buy.
Is underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage required, is it useful, and what about personal protection insurance? You might not know what these coverage options are and if you need them or not, but your insurance agent will.
With a local insurance agent, you have an experienced, knowledgeable expert on hand to guide you through the process and deal with all your questions and issues.
An agent just needs your personal information to get the very best car insurance rates. They’ll also understand what the minimum state requirements are and can advise on whether or not you should consider additional coverage options.
2. Independent Agents are Not Tied to Specific Companies
An auto insurance agent can work with a specific company, and most of the big ones, including GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and Nationwide, all have insurance agents selling their products.
If you go through these agents, known as “captive agents”, you’ll be offered car insurance policies specifically from those providers, which means you may not necessarily get the cheapest products for your needs.
However, there are also a number of independent insurance agents. These agents are not tied to specific companies and will instead work with multiple providers to find cheap car insurance that fits your needs. These agents work locally and are experts in car insurance and the companies that sell it.
3. They Are Discount Experts
Car insurance discounts are essential if you want the very best insurance rates. The problem is, you have a multitude of discounts to consider, with everything from good driver and safe driver discounts, to ones based on age, membership clubs, grades, claim history, bundling, and more.
Agents are experts when it comes to car insurance discounts, because they understand that competition is high and that being the best independent agent in any given region means consistently getting the cheapest car insurance coverage from the best insurance providers.
Based on the information you give them, an independent agent will understand what discounts you can apply for, which auto insurance companies accept them, and where you can get the best rates.
4. They Can Change with You
As your situation changes, your insurance premiums should follow. Insurance is all about risk. The underwriters set your premiums based on the likelihood of you making a claim, which, in turn, is based on the statistical probability that you will be involved in an accident or your car will be vandalized, damaged or stolen.
Underwriters will consider your age and gender, as they know that teen drivers and male drivers are more likely to speed and be involved in accidents. They will account for your driving record, whether or not you live in an area prone to flooding, high winds, theft, and vandalism; they will also consider how many accidents there are in your area and the resulting property damage and bodily injury they cause.
You probably knew all of that already. But what you might not know is that insurers will also consider whether or not you are married; whether you rent or own your home, and whether you have dependents or not.
These things can have a big impact on auto insurance quotes, because research suggests that single renters are much more likely to claim than married homeowners.
With an insurance agent on your side, not only can you get the best discounts based on your current situation, but you can also get the best possible rates when you switch. As soon as your situation changes and you experience what is known as a “major life event“, simply inform them and they will seek to renew your policy.
5. All Of Your Needs
Independent insurance agents are specialists in car insurance, but that’s not all. They are experts in all types of insurance and, in addition to getting the right auto policy, they can also help with home insurance, life insurance, and more.
The process of acquiring these policies is the same; they take your personal information and use this to get quotes from multiple different insurance carriers, ultimately arriving at the best possible rates and insurance coverage for your needs.
What’s more, because they are discount experts and work with so many types of insurance products, they are also masters of bundling, a discount that insurance companies offer to policyholders who purchase multiple products.
Bottom Line: Getting the Best Car Insurance Quotes
As you can see, working with an insurance agent provides you with a wealth of benefits and if you don’t have a lot of experience on this subject, they can be a godsend. You’ll save time, money, and a whole heap of frustration.
Of course, in the digital age, you don’t need insurance agents and some companies, including Esurance, don’t use them at all. Still, it’s good to have the option. If you want, you can purchase an auto insurance policy online and skip all the questions.
If you prefer a more personalized approach, work with an insurance agent. In any case, as long as the result is a policy that covers you for what you need at a price that you can afford, it’s all good.