When most people shop for an insurance policy, they choose one of the popular insurance companies like Geico, Progressive, or Allstate. Most people do this by simply calling the company up on the phone and speaking with a salesperson in a call center.
This may be the more popular method of shopping for car insurance, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. In fact, there are some really great benefits to choosing an independent insurance agent instead of going directly to one of the giants.
What Is an Independent Insurance Agent?
When you call an insurance company to get a quote and purchase coverage, you’re speaking with an employee of that insurance company. When you get a quote and shop with a local insurance agency, you’re dealing with somebody who simply connects you to the various insurance agencies.
The main difference between the two is the fact that independent insurance agencies have no obligatory relationship with providers, allowing them to act without being influenced. They also offer the benefit of allowing you to choose who you want to purchase coverage from.
The Benefits of Going Independent
So what are the benefits of choosing an independent insurance agency over purchasing coverage directly from the provider?
For starters, you’re dealing with somebody whose physical location you know. If you need to speak with them, you can literally drive down to their building and have a chat.
You’re also dealing with a highly qualified professional when you choose an independent agent. Independent insurance agents have decided to make a career out of selling insurance, which is why they’re not working directly for a large insurance provider. Insurance providers hire salespeople, not insurance agents, so all you’re getting is somebody who’s trained to sell you coverage.
Independent insurance agents are there to serve you. They know the laws in your state and how much coverage you’re required to have. They also know the insurance business inside and out, so they can advise you to make sure you get adequate coverage without overpaying.
Licensure is another thing that separates independent insurance agents. To become an insurance agent, you have to take a training course and become certified. Moreover, you have to become certified in the specific type of insurance you’re selling, which means an agent who’s selling auto insurance has trained to sell auto insurance, ensuring you get the right coverage for the best price.
Another benefit of purchasing insurance through an independent insurance agency is having somebody to advocate for you. A salesperson with an insurance company is interested in selling you coverage and satisfying their employer. By contrast, independent agencies don’t have any obligation to the insurance providers—they have an obligation to you. It’s this relationship that allows independent agents to advocate for you and help you get the best prices.
Shopping with an independent insurance agency is also a great way to take care of all your insurance needs in one sweep. Most insurance agencies will have relationships with providers that sell home, auto, renter’s, business, and even life and health insurance. If you need to purchase a few different types of coverage at once, you can get it taken care of in no time with a local insurance agent.
You may think it’s easier to call up an insurance provider and purchase coverage over the phone, but you could be missing out on lots of great benefits by not hiring an independent insurance agent. The next time you’re looking to purchase insurance, whether it’s home, life, auto, renter’s or homeowners, consider taking a trip to one of your local insurance agencies instead of calling a salesperson.