Where and how you buy your insurance policy matters more than you might think. If you do it wrong, the safety of your family, home, car or even your business can be at risk. So it pays to be cautious as you consider your buying options.
Nowadays, we have all come to expect instant answers and quick results. Online shopping feeds our need for speed. It encourages us to often accept a product that actually costs more than it needs to and provides less service and benefits than we could have had. Often, by the time we realize our mistake, it is too late to correct it.
Purchasing insurance is no exception. A few minutes online and you can receive instant quotes and instant applications from almost any insurance company. If you dodge that bullet, you might still be persuaded by an insurance company’s exclusive representative to accept a policy without researching other companies and comparing rates and coverages before you sign on the dotted line. If you have no insurance background, you will want to find an independent agent in your local area who will be glad to assist you, comparing rates and coverages from a number of insurance companies to find the right fit for you.
Online Instant Insurance Quotes
You can fill out online insurance applications and get insurance quotes anytime around the clock. But you are on your own. The insurance company behind the online application makes it easy and quick to use, but there is hardly ever any professional advice or attention to your circumstances. So do you really know what you’re getting? Unless you have a background in insurance and know a rider from an exclusion and a deductible from a co-pay, you could be making a very important decision without having all the facts.
“Captive” Insurance Agents
Some insurance agents are under exclusive contract with only one insurance carrier. The insurance policies they can offer from that company might very well not be the best that is available for your particular needs and might not offer the best prices available. They are not in a position to help you compare rates and coverages with those of other companies to arrive at the best policy for your own needs.
Independent Insurance Agents
- An independent agent typically has a comprehensive knowledge of the insurance industry and has excellent relationships with many insurance carriers including large companies.
- They will get to know your needs and then research these companies’ offerings to find you the best combination of coverage and price.
- An independent insurance agent will develop a relationship with you and provide on-going service.
- An independent agent is your consultant and advisor, answering your questions and helping you explore all the options.
- Independent agents will periodically review your insurance coverages to keep up with your needs and let you know when coverage changes will benefit you.
- Typically, independent agents offer a wide range of personal and commercial insurance products and programs, including home, condo, renters, auto, life, business and more. They can offer you a variety of insurance options.
So your independent insurance agent becomes the person who knows you, your family, your community and your needs and serves you and not the insurance company.