The fact that it's so quick and easy to get insurance quotes online has led some people to question the usefulness of independent insurance agents. Why hire an agent for what you can do yourself? Unfortunately, this line of thinking can result in you paying too much money for your insurance coverage.
Independent insurance agents can help you determine what level of coverage you need and shop multiple carriers to find you the best deal—this even includes smaller carriers that may not offer online quotes. Read on for three reasons you should be using an independent agent to purchase insurance.
1. They Match You With the Best Products and Carriers for Your Situation
Independent insurance agents help save you money by matching you to the right insurance product and the right carrier. Different carriers have different approaches to estimating risk, which influences the premiums that they charge you, and these approaches are business secrets.
However, insurance agents see numerous quotes each day, which gives them a fairly good idea of how these insurance carriers are considering risk. If you have poor credit or if you have no insurance history, for example, then insurance agents are able to match you with insurance carriers who routinely offer low quotes in these circumstances.
On the other side of the spectrum, you may have excellent credit and a spotless claims history. In this case, an independent insurance agent can match you to carriers who offer preferred insurance products that you qualify for. These are special low-risk pools composed of people who insurers think are unlikely to file claims. Preferred products can be difficult to find without working with an agent, and they can save you a significant amount of money on premiums.
2. They Save You Money Over the Years by Shopping Around
When you use an independent insurance agent to purchase insurance, you're forming a long-term relationship with the agent rather than with an insurance company. Your agent will have your records on file along with the coverage you're receiving. When it's time to renew one of your insurance policies, your agent will use your information to shop around and see if any insurance carrier offers a lower quote with the same level of coverage.
In other words, you're always able to find the lowest-priced insurance carrier without expending any effort of your own. Your independent insurance agent works for you, and it's always their job to save you as much money as possible on your insurance premiums.
3. They Help You Purchase Adequate Coverage With No Gaps
Determining which level of coverage you need can be difficult if you're unfamiliar with insurance products. This is especially true of homeowners insurance, which often contains multiple exclusions. For example, an insurance policy may specifically exclude water damage resulting from a burst pipe or from municipal flooding. If you're not watching out for these exclusions when you're negotiating your level of coverage, they may take you by surprise when you decide to file a claim.
Independent insurance agents typically don't handle many details of the claims process, but they are aware of what claims are common and which are rare. They can help you spot any gaps where your insurance policy doesn't cover common incidents. Working with your independent insurance agent to draft your desired policy helps to protect you from anything that may happen.
While you will need to pay a fee to hire the services of an independent insurance agent, the benefits are well worth it. If you're shopping for insurance, whether it's home, auto, or life, contact an independent insurance agent in your area to find the best carriers and the best premiums.