You are a smart consumer. You pay your bills on time, shop for low-interest rates, and look for competitive prices on your purchases – including your car insurance. As an educated shopper, you wonder whether you should work with a local car insurance agent or take matters into your own hands using the DIY approach.
Using a local insurance agent or building your own policy online can provide you with a comparable policy, so which should you use? Continue reading to learn which choice is best for you.
Do-It-Yourself Car Insurance
It sounds smart: Cut out the middle man and go straight to the insurance company to buy coverage. Though this approach can be fast, it could also cost you big as well – both now and later on. Insurance companies lure drivers with promises of saving money by switching to a particular carrier. If all if their claims were true, you would think that someone was giving away car insurance.
Unfortunately, shopping direct makes it very difficult to compare policies from one company to the next. If you spend 15 minutes getting a quote from one national brand, you will need to do the same with the next – a process that can take several hours. Not to mention, you might underestimate the amount of coverage you actually need. Should you need to file a claim, you will be responsible for any damages and liability that exceed the limits on your coverage.
Agency Car Insurance
The other option is shopping for coverage through a local insurance agent. If this is the route you choose, you should be aware that there are two types of agents to choose from – captive agents and independent agents.
The captive agent works for just one car insurance company, such as State Farm or Farmers, and can only provide you with coverage from that particular insurer. Though they can help you determine how much coverage you might need, they are limited in their ability to help you shop and compare policies from competing carriers.
The other type of insurance agent in an independent agent – they are someone who works for you instead of a particular insurer. Independent agents do all of the heavy lifting, comparing rates from multiple insurers and helping you decide which carrier and policy might be right for you. The independent agent also takes the time to evaluate your needs one-on-one and makes recommendations for coverage as your circumstances change over time.
Other Considerations When Buying Car Insurance
If you think you are being rewarded for your loyalty to a particular insurance company, think again. While the price you were quoted years ago was that best among those you checked with, that might not still be the case. A lot of things may have changed since you last checked. You are no doubt older than you were before, maybe one or more of the kids have moved out (or received their driver’s license.) Your driving habits may have changed as well.
If you’ve been insured by a captive company or purchased your coverage directly, you might want to consider talking to an independent local car insurance agent. Working with an independent agent means you are continually being matched with the insurer that fits your needs at various stages of life.
Give us a Call
To find out how working with an independent agent could help you, contact Stauffer-Klug Insurance to speak with Randy or Debbie Stauffer. We look forward to serving you soon.