There are numerous reasons for you to buy insurance from an independent agent rather than buying it directly from an insurance company. While it may seem logical that you could save both time and money by “cutting out the middleman” (the independent agent), buying direct from an insurer could actually cost you more. You may also end up with an inferior product not fitting your particular needs when buying your homeowner’s or vehicle insurance policies directly from an insurance company rather than from an independent agency.
Following are some of the reasons for considering going the independent agency route:
- When you buy insurance directly from an insurance company, as in buying online, you’ll only have access to that company’s insurance products. The same holds true for an agent working for a specific insurer. He or she is only authorized to sell that particular company’s insurance policies. An independent agent or broker, on the other hand, has access to insurance products from multiple companies and can help you choose the coverage that’s best for you rather than what’s in the best interests of the insurer.
- Deciding which coverage best suits your individual needs can be a complicated process. Having an independent advocate in your corner helping you to understand the ins and outs of various policies can save you a great deal of time and frustration. Independent agents provide this service to you free of charge and you can depend on them to work in your best interest rather than in the interest of any particular insurer. They are legally obligated to do this. Buying insurance without the aid of an independent expert helping you research and compare different plans heightens the risk of spending too much, buying coverage you don’t need or not getting coverage you should.
- If you present an unusual or particular risk that will affect your insurance needs, an independent agent has a much wider range of policies from which to choose to satisfy these needs. A “captive” company agent only has the policies available through his or her particular company.
- If you need to make a claim, your independent agent or broker can be of service in helping you through this process. He or she will likely extend personalized service in other areas as well, such as updating your coverage at renewal time or letting you know when new, lower-cost coverage is available to you.