Insurance agents are all pretty much the same, right? You get an insurance quote, you sign the paperwork and your home, condo, car or other vehicle is covered against future risk (if you pay the premiums on time).
In fact, there are real differences between independent insurance agents and other agents, and knowing the differences can have a real impact on your policy choices, insurance discounts you receive and ultimately on your insurance protection.
Independent Insurance Agents Shop around for You
Large, nationally known insurance providers often employ the agents who sell their products. This means they only offer insurance plans marketed by their employer. That marketing can take the form of expensive advertising campaigns, which are paid for with your premium dollars.
Independent insurance agents, on the other hand, are small-business owners whose top priority is finding the right plan for clients, no matter which company it is from. Independent agents have the flexibility to work with many insurance companies to help find clients the best coverage at the right price. This allows customers to compare and contrast a variety of plans to find the one that’s right for them.
Agents who are employed by large companies may be limited in their ability to offer the specific type of insurance protection best suited to their client’s exact needs. For example, if the potential policyholder has had traffic citations or a DUI, some insurance companies won’t do business with them. Some insurance companies are not willing to take on some types of risk, such as a swimming pool at your home.
Independent agents are not limited by one company’s limitations of risk or a customer’s driving record. They can shop a range of insurance providers for their clients to access the right policy at an affordable price.
Local Business Owner or Large National Company?
All insurance agents are not the same. Most independent insurance agents are small business owners or work at small independent agencies. They are, for the most part, members of the community in which you live.
When you call an independent insurance agent with a question or with a claim, you will not get a telephone team, which can be the case with an agent working for a large insurance provider. It can feel more personal, working with an independent. These agents give you their cell phone numbers and respond to your phone calls promptly. And customer service is a core component of what makes their business successful.
Seeing You through the Claims Process
If you do have an accident or need to file a claim for any reason, independent insurance agents will help you manage the claims process, from dealing with the insurance claim’s adjuster to dealing with the insurance company itself. For the most part, your agent is “high touch” when it comes to working with you as the client.
It is important to make informed decisions about your insurance. Getting quotes from a variety of insurance agents can ultimately help you obtain the coverage that is right for you, whether you are a small-business owner seeking liability coverage, or you are a new driver who has questions about comprehensive car insurance, or you are a homeowner seeking to upgrade your homeowners insurance policy, or you just have questions about your current insurance policies and whether you qualify for insurance discounts.