You know you need to buy home & auto insurance. But what’s the best way to get it?
Well, there are…you guessed it… 3 ways.
Each one has its pros and cons, but it can take some digging to figure out what’s best for you. Especially when you see those big name insurance commercials. They’re funny. And sometimes the path of least resistance just seems like the way to go… because there are so many companies out there, and you’ve got so little time.
So here’s a video to break it all down for you:
Now you know your options and how they all work. But some of us learn better from reading than listening, so here are the highlights.
The 3 ways to buy home and auto insurance are:
1. A website or 1-800 number
This is almost always the fastest way to get insured. All you need to do is use a fast and easy website filled with bots or call an insurance hotline to proudly become a number in a sea of other callers. If you’re pressed for time, this strategy works.
But don’t expect the best coverage (or pricing). These companies are strictly online (think Lemonade, Root, etc.). So you need to be willing to continue using their web platform or phone answering service should you need help with anything down the road.
And remember – cheap car insurance isn’t always cheap car insurance, if you catch my drift.
2. A captive agent
This is your friendly local branch of a large insurance company. The term “captive” means local reps work for a particular company. All your options with them are limited to what that company can offer. For example, a local Farmers Insurance agent would never offer an Allstate Insurance policy (even if it were a better fit), and vice versa. But hey, at least you can walk in and say hi?
3. An independent insurance agent
You know how shopping local’s rad? That’s true for insurance too, and these guys are as local as it gets. Independent agencies are small locally owned and operated businesses.
They provide access to the best, most exclusive companies (e.g. – West Bend, Progressive Insurance & Travelers). They also offer free advice about which company/coverage is best for you, what to do in a claim situation, and more. You can think of these guys and gals as your most trusted ally should the worst happen. And of course, we hope it doesn’t, but it sure is nice to have peace of mind if it does.
Pros & Cons
That said, there are pros & cons for each of these bad boys. Take a look to see what I mean:
The fastest way to get an insurance quote is almost always through an online company. Their systems are automated and can give you a quote immediately. They won’t have advice on the best policy for your specific situation, but if you need fast, you’ve got it.
However, if you’re willing to wait at least 24 hours, that opens you up to shop with independent agencies, and likely captive ones too.
Captive and independent insurance agents are local. Have a problem? You can walk straight into their office, meet face to face, and talk through your insurance options, claim options, the weather, whatever you want really…
When it comes to the best companies, highest quality coverage, and well-rounded advice, independent insurance agents are the best of the best.
Their advice revolves around what’s best for you, not the company’s bottom line. Which is of course why it’s great that their hands aren’t tied to just one company, and why their quality of service is going to be the best hands down. They work with companies that focus on quality rather than blasting the airways with billions of ads… which means they have more time and money for you.
No company or agent can ever claim to have the best price (truthfully, anyway). That’s because prices constantly change. So when you’re looking for insurance, you’re looking at a snapshot of a single moment in time. The company that’s the best right then and there may not be the best in a year.
That being said, independent insurance agents have a huge advantage on price for two reasons:
There’s price competition inside the agency
Independent insurance agencies work with multiple companies. Those companies bring their best pricing with every client every year to stay relevant. If they don’t, agencies will move on – and they know it. So if you wanna see insurance companies work hard to get you (and keep you), this is where you go.
Independent agents see the ebb and flow of price
Captive agents see one company all day long. It’s the only company they can offer, and their only point of reference. Independents watch and connect with the most competitive companies and keep their pulse on the insurance market.
For this quality of service, independent insurance agencies are the only way to go, because:
- They get to know you by name, not policy number. If you’re looking for anonymity, this is not the place for you. But if you want someone to hold your hand should something happen, you’ve got it.
- They’re specialists. They’re hungry to learn about their industry. They’re hungry to learn how to help you.
- They listen to and remember the stories you tell about your life. That time you mentioned about sweet old Aunt Sally? They’ll bring it up before you do the next time you talk.
- And they know how to keep a secret. So feel free to spill it!
Ok folks, it’s time to wrap it all up in a neat little bow.
So, what’s an Independent Insurance Agency got to offer you:
- Access to exclusive insurance companies;
- Agents who work for you, not the company;
- High quality service and great advice;
- Usually the best price and coverage; and
- Help during claims (this is more important than you could ever know).
Ready to get the price, coverage, and service you deserve? Get a Quote
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