Finding great insurance coverage for an affordable price can be tricky. Before we jump into why you may want to work with an independent insurance agent, we recommend reviewing the three types of agents by checking out our previous article, “What’s an Independent Insurance Agent?”
Requesting quote after quote online can be a hassle. And calling insurance companies—only to wait on the line to speak with an actual person—can be a pain. Who really wants to do all their own research to get a decent premium and put up with pushy, biased salespeople?
Here are several benefits of working with an independent insurance agent rather than a captive agent or direct writer.
1. More Options
When you work with an independent agent, you’ll be provided with options from multiple insurance companies. Most independent agents are authorized to sell insurance for over a dozen different companies, as opposed to captive agents who only represent one. This allows them to shop around to help you find the best coverage for your unique needs. You could be introduced to companies you may have never found or considered on your own.
2. Unbiased Advice
Independent agents aren’t employed by insurance companies; they often partner (via contract) with carriers they feel will fit their client base. Agents are then trained and authorized to sell insurance for these companies. Since independent agents are working for you and not a single insurance carrier, they will be much more inclined to offer you impartial information and advice. If you’re unhappy with your current carrier, your agent can bring you quotes and information from other carriers to help you find a better fit.
3. Excellent Customer Service
Independent agents work for you, not your insurance company. They know that if their customers aren’t happy, they’ll lose business. A good agent will strive to put you first and help you find the best coverage options and rates. If your needs change, your agent can shop for alternatives for you—with no strings attached.
Many independent agents work with clients in their local area, so they know exactly what’s available and what challenges people commonly face in their community. Working with a local agent will also make it easy to meet and talk in person about any questions or concerns you have.
Find an independent insurance agent near you by doing a quick search online or asking friends or neighbors for references. Make sure whoever you decide to work with is experienced, maintains good customer service, has excellent ratings and reviews, and offers the types of products and services you’re seeking
If you find the right agency to partner with, you could be set for life. Some independent agencies offer life, auto, home, and business insurance—all in one place. Instead of trying to juggle numerous policies through multiple carriers, you could work with a single agent to take care of all your needs.
Insurance can be complex. Working with someone who knows the ins and outs of the insurance world will help you make wiser decisions for yourself, your family, or your business. A good independent agent will be properly licensed in each type of insurance he or she sells. To become licensed to sell insurance in a state, agents are required to pass an exam. Many states also require continuing education for agents to remain licensed.
Some agents have designations that set them apart from others. Coverage Direct, for example, has employees who are Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) among others. Look for certifications like these when searching for a highly qualified independent agent to work with.
7. Save Money
Unlike captive agents who represent one insurer and could try to push you to make decisions that benefit their company, independent agents invest in matching their clients with the best coverage available. They will look at your needs and your budget and give you quotes from multiple carriers to help you find the best pricing available.
You wouldn’t buy a car before reading reviews about its make and model, asking questions, and ensuring it’s a good fit for your lifestyle and budget, would you? The same goes for buying insurance. It’s smart to shop around and compare various options to find the best coverage for the best price. Keep in mind that more options = a larger spectrum of pricing!
8. Personalized Service
If you’ve ever bought insurance directly from a carrier—on the phone or online—you might have felt more like a number than a name. Sometimes direct writers will sacrifice coverage to lower the premium and make a sale. Independent agents strive to do what’s best for their clients.
When you work with an independent insurance agent, you’re working with a real person. They’ll get to know you and your situation personally and build a relationship with you.
Imagine going to Subway and only getting to choose whether you want a salad or a sandwich. You don’t get to pick any of the actual ingredients. Working with an independent agent is more like getting to choose your meat, toppings, and condiments to create a customized sandwich or salad that’s right for you. In other words, you have options.
9. Your Personal Advocate
Are you confused by all the insurance lingo and various coverage options? An independent agent can walk you through your options in simple terms, explain coverages, make recommendations for your situation, and help you deal with claims as they arise. If you’re in an accident, for example, you can skip the stress of trying to translate how your insurance will work for and not against you; just call your agent to explain everything you need to know to navigate the process efficiently and effectively. Some agents will even file a claim for you!
Agents can also alert you if your insurance rate is about to increase, so you know when to switch carriers. If your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly or if you have a non-standard condition, your agent can act as your advocate—using their first-rate knowledge and expertise to support you.
10. Lifetime Access
You can work with your insurance agent for as long as you want. They will regularly review your coverage for you and let you know if you should make any advantageous adjustments. They can stick with you throughout various stages of your life, from buying your first car to insuring your dream home. Your agent just might become your long-term trusted advisor—and your friend.
Partner with an Independent Insurance Agent
Coverage Direct is proud to be an independent insurance agency. We put our customers first—always—providing personalized service, coverage advice, and the best products and services possible.
If you’re interested in a quote or have any questions regarding your policy, a claim, or any of our services, contact us anytime. We would love to help you out!