Nearly every family needs insurance to protect against certain types of loss, from fire damage to car accidents. Insurance is not like other commodities that can be purchased easily. Also, when it comes to buying insurance, the stakes are particularly high.
When buying insurance, consumers have three primary choices: buying directly from the insurance company, buying from a captive agent or buying from an independent agent. Each of these options provides the consumer with a different shopping and purchase experience. Keep reading to learn more about these choices.
Comparing Insurance Purchase Options
When buying directly from an insurance company, consumers won’t work with an agent at all. Instead, they will purchase from the insurer directly. Popular brands that offer direct purchases include Esurance and Geico.
When a consumer buys from a captive agent, he or she is working with a local agent who represents a single insurer. Examples of insurance companies that may be represented by a captive agent include Farmers Insurance, State Farm and American Family.
When buying from an independent agent, a consumer is working with a local agent that represents multiple companies. For example, a single independent agent may be able to retrieve policy quotes from Hartford, Safeco, and Travelers so consumers can compare.
Making the Right Choice
If a consumer is planning to purchase insurance coverage, finding the right policy with the right limits should always be the top priority. Some people mistakenly believe that they can save money on insurance coverage if they buy directly from an insurance company because agents earn a commission when they make a sale. However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, working with the right agent often helps consumers save more money than they could by handling the purchase on their own.
Both captive and independent insurance agents can answer consumers’ questions and provide useful advice. However, independent agents can provide better value than captive agents in most cases. Independent agents give consumers a choice, so they can compare quotes from different companies and find the best price.
Also, if the consumer has an independent agent and becomes unhappy with his or her policy, the consumer can simply look for another policy with the same agent, rather than finding another agent altogether. Furthermore, because an independent agent does not work for one single company, he or she has more freedom. This means that the agent will give better advice and work harder as an advocate for policyholders.
Because of the many benefits, consumers looking to purchase insurance coverage should strongly consider working with an independent insurance agent. Consumers who are already working with an independent insurance agent should also consider sharing their experiences with friends and family.
Contact an Independent Agent
If you are looking for insurance coverage, GOEBEL Insurance & Financial can help. Please contact us today to discuss your insurance needs or to learn more about working with an independent agent.