In the past, the only way to get vehicle coverage was through a car insurance agent. The agent would act as a salesperson and a consultant, guiding you through your options and discussing different pricings and coverage plans for your car, truck or motorcycle. A skillful, professional agent could often save you cash by steering your towards special discounts and getting you only the coverage you need. However, there are some details about how auto insurance agents operate that may help you when deciding how to find your next car insurance plan.
There are two main types of vehicle insurance agents: a captive vehicle insurance agent and an independent agent. Captive agents work for one company only, such as Geico or AllState. While captive auto insurance agents can help you find the best plan within the company’s offerings, they won’t be able to show your better rates from other companies (and they wouldn’t, if they could). An independent agent, on the other hand, is more like a car insurance broker. He or she has connections with several different insurers and can find you the lowest prices among them.
Both types of agents have their own obvious benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, an independent agent will give you a more comprehensive view of your options, which can be helpful when looking for cheap auto insurance. Captive agents, however, will likely have greater access to special promotions for their agency and will have a deeper understanding of the terms and conditions. They can also be held responsible if you have an issue, whereas a broker has no real formal ties to the issuer she or he eventually puts you in touch with.
The best method for finding an excellent rate for vehicle coverage plans is to combine both models. Thanks to vehicle insurance comparison tools available on the Internet, you can easily identify all the local vehicle insurance providers in your area and get the inclusive view that an independent agent would afford you. Once you find a company in your area, you can get a quote instantly and ask to have an agent contact you directly. This can mean scheduling an in-person appointment or finishing your transaction on the phone. During your consult, you’ll be able to better explain your situation and discuss your pricing options. By beginning with a wide focus and then speaking with vehicle insurance agents directly, you can be guaranteed you find the best deal possible without ruling out any of the competition.