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Should You Buy Auto Insurance Online or Use an Agent? We Help You Choose

Should You Buy Auto Insurance Online or Use an Agent? We Help You Choose

There is a significant shift going on in the insurance industry. For decades, most people have purchased their policies through agents and brokers. Now our television sets are flooded with commercials from direct insurers that sell coverage online, making the need for real-life agents more and more obsolete. But this, however, brings up the debate, who has better rates?

Let’s take a closer look at both methods of buying car insurance and compare the results:

1. Getting Online Auto Insurance Quotes

The easiest way to secure an insurance quote for your vehicle is online. With sites like Good 2 Go, you can compare up to 10 quotes in about five minutes. Think about that for a minute. All you have to do when you are buying auto insurance online is enter some basic background information about the make and model of your vehicle and your location and you will be given multiple quotes.

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There is no need to call several agents for quotes when you go direct. After all, that could take hours. You can get quoted in the comfort of your home, even in your pajamas while drinking your cup of coffee. You have control of the entire process and can remain completely anonymous.

Another big reason why people like getting online quotes is because of privacy. Most people don’t like aggressive sales people trying to sell “padded” policies with a commission in mind.

Often, the drawback to getting auto insurance online is not buying enough coverage. Many people only focus on price and not the amount of insurance they need in order to be adequately covered. An agent can analyze a person’s income and vehicle and then make recommendations about the insurance limits needed. This one-on-one advice is also really valuable to people that are not well-versed in auto insurance.

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2. Getting Auto Insurance Quotes from Agents

If you want a professional insurance advisor, then call an agent or broker. The quoting process will be a bit longer than an online quote form, but you will get a detailed analysis from a pro. Agents are essentially the “middleman” and represent the company they work for. For example, a State Farm agent will give you exclusive quotes from State Farm while a Farmers agent will do the same. This is why going the agent route can be time-consuming. You need to call several company agents and answer the same questions over and over again to find the quote that works for you.

When you apply for online quotes with direct online sources, your information is sent to multiple providers and quotes are provided in just a few minutes.

The main advantage of using an agent is the free consultation. It is like having a personal insurance advisor that helps you find a plan and coverage that is best for you. Many people form long-term relationships with their agents. When a claim is filed, most people prefer to talk to someone they trust and that already knows their profile. It does not always happen, but agents sometimes find deals for their clients that save them more than direct insurers.

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3. What is the Best Option for Buying Auto Insurance?

If you need a policy fast and are on a tight budget, I would go the direct route and buy insurance online via an online quote. Check out sites like Good 2 Go auto insurance and get a free quote. When you get a quote online, there is no obligation to buy a policy and you don’t even need to talk to anyone. Make sure you compare at least 10 online rates. This may or possibly may not be the best price for the coverage you want, so after gathering your quotes to choose from, follow the next step.

The next step is to call up an agent. Select the best direct quote from your online insurance quotes you are thinking of buying and ask the agent if they can match that price. This will give you all the leverage and show that you have done your homework. Agents are in business to make sales and they will usually go out of their way to match your price. If they can’t, then call up another agent. Make at least five agent phone calls to see if they can match or even beat the direct rate.

After that, it all boils down to pricing and customer service. If you find an agent that gives you a rate that is equal to or almost equal to the online companies and are in need of that extra professional quote, then go for it. If you enjoy convenience and you do not like talking to agents, go online and buy directly.

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The choice is yours, but be sure to get the best coverage for your vehicle at the lowest possible price.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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