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