As a U.S. consumer, you have a broad insurance market available from which to make choices on coverage. Options for purchasing insurance direct from the company or with an agent are readily available to all who have Internet access and a telephone. When deciding how to approach buying insurance, look at what methods will work best for your situation. Buying through a licensed agent is a bit different than buying without the assistance of a knowledgeable representative. Either method has advantages and disadvantages, and which way to go depends on your personal preference.
Consideration Insurance companies with top ratings advertise the grade repetitively. In a competitive market several top quality insurance companies are readily available to consumer access and will provide requested information. Purchasing insurance without an agent is fairly easy with most major companies, and you can request information via the Internet, telephone or postal mail. Premium costs may be somewhat lower buying direct as the company does not have to incorporate the costs of the commission paid to the sales agent.
Convenience Some buyers find it more convenient to shop from home. With Internet access, you can compare companies and policies, complete an application and pay premiums, all from the comfort of an easy chair. Using this method to purchase insurance will require you to conduct your own research and evaluate your personal insurance needs.
Personal Service Buying insurance with an agent provides you with direct personal service. Many local agents live and work in the community they service. Buying through a licensed agent gives you an opportunity to explain your individual needs and purchase policies tailored to your specific circumstances. For example, a motorist who needs auto insurance will have a professional to explain what state laws require and what is recommended to protect assets. The coverage can be individualized to fit your routine.
Selection Buying insurance without an agent will require you to choose among a considerable number of companies to find products that suit your individual needs. Contrastingly, using the services of an agent to purchase insurance can limit the products available. For example, often an insurance agent will represent a sole company or a small family of companies. An independent agent often represents a larger group of companies and products, but this varies from agency to agency.
Discounts Agents can provide discounts upfront for buying multiple policies. For example, packaging homeowner's insurance, auto insurance and life insurance through the same company qualifies most policyholders for a discount on premiums. In addition, some agents provide a further discount on costs by willingly relinquishing a portion of their commission in order to sell an additional policy. Buying direct from the company without the assistance of an agent may also produce discounts if you choose a provider that offers a range of products.