Where to Buy Car Insurance?
Get to know the three types of car insurance agents so you'll know to whom you'll buy your policy from.
Whether you like it or not, you must invest in a car insurance policy. Doing so is not just a necessity for covering expenses in case you incur damage to your car, to other people’s cars, or to other people’s properties after a road mishap, but it is also mandated by state law.
At this point, you have probably seen that there are many auto insurance products available in the market, each coming with a different coverage that depends on the type of car you are driving as well as your driving record and even your credit history.
You can’t just impulse buy the first insurance policy that crosses your path. It is absolutely necessary to do your homework and take the time and effort to research the best and most suitable auto insurance product for your needs.
“You can’t just impulse buy the first car insurance policy that crosses your path.”
To initiate the insurance purchase process, you have to deal with any or all of these three types of car insurance agents:
Insurance companies’ exclusive agents
In most cases, auto insurance agents sell various policies from a single insurer or brand. Such insurance sellers are exclusive to such companies and are authorized to sell only the products from those insurance firms. For example, a State Farm insurance agent sells only State Farm policies and no other insurance products from other companies.
The advantage of dealing with such agents is that you would know more about the different options offered by a company. The disadvantage is that you would have to do the comparison shopping on your own because such agents will not be credible talking about products from competing insurance brands.
“The advantage of dealing with such agents is that you would know more about the different options offered by a company.”
Independent insurance agents
There are agents who are authorized to offer and sell car insurance products from various insurers. Dealing with these agents is like going to a shopping mall where numerous car insurance policies from different providers are being sold.
The advantage of such agents is that they are most knowledgeable about as many products as there are in the market so they can give you a more comprehensive comparison of what’s out there to be purchased. If you are considering more than one option for your car insurance, dealing with an independent insurance agent will save you time and effort.
“If you are considering more than one option for your car insurance, dealing with an independent insurance agent will save you time and effort.”
Direct selling insurers
If you have experienced buying car insurance from Progressive or GEICO, you are already familiar with direct selling insurance firms. These firms are classified as such because you can buy a coverage directly from the companies without having to deal with a traditional agent.
The main advantage of choosing to buy such car insurance products is that, without an agent taking a commission from your premiums, the pricing can be more reasonable. The biggest downside is that such insurers usually accommodate only those drivers who have clean records (no accident or traffic violation record). If you have a poor driving history, you may experience trouble qualifying for or buying any of these brands’ car insurance products.