Independent Agent when it comes to Home and Auto Insurance Policy
When buying a Home or Auto Insurance policy there are two ways you can purchase a policy, either from a Direct Writer or an Independent Agent.
A Direct Writer is an insurance company who uses its own employees as well as mail, internet, and phone to distribute their products. A direct writer cuts out the middle man by selling directly to you, rather than through an independent agent. A direct writer only has authority to sell their own company’s products, unlike an independent agent who has access to multiple carriers and can shop for the best policy for you. Progressive, Geico and Liberty Mutual are a few of the most common direct writers in the insurance industry, and many people don’t understand the level of risk they take on when switching to a Direct Writer. Buying direct is sort of like shopping for a Toyota Camry at a used car lot that only sells Honda Accords. You may get a car, but it’s likely not the one you want and it’s not the best fit for you.
The first misconception people have about independent agents is that the agent works for the insurance company, when in fact the independent agent works for you, the client. An independent agent is your legal representative and advocates the insurance company. An independent agent is licensed in your state and must put your best interests ahead of their own, and the insurance company. The agent is paid a commission from the insurance company to sell their products, but they are your agent.
The benefits of working with an independent agent over a direct writer are plentiful. An independent agent has the authority to write a policy with multiple carriers allowing them the ability to shop for the best company for you. Insurance rates vary drastically from one company to another based on a multitude of factors, and an independent agent can do the shopping for you. Independent agencies are also typically a one-stop-shop for all of your insurance needs. An independent agency typically offers home, auto, umbrella, life, business, and employee benefits allowing you to handle all of your insurance in one place. Insurance is a complicated subject and it’s an agent’s job to understand it and communicate it to you in a way that you understand. Coverage varies from state to state, as well as from company to company, and an independent agent can help you understand the differences.
Most people only truly understand the value of their insurance in a time of need, and when a claim arises your independent agent can assist, support, and advise you throughout the process. A direct writer has salaried employees that will generally act with the company’s best interests in mind, instead of yours.
There are no fees or additional policy costs associated with using an independent agent, and in many cases, an independent agent can improve your coverage while also saving you money!
Learn more about Direct Writer vs. Independent Agent when it comes to Home and Auto Insurance Policy here.