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There was a time when insurance shoppers contacted an independent or company-employed agent to discuss their insurance needs. The agent was trusted to provide the latest information concerning rates and coverage limits. Quotes were given over the phone or in-person at the agent’s place of business. Car insurance sales today are much more competitive because of the Internet. Consumers have the ability to choose from many different providers after seeing comparisons of insurance quotes online. The decision about whether to let an agent handle insurance coverage questions is best made after looking at several cons listed here.
Inability to Compare Services and Rates An agent that works directly for a single insurance provider is contracted to make money for the parent company. His or her job is to sell as many policies to qualified vehicle owners as is humanly possible. The vested interest is in the insurance provider, and the customer is offered a quote that is described as the best possible choice for the type of vehicle and its use.
The last thing the agent wants is for the insurance shopper to find out about better deals offered elsewhere. Rather than listing the possible negatives, the agent will focus on the positives. These include customer service, the optional coverage types being offered, and the handling of claims.
Using the Internet, insurance shoppers are in a better position to find the lowest possible price on auto insurance. These comparison sites offer updated information based on the driving record of the individual, the area where the car is driven and parked, and what the final price will be if additional coverage types are added.
Problems With Filing Claims
Independent agents represent several different insurance providers. They are licensed to do business in the state where their office is located. These agents do not have as personal a relationship with the parent company, however. This could result in delays in claims filing. The major concern many insurance shoppers have when dealing with an independent agent is one of security and loyalty. Independent agents often drop a provider if the commission is too low or if too many problems with final quotes are experienced. As for the consumer, claims filing may be delayed because the independent agent has to digest all incoming information and submit it to the claims department for final review. Those who purchase insurance directly through the provider have immediate and direct access to the claims department and can be put in touch with a representative that actually gets the process started.
Agents May Charge Policy Commission Fees
Not all insurance agents are paid a percentage commission by the provider. Many charge a fee on top of the insurance premiums amount. It is in the best interest of the insurance shopper to ask about agency fees before requesting a quote. Shopping online for car insurance eliminates almost always eliminates agency fees. Although an agent may be assigned to handle the original paperwork sent to the policyholder, the costs are streamline. Even if you don’t buy directly from a company website, the online agent or insurance matching fee is very small and is usually not figured into the price of the policy.
DiscountCarInsuranceQuotes.net, a site that helps drivers find affordable auto insurance coverage provided this post. On their site, you can learn about the top reasons to choose an insurance company and comparison shop for the lowest rates.