Which Is Better: an Independent Insurance Agent or an Online Insurance Bot?

Do you prefer speaking face to face with an agent or shopping online? What's the best way to get the right insurance?
Woman having coffee and shopping online for insurance. Which is better, an independent agent or an online bot?

When shopping for insurance, you want to make sure you get set up with the right coverage that best meets your needs. But you also want to consider factors like convenience and pricing. 

While both independent insurance agents and online bots can help you find coverage quickly and easily, one of these options easily outshines the other. Here's a closer look at independent insurance agents vs. online insurance bots.

Do You Prefer Speaking Face-to-Face with an Agent or Shopping Online?

It's a matter of personal preference whether you prefer meeting with someone in person or doing your insurance shopping online. However, independent insurance agents may offer the option to meet in person or schedule meetings remotely. With recent developments, more and more businesses, including independent insurance agencies, are providing remote services.

There's nothing like the convenience of making important decisions from your own home. But ordering insurance coverage from the comfort of your couch doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a more personal experience that's tailored to you. Try speaking with an independent insurance agent and see what kind of options they offer for your consultation and subsequent contacts.

What's the Best Way to Get the Right Insurance?

There's no question that independent insurance agents have the edge when it comes to getting you matched with the right policy for you. Independent insurance agents are seasoned experts in their field. They know which insurance companies offer which types of coverage, as well as the rates and available discount options from each one.

When you first meet with an independent insurance agent, you'll discuss your specific needs relating to coverage. With these in mind, your independent insurance agent will browse a handful of different options for you, taking all the hard work out of shopping for coverage. They'll get you matched up to the insurance company and policy that best ticks all of your boxes.

Pros of Shopping with Independent Insurance Agents

When you want help finding the right insurance coverage, independent insurance agents have a long list of pros. Here are just a few of them to keep in mind before you embark on your insurance journey.

  • They work for you: Independent insurance agents work for you, not the insurance company. That means they're not driven by the incentive of commission or other loyalties to a specific carrier. With this freedom, they're able to browse all the best options and find the coverage that's right for you.
  • They stay in touch: Your independent insurance agent isn't only around when you're first hunting for coverage. You can contact them throughout the life of your policy to review coverage changes and more. Independent insurance agents can also contact your carrier directly and even file claims for you.
  • They find the lowest rates: Independent insurance agents are familiar with rates for a specific type of coverage over many different carriers. They use this knowledge to help you get matched to the policy that meets your coverage needs at the most affordable rate. They'll also help you get any discounts you qualify for.
  • They're local: No online insurance bot can offer you a personalized insurance experience the way an independent insurance agent can. Since they're right in your town, they're familiar with the local insurance companies and those that offer coverage in your area, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
  • They're knowledgeable: Independent insurance agents not only know where to find insurance, they're also well-versed in how the coverage works. Because of their understanding of insurance and what policies offer which coverages, they have a much higher probability of matching you to what you really need than any online bot could.

Independent insurance agents really are on your team when it comes to shopping for the right insurance. It's also comforting to know that your independent insurance agent will be around throughout the life of your policy if you have any questions or concerns down the line.

Cons of Independent Insurance Agents

With all the benefits independent insurance agents offer, there are a couple of minor drawbacks. Here are a couple of reasons why you might not want to work with an independent insurance agent.

  • Major insurance companies may not work with them: Larger insurance companies might not work with independent insurance agents, and instead have their own agents or brokers dedicated to selling only their coverage. If you know for a fact you want to purchase insurance through a specific major company, an independent insurance agent may not be right for you.
  • They might not be as fast as an online bot: Pretty much the only benefit of shopping through an online insurance bot is the speed in which it can match you to a policy. Based on a short series of questions alone, an online insurance bot can have you buying insurance within minutes. Speed-wise, independent insurance agents just can't compete with that.

It's important to consider what your main priority is when shopping for insurance. Do you want to buy coverage from a major carrier, get coverage the fastest way possible, or find the coverage that will best meet your needs at the lowest possible rate? Unless you need a big name company or instant coverage matching, an independent insurance agent is most likely to be your greatest ally.

Do Any Major Insurance Companies Work with Independent Insurance Agents?

Absolutely. In fact, some of the current top-rated insurance companies in the country work with independent insurance agents, to help personalize their customers' experience. Check out just a few examples below.

These Major Companies Work with Independent Insurance Agents

These Major Companies Work with Independent Insurance Agents Star Rating
Travelers Insurance
5 star rating
5 star rating
Liberty Mutual
4.5/5 star rating
Farmers Insurance
4.5/5 star rating
MetLife Auto & Home
Encompass Insurance
The Hanover Insurance Group
5 star rating
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
5 star rating

Here's How an Independent Insurance Agent Can Help

When it comes to getting customers matched to the right insurance for them, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in every type of insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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