One of the most important responsibilities that comes with owning nice things is protecting them. But no matter what you may think, you can’t do it alone — you need insurance. And to get the right kind of insurance, you need the right kind of agent. For that, we say you just can’t go wrong with an independent insurance agent. But what exactly does “independent” mean?
Well, there are three basic types of insurance agents out there:
- Captive (or direct writer) agents: These are most often the kind of agents your mom and dad used. Agents like this buy a franchise (like Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, American Family, etc.) and use their systems, sales materials, and only their products — which means your options are pretty slim.
- Online agents: Like captive agents, online agents also only sell one carrier’s policies. But instead of being sold through a franchised location, they’re sold online and over the phone through a call center located just south of “Whoknowswhere.” Without a lot of overhead, they may be able to get you super-cheap insurance, but it typically comes with significant sacrifices in your coverage.
- Independent agents: a.k.a. brokers, independent agents are like a combo of both captive and online agents. Similar to captives, you meet with them face to face to walk through your needs, but they aren’t just tied to one specific company, which gives you way more options for coverage. And like online agents, they can usually help save you a bunch of money since they get to shop around for the right deal — at no sacrifice in your coverage.
There are benefits to all three, but we’re firm believers that when it comes to covering your home, the many perks of independent insurance agents are second to none.
Want More Reasons? You Got ‘em.
1. They give you choices. Lots of them.
As we said, the "independent" in independent insurance agent means they’re free to provide insurance products from all sorts of different providers. And with a bigger playing field, they can help you find a policy that matches your home’s needs at a price that meets yours.
2. They’ve got your back.
Independent insurance agents work for you, not the insurance company. They want your home and all of your other toys to have the coverage you need, should you need it, and not an ounce more. That’s why independent insurance agents sit with you to listen to your personal needs and goals — all to help find the perfect protection for you.
3. They’re just down the street.
With a local independent insurance agent, you get someone who’s just a quick phone call away and knows exactly what you need. They know all about any state-specific requirements, general insider details about area flood zones, and so on. You can’t beat that.
4. They live for dirty work.
No one likes dealing with the insurance companies when it comes to filing claims and dealing with billing issues. But with an independent insurance agent, you’ve got someone who will handle it all for you. They’ll fight your fights, handle all the nitty-gritty, and let you get back to your life.
5. They’re real know-it-alls.
When you’re looking for the right coverage for your house, it’s important to have someone who knows what they’re doing. After all, insurance can be confusing, packed with all of those intimidating legal terms and fine print. But an independent agent will help walk you through it all, because you should understand your insurance policy just as well as they do. The better you understand your policy, the better it will help protect you.
6. They’re your “Insurance Guy.”
Independent agents don’t just disappear once you’ve got your policy in hand. They’ll periodically review your coverage and reach out with any suggestions that might protect you better or save you money as time goes on. And unlike captive and online agents, if you want to switch insurance carriers for a better price or coverage, your independent agent can go with you. And they already know all about your life.
7. They’re as convenient as it gets.
Your time is valuable. So why waste it talking to this agent about life insurance, and that agent over there about car insurance? With an independent insurance agent, you get a one-stop shop — and that means you get all the insurance you need in one place. Property, liability, or whatever.
So, How Do You Find Independent Insurance Agents?
Good news is, it’s easy. A quick stop at TrustedChoice.com will put you right where you need to be to get started. Just answer a few quick questions and a massive database featuring over 250,000 independent insurance agents will set you up with recommendations based on your needs and your location. Then you’ll contact any, or all, of the agents referred to you and they’ll take it from there. Easy, isn’t it?
Meet Your Match.
When you’re looking for insurance to cover your family’s home, the toys in the garage, and so on, having the right agent in your corner is key. And while there are benefits to both captive agents and online agents, you just can’t beat the personal touch, the options and the price that comes with an independent insurance agent. Good luck, and happy hunting.