We’ll be the first to admit, nobody has ever came to our agency all excited to buy insurance, the fact is, insurance is something that required most of the time, and there’s nothing too fun about it at all. But at the same time, we can shed a little light on how to make it all a bit less painful.
Each state has different insurance requirements, just as each person has different insurance needs. There are even some other voluntary contracts one could enter into, such as financing on homes or cars, in which sufficient insurance is a requirement as a condition of the loan. But even in cases where it isn’t a requirement, insurance is still a good idea. It can help to protect your property, your health, your assets, even your family’s way of life in the case of life insurance.
Just as there are different types of insurance, there are different ways to purchase insurance. In this article, we’ll discuss the three most common ways to buy insurance policies.
1. Purchase Insurance Directly From the Provider
When you don’t have an agent and you buy your insurance through a website or over the phone, this is what is known as a direct purchase from a company. The most famous examples of a company that sells direct, would be GEICO. Some of savings you might experience working with such a company is due to the fact that you have no individual available to help you decide if the policy you’re buying fits your coverage needs – you could be underinsured (more likely) or even end up with coverage you don’t need (less likely). If the insurance provider doesn’t offer a specific type of insurance or denies coverage due to an underwriting rule, you will have to go elsewhere to find the correct coverage. Without a dedicated agent, you may also have issues with processing claims, having questions answered, or making changes to your policy. All around, not a real good idea in our opinion.
2. Contact a Captive Agent That Represents an Insurance Company
A captive insurance agent can give you professional advice on coverage needs and the coverage available through the company he or she represents. While they may provide great advice, they might not be able to help you in some cases if your coverage needs exceed or otherwise fall outside the policy options offered by the company they represent. If this happens to be the case, you will have to find another insurance provider to fulfill your needs. Though captive agents can occasionally offer competitive quotes in some cases, that could drastically change if your insurance needs change due to major events occurring in your life such as moving to a new home, getting married, having a baby, or even just for filing a claim. With that said, this is a much better choice than buying direct (in our opinion).
3. Work With An Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents are like captive agents in the fact that they can provide advice, but because independent agents have relationships with multiple insurance providers, they can be truly objective when giving advice. Instead of working for a specific company, they work for you, advising you on potential liabilities, comparing coverage options, shopping around to find you the best policy, and helping to defend your interests during the claims process. Over time, learn more about your unique situation, your past, and offer personalized service, helping you to efficiently adapt to changes in your life that could impact your insurance needs. Because of all the policy options available to them, they can likely find great coverage at a cost much less than that offered by direct carriers or captive agents.
Why Buy Through an Independent Insurance Agent?
Purchasing policies through an independent insurance agency or agent is probably the most effective and cost efficient way to buy insurance for most people. These agents can offer a variety of policy types, including personal policies like home, health, auto, and life insurance, to workers compensation, disability and other business-related insurance. With an independent agent, you can rest-assured knowing that you’re properly insured, with little-to-no unnecessary coverage and few if any coverage gaps. There are independent insurance agencies throughout the greater Milwaukee area and the surrounding communities, which means there’s probably one close to your home – they might even make house calls!
Why limit yourself to one company such as when buying directly or through a captive agent? It’s easy to find a local independent insurance agent, and it’s even easier to let them shop your insurance for you. The personalized service offered by independent insurance agents could save you money, time and peace of mind.