How long have you been with the same insurance company? According to consumer research, more than half of all drivers stayed with the same car insurance company in 2015 as they had in 2014. If you originally purchased your policy directly online or through one of your carrier’s private agents, it’s easy to assume that what seemed like a great deal in the past is probably still a great value today. Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading to learn the four facts about car insurance that might have you ditching your company and looking for the nearest independent agent.
1. Your direct carrier probably isn’t rewarding you for your loyalty – at least not how you might think.
Many insurance carriers tout special loyalty discounts for drivers who stay with them for several years. It’s a good strategy, too. Every time you renew your coverage and see that 10 percent discount, you might assume you are getting a better value. What you may not have realized is that your insurance company has been gradually raising your rates year by year as well, and possibly curtailing coverage at the same time. When you have an independent agent on your side, they will keep you up-to-date on such changes and suggest changes if they are appropriate.
2. You might save time comparison shopping if you use an independent agent.
It’s a myth that working with an agent takes more time than shopping for insurance yourself. Since independent agents have affiliations with multiple insurance companies, they do all of the comparison shopping for you. This can save you hours. Instead of waiting on hold or filling out screen after screen of online forms that contain sensitive personal information, your independent agent will simply call you back when your quotes are ready. Then you can choose the policy that is right for you.
3. Independent agents do not hide behind the banner of a national brand; they must live or die on their own reputation.
Many of the large, national car insurance brands are heavily branded. When captive agents work directly for these brands, they benefit from the name and advertising of that company. Independent agencies, on the other hand, operate under their own name – not that of an insurance company. They are successful because of their excellent customer service and attention to detail. That is why many people who choose to work with a local car insurance agent will stick with the same agent for life.
4. Independent agents can offer helpful advice without bias or being beholden to a single insurance company.
When you ask a captive agent a question about which coverage and insurance products would best fit your needs, you might get an answer that is biased, because of the limitations put upon them by the company they represent. Those limitations may have to do with underwriting, product availability, or price.
At Gutman Insurance, we are not obligated to any particular carrier. When you ask us a question or request advice, you will receive a straightforward answer based solely on your personal risk profile, goals for coverage, and our experience working with different carriers.
If you’ve never worked with an independent agent, now is the time to break out of the box. Contact our office today to request your car insurance quotes. We look forward to serving you soon.