Do You Really Know Your Insurance Agent?
Buying insurance can be overwhelming and confusing. There are so many options to consider: different coverage types, a wide variety of policy levels and limits, dozens of providers to choose from — and that’s just a start. Think of the complex web of insurance regulations and requirements, and the serious consequences of not being adequately covered. All of this is enough to make your head spin.
Luckily, there’s one decision you can make at the very beginning of your insurance-purchase process that will make the experience significantly simpler and ensure you end up with the correct coverage: choosing to work with an insurance agent. Trusting an agent to handle your insurance needs is a smart move. You only want to make sure that you are working with the best insurance agent for you.
Why Work With An Agent?
The biggest advantage of working with an agent can be summed up in one word: knowledge. The state requires insurance agents to go through a rigorous licensing process and continued education throughout their careers, including ethics classes. This knowledge enables an agent to provide you with the proper level of coverage at the best value.
If disaster strikes and you ever need to file a claim, it’s comforting to have an experienced agent there to guide you through the process. Over time, an agent will get to know you and your insurance needs. When circumstances in your life change, the agent can help you adjust the coverage so you’re always well protected.
Choose Your Agent Type
There are two different kinds of insurance agents: captive and independent. Captive agents work for a single insurance provider, and can only sell insurance offered by their employer. On the other hand, an independent agent works for an insurance agency, and is able to sell insurance offered by a variety of providers. Both types are paid via commissions on the policies they provide to their customers.
Captive agents are certainly worth considering, but it is noteworthy that an independent agent’s wider selection of options may allow them to craft a policy that fits you better and offers more value. If disaster strikes and you ever need to file a claim, it’s comforting to have an experienced agent there to guide you through the process.
– Written by Matt Forrest, last updated in December 2022.