Should I Purchase My Next Policy With an Agent or Online?
There are a few insurance policies that you absolutely need to have in your adult life so that you are protected from life’s vulnerabilities.
Along with health insurance, you need to have car insurance that protects you when you are on the road. Today, you have more options than ever, since you can buy your auto insurance online or from an in-person agent.
But which one is best?
Read on so you can weigh the information and decide for yourself whether you want to work with an auto insurance agent or an online company.
Auto Insurance Agent vs. Online Company — Which One Should I Choose?
There are all sorts of auto insurance provides you can choose these days, which is why you need to be discerning about who you trust with your business.
The first step is deciding whether or not you want to go with an online provider or an in-person agent. A lot of this boils down to your personal preference, and what kind of auto policy you are searching for.
When you weigh these issues, you are more likely to make a decision that ensures your money is well spent.
The average driver pays approximately $1,500 per year for their policy. Consider the pros and cons of going with an agent or an online company and start reaching out for some quotes.
The Benefits of Going With an In-Person Insurance Agent
Whether you’re dealing with health insurance or car insurance, it’s always nice to receive a personal touch.
That, among other reasons, is why a lot of people prefer to have an agent they can meet with in an office, and reach by phone if they have any insurance needs. Here’s a breakdown of the few reasons that you might choose an in-person agent over an online provider.
1. They Are Personally Familiar With State Laws
It’s important to remember that each state has its own laws regarding car insurance.
Failing to buy a policy within these state guidelines can leave you open to serious penalties. You are more likely to get the policy done correctly the first time when you do business with an agent that has a presence in the state you’re shopping.
This is their home base, so they will be well versed in state insurance laws, whereas, an online provider could be simply artificial intelligence (AI) putting together your policies, which is accurate but not infallible.
Buying your policy in-person will always let you know you are adhering to your state’s laws so that these problems are less of a concern.
2. They Often Offer Unpublicized Discounts to Compete With the Online Markets
Everyone assumingly jumps to online retailers for policies, because it’s understood that it’s the best way to get the cheapest prices. While this is true in a lot of cases, there are just as many discounts to be found online.
In fact, many in-person agents offer discounts that aren’t openly publicized just to compete with the online retailers. They are often willing to price match, while online prices tend to be static or set in stone.
What’s more, an in-person agent is better able to manually offer discounts at their discretion, while you mostly take what is offered with an online provider. For instance, in-person agents can provide you with discounts you might not know about — such as belonging to fraternal organizations or professional unions, banking at certain local branches or being a member of certain places of worship.
Always ask if the price is negotiable or if they are currently offering any policy discounts. You’ll have more wiggle room when you ask an agent in-person.
3. An In-Person Agent Provides Human to Human Service
Aside from the discounts that you might be open to, there’s also a certain comfort level that comes with doing business with someone face to face.
Sitting down and talking with a person builds a rapport and allows you to have a certain relationship. Having an agent provide you with your first policy on the car you are taking off to college all the way to the comprehensive plan you get for your luxury dream car has value that you can’t put a price tag on.
These intangibles are important to your experience in doing business with anybody.
4. You May Have More Options Over Altering a Plan
When you buy an online auto insurance plan, you’re typically only filling out a form and then signing off on the options that are retrieved for you.
You can choose between some pre-determined options when deciding what coverage you want, but an in-person agent may be able to sell you a plan that includes far more customization. This way, you will really only be paying for what you need, and are more likely to get the plan that is absolutely perfect for your vehicle.
5. An Agent May Have More Provider Options
Finally, in-person auto agents may have more insurance provider options than those found online.
In many situations, online insurance portals all pool from the same resources and plan options. Doing business with a professional agent who has relationships in the business that can give you access to plans that you might not get when putting it together online.
The Benefits of Going With an Online Company
With that said, there are several reasons that doing business with an online provider could also be the superior option for you. There are plenty of areas where online companies outperform in-person agents.
Here are some reasons you might opt to go with an online provider.
1. It’s Often Easier to Find an Amazing Price
The main reason that people choose to go with online insurance searches is that there are discounts-o-plenty. You will have a pretty easy time finding a great price because online searches reach far and wide to find you the perfect plan and to match you with the perfect provider.
This also means finding companies that will give you top-notch insurance coverage at the most affordable prices.
2. The Quote Possibilities are Endless
Not only will you have access to lots of price options and insurance providers, but there are also a lot of creatively crafted policy quotes on the web.
When you are able to broaden your search your plans, you can get the perfect coverage for your vehicle, whether you use it for work, daily commutes or family trips. These plans can also be upgraded seamlessly to accommodate life changes and changes to your vehicle.
3. You Can Get Up and Running With Your Policy Much Sooner
When you are in need of an insurance policy fast, it doesn’t get much better than signing up for it online. You can go to an online site, plug in the information for your insurance quote, choose a plan, pay for the policy and print your brand new insurance cards in all of 15 minutes.
That also makes it easier to drive off the lot that day if you happen to purchase a new vehicle near the dealership’s closing time and have to provide proof of insurance.
4. Managing Your Policy Online is Convenient
Convenience is king when it comes to doing business. With this in mind, you’ll find nothing but convenience when you manage your auto insurance policy online.
You’ll be able to easily sign into your account database and make payments or changes as needed. Many insurance providers also have highly intuitive apps that let you communicate with agents or show your insurance cards or other info right from your cell phone.
5. Online Customer Service Can Be Speedier
Finally, help is available around the clock when you conduct your insurance business online. Most companies have some sort of a chat portal that can take care of many of your insurance needs on the spot.
Whether you have a question about your policy or need to file a claim, the online infrastructure is usually pretty accommodating.
Get Clear on Your Auto Insurance Needs
The deciding factor between in-person and online is all about what you want and need. Each has its plusses and minuses, so you should explore both to see what fits.
Either way, there are several options for you to choose between.
Shop For the Best Car Insurance
By considering the points in this article, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to do business with a traditional auto insurance agent or if you’re going to set your plan up online.
This is an important step toward finding the auto insurance that is best for you.
When you’re in need of car insurance, home insurance or any other policies, make sure to use all of the resources available and keep doing your homework.