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The Value of an Independent Insurance Agent

Couple with with insurance agentThere are a number of ways to get insurance coverage. For example, a person who is concerned about finding the lowest rate possible might call multiple companies for quotes, then go line-by-line and compare prices to find the bargain.

Another person might go with an agent they know or perhaps take the “friend-of-a-friend” approach based on a recommendation. That agent may or may not be able to quote multiple companies, however. Yet another option would be picking a large agency with a name you know and picking an option they offer.

And of course, there’s the independent insurance agency option.

In each of these scenarios, securing adequate coverage for your family is always a smart move. But before you take on the burden of casting your net far and wide to find the right insurance for your situation, consider letting an independent insurance agent help. These agents can provide constructive professional guidance as you search for the right insurance coverage at the right price. And they can save you valuable time and money in the process.

What makes independent insurance agencies different?

If you contact individual insurance companies for pricing, you can get multiple quotes, but this can be incredibly time consuming. You’ll also want to compare the policies, weighing the pros and cons of all your varied pricing options and the associated benefits in coverage. In addition, individual companies are far from unbiased as they naturally tend to promote their own specific product.

In a traditional insurance agency, there is usually an agent who works with a single insurance company. They can offer guidance and advice on products their company sells, but they are limited to only the products their company offers.

Independent agencies partner with many insurance companies, which gives them the ability to quote your home and auto insurance, as well as a variety of other insurance products across a broad spectrum of providers. Independent agencies can even quote fun specialty vehicles like boats, RVs and ATVs.

Independent insurance agencies give you the ability to work with knowledgeable agents who can offer you expert, unbiased advice that is responsive to what you need, rather than what product they have to offer. They can provide multiple quotes for you at once, so you don’t have to reach out to different companies. With an independent agent, it is a case of getting the best of both worlds.

How can an independent insurance agency save you time and money?

Essentially, independent insurance agencies do the shopping for you. They collect your information and work directly with their partner companies. After receiving quotes, they work with you to determine which company or companies best meet your insurance and budget needs. Over the long-term, independent insurance agencies can also do periodic reviews of your policies to ensure that you are still getting the best coverage to protect you and your family. They can also make sure that your rates remain competitive when compared with their partner companies.

What happens after you’ve moved to an independent insurance agency?

Your new agency is now your primary resource for information on your policies. Your agent can address customer service concerns and work as an advocate on your behalf to the company. If you need to file a claim, your agent can help, just like any other agency.

In a nutshell, independent insurance agencies can be highly beneficial during your search for new insurance, doing the legwork for you as you try to find the right insurance for the right price across a number of insurance providers. They work with you to ensure that you make informed decisions. But perhaps equally importantly, an independent insurance agency functions just like a traditional agency assisting you through life’s ups and downs.

 

Tips

When shopping for new insurance, have information on your current policies ready so you can get an accurate comparison. That may mean gathering declarations pages for all of your policies as well as information on all household members.
Know your policies. No matter who provides your insurance, you should understand what your policies do and don’t cover — as well as what your deductibles are.
Know your claims history. This is a big factor in your eligibility and rating for insurance quotes.
Tips
Tips icon
  • Save Time - Call it the "two-minute rule": when an item at work or at home comes up that takes two minutes or less to complete, do it immediately. It's one less thing to add to your list.
  • Save Money - Track every expense to save money (spreadsheet, online banking tools, budget software, etc.). By knowing where all your money goes, you can begin to prioritize where you can save.
  • Save for the Future - Make a serious effort to define your goals today. How much will college cost? When are you buying a house and what is your realistic budget? When do you want to retire? How much will you need in retirement?
  • Save Time - Two words for you: meal planning. If your family eats dinner at home seven nights a week, it's easier to plan and shop for those meals all at once. It saves time and money, too, as you are more inclined to stick to your list at the grocery store rather than splurging on impulse items.
  • Save Money - A radical idea: if you think of saving as priority, a central goal in itself, every time you rent a movie, eat at a restaurant, buy a coffee or luxury item, you are delaying your goal. Alternately, if it helps make you save money, when you do spend money on luxury items, transfer an equal amount into your savings at the same time.
  • Save for the Future - Spend less than you earn. Crazy idea, right? How do you achieve this? Start with a budget. Knowing your income vs. your expenses will help you reduce the need to borrow (credit cards, loans) and allow you to save for the future.
This information is general in nature, is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. Regions neither endorses nor guarantees this information, and encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.

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