There comes a time in every driver’s life when car insurance needs to be purchased. Maybe you’ve already shopped around a bit and compared quotes but are feeling overwhelmed with all the options. Who should you buy insurance from? 

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Insurance Broker

First, you must understand what an insurance broker is before we delve into all the details. An insurance broker is someone who works on your behalf to find you an insurance policy that best suits your needs. Essentially, you contact a broker and answer a series of questions pertaining to the type of coverages you want, how much you want to spend, and so on.

Your insurance broker will then use the information you gave them to work their insurance magic and find you a match. Using their wealth of knowledge on the car insurance industry, they will get multiple quotes from various insurance companies, and do all of the negotiating for you. If you’re looking for someone to do all the hard work for you, a broker is a good option.

Here are the pros of working with an insurance broker:

  • Brokers are knowledgeable and are experts in their field.
  • They know how to match you with an insurance company that has mutual interest in you as the customer.
  • You will have more options to choose from since you will be getting multiple quotes from multiple companies.

Conversely, these are the cons of working with an insurance broker:

  • A broker is knowledgeable in their field, but they tend to be a jack of all trades. They won’t always know every little detail about certain policies.
  • Shopping with a broker might end up being more expensive, since they make their money off of commission.
  • The quotes you receive will most likely be on the higher end of the spectrum, since brokers are known to aim high when it comes to sales.

Insurance Agent

Insurance agents are different from brokers in that they work for one specific company. Many people will choose to go this route when shopping for car insurance. Insurance agents also don’t rely on commission to get paid, as they also earn base pay.

Here are some of the pros of working with an insurance agent:

  • An insurance agent will be knowledgeable in all of the company’s products and offers.
  • Insurance agents are licensed, which means that they know their way around the business pretty well.
  • They are able to answer more in-depth questions regarding insurance policies and discounts.

On the flip side, here is where an insurance agent might fall short:

  • You will only get one quote from them.
  • If you already know that you want to buy directly from an insurance agent, you will need to speak with multiple insurance agents from various companies in order to compare quotes. This process can be somewhat of a hassle.

Buying Insurance Online

A simple internet search is all it takes to start shopping online for insurance policies. Search for the company website and you can get a free quote without ever having to talk to an agent at all. Convenient and user-friendly, this method is another common way of purchasing car insurance.

The benefits of buying car insurance online:

  • There is no one trying to make commission off of you, which really lowers the pressure.
  • Direct insurers usually aren’t heavily staffed, meaning cheaper deals for you.
  • You can do it from the comfort of your own home, without having to talk to anyone.

Here are some of the downsides to buying car insurance online:

  • You have to fend for yourself when it comes to getting discounts and policy information.
  • There won’t be anyone to answer your questions if you are unsure about something.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each method of buying car insurance. No two customers have the same set of needs. In short, if you are looking for something hassle-free and quick, consider buying online. However, if you have the means to pay a little more for some guidance, think about going with an insurance agent or a broker.

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