When it comes to buying insurance, one of the biggest choices you'll have to make is whether to purchase your policy directly from the insurance provider or go through an independent agent. Working with an independent insurance agent offers plenty of advantages, but there are a few that even the most savvy of customers may overlook. Here are three surprising benefits of getting your insurance policies through an independent agent.
Agents Can Advocate On Your Behalf
One unique advantage that most people don't expect from their independent agent is their ability to advocate on your behalf in case there's an issue with your insurance policy. If there is a claim dispute or a billing error, your agent can work with the insurance company on your behalf to figure out those issues. When you purchase an insurance policy directly from the insurance provider, you're often left on your own to handle any problems with your insurance policy.
You Can Cover Multiple Needs Using the Same Agent
Another advantage of dealing with an independent agent is that you can cover the vast majority of your insurance needs at one location. Most independent agents don't deal with just auto insurance or home insurance -- they often cover a broad range of insurance needs, making your insurance agent a literal one-stop shop. If you need renter's insurance in addition to coverage for your automobile, you can have that need covered without having to go elsewhere.
Keep in mind that there are some independent agents out there that specialize in one particular type of insurance coverage. Nevertheless, you can expect your agent to meet all of your insurance needs.
Agents Offer Local Knowledge
When you're dealing with an independent agent, most times you are also dealing with someone who's local to the community. This means that your agent may have some interesting knowledge of the community that you can use to your advantage.
For instance, your agent may be well aware of a particular area's tendency to flood at certain times of the year. With this knowledge, your agent can recommend adding additional coverage that protects your basement in case of a flood. This is just one of the many ways that an agent's local knowledge can help save you money in the long run.
If you still can't decide whether to go direct or purchase your insurance from an independent agent, you should consider the above benefits as you choose the option that works best for you.