Choosing an auto insurance agent

A lot of car owners rely on the help of insurance agents when it comes to buying auto insurance and you can understand such a decision. An insurance agent is typically quite experienced in the domain of insurance and can suggest you certain things in order to get the best coverage possible. Still, it really depends on the type of agent you're working with if you don't want to end up overpaying for coverage. After all, their income depends on how much policies they will sell so they're interested in selling you their products no matter what. Here are the major types of auto insurance agents to choose between:

Exclusive (captive) agent

This is the type of agent you would want to avoid in most situations if flexibility and diversity are really important to you. Such agents have exclusive contracts with a single auto insurance provider on better terms for the agent, so you can forget about comparison shopping because your choice will always be limited with a single carrier when working with such agents. But if you're in good relations with the individual you may get better offers since they are mostly well aware of the ins and outs of the company they represent and can suggest a better policy or a good discount if they want to.

Semi-independent agent

The diversity is much broader with this type of agents since they usually work with several companies at the same time. Still, in most cases such agents have one main carrier they work with and several secondary companies they represent. So don't be surprised to see that particular offers will be pushed harder than the rest of the selection because they come from the main carrier. Still, you can do some comparison shopping with this type of agents, especially if you can rely on the person.

Independent agents

Independent agents may not be as financially stable as their exclusive peers but they sure are the best folk to do comparison shopping with. Since they are not affiliated with any particular companies they can provide you with unbiased information on each policy they can offer. And that's exactly what you need if you're looking for effective comparison shopping. The selection of providers to quote with is much broader with independent agents so you can get plenty of auto insurance quotes to choose from. However, it's always important to double check every company you're looking to buy from since there are both big companies and small unstable providers to find in an independent agent's portfolio.

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