Insurance companies have evolved over the years in many different ways in respect to the ways that they do business and who they decide to do business with. For many years all insurance companies had to do business by way of the work of an agent that provided a quote to someone and then agreed on coverage. With the advent of the digital age this all changed and people now have a different relationship to insurance companies through online access to their insurance policies.
Insurance agents are still alive and well in the world and can be a real benefit to you in the event that you are involved in some kind of loss in your life. It is important that you know the role that an agent plays in the insurance world when you speak to them about coverage. Different types of agents have different relationships with insurance companies that should be considered when you are getting an insurance quote.
- An independent insurance agent is one that is not tied to any particular insurance company, but can get you coverage with any insurance company. These types of agents must be licensed by the state in which they reside to sell insurance, usually requiring the passing of an exam. With an independent agent you will get a very clear and honest approach to what coverage to get and what company to choose.
- An insurance agent that is tied to a specific company, or a direct agent, will provide quotes and coverage for one insurance company. This can be a good choice because this agent has a relationship with a company and could provide assistance during the claims process that an independent agent may not be able to provide.
- The third type of agent we can discuss is not actually an agent at all, but is actually an insurance broker. Instead of having any ties to any companies at all this person will act on your behalf to provide coverage.
There is really no good way to choose between what type of agent you should use when you are starting an insurance policy. There is no research to show that one is clearly better than the other or that one will provide better service than the other. Having a relationship with an agent will only make it better and easier for you to understand your insurance and have someone on your side during the claims process.