Making choices isn’t easy for some people. Afraid to make a decision leaves many paralyzed in fear of making the wrong choice. While this might seem a bit silly if you’re choosing what movie to go to, it can result in catastrophic results if you make the wrong choice regarding coverage and limits on your car insurance.
No one forces you to purchase coverage from any particular source; it’s your right to shop around and select the one you like best. When choosing a local car insurance agent, recognize that you will have a choice: a direct-sales agent (captive agent) or an independent insurance agent. The choice you make could change everything about your experience, from the price you pay for coverage to the service you receive after the sale. Continue reading to learn the differences between your local car insurance options and which one might be right for you.
What’s the Difference between Captive and Independent Insurance Agents?
Captive agents have a direct partnership with the insurance companies that they work for. This relationship may not in your best interest at times. Working under the banner of the insurance company, the captive agent enjoys a steady flow of business and gets to benefit from the name of the insurance company rather than their own reputation for service. The independent agent, on the other hand, works for you, and not an insurance company. An independent agent can shop and compare coverage and rates on your behalf from several different insurance captives to find the one that works best for you.
Think of it this way: When you purchase a new home, there are a lot of hoops to jump through. From the initial walk-through and negotiating an offer to the inspection and final closing, it’s helpful to have a professional agent by your side guiding you through the process. When choosing an agent, you have a choice – you can go with the sales agent who is representing the house and has a financial interest in making sure you buy the home, or you can opt for your own buyer’s agent, who has a financial interest in looking out for you instead of the seller. When you look at it this way, choosing your own private agent seems like a no-brainer.
In the above scenario, the selling agent is like a captive insurance agent, because the captive agent is only interested in selling you a specific brand of insurance. If you work with the captive agent, you will be encouraged to purchase what he or she is selling. On the other hand, the buyer’s agent is like an independent insurance agent, in that you have someone with professional knowledge of the industry working on your behalf to show you multiple options and make sure the one you are choosing is the right one for you.
The independent agents at Vanyo Insurance Group work for you, not an insurance company because we believe our clients deserve the best in service and selection. We take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, and we stand by your side to answer your questions and offer a helping hand before, during, and after your insurance purchase.