• Tips for Finding the Right Auto Insurance Broker

    Finding the right auto insurance broker can be easy or difficult depending on how you do your research. Before you start your search, there are things you need to do to find the best insurance Broker.

    What to Do First

    Before you start shopping you need to understand what types of coverage you need. There are three main types of car insurance.

    • Liability Insurance: protects you from damages or injury caused by your vehicle.
    • Medical Coverage: Pays for any medical or hospital bills for you and any passengers in your vehicle during the accident.
    • Collision and Comprehensive: Covers you to damage to your vehicle items of theft, vandalism or fire.

    Additionally, there are things like rental car and towing coverage that can be added to your policy. If your car is a financed or leased car, the finance company might have minimal coverages and deductibles. If you do not follow these levels of coverage as required, the finance company can cancel your loan or lease or will issue their own insurance and bill you for the amount. These imposed insurance premiums are highly inflated.

    If the car is paid in full and the value of the car is less then collision insurance coverage, it might be good idea to just have basic liability and maybe medical coverage.

    Research Insurance Companies and Brokers

    The old saying “word of mouth” is a good place to start. Ask your friend and neighbors about their insurance company, broker and coverage’s. Ask if they financed their car and how claims were handled if they ever filed a claim. Many companies have an additional finance charge if you want to pay monthly. There are also companies that only issue six month policies, so you need to renew twice a year. Some companies are known to offer a cheaper rate when first signing up and at renewal time they raise your premium price even if you never filed a claim. There are also companies that give you the runaround when you file a claim and try to denying payments. These types of companies are not the norm, however, it is important to be aware of them.

    Most states have an insurance commission. You can contact them and ask if there are any insurance companies that they have had complaints filed against them. There are also sites online that rate insurance companies and show any complaints from viewers.

    Types of Brokers

    There are 3 main types of brokers, either online or in a local office. There are agents, brokers and direct providers. There are also independent agents or brokers who will represent more than one insurance company. There are also captive agents or brokers that only sell policies for one company.

    An agent works in office that usually offers insurance for different companies and by discussing your needs; they can help recommend the best company, policy and options. An agent is licensed to advise and sell insurance but the final policy has to be reviewed and signed off by a licensed broker. Agents usually work for, or are associated with a broker.

    A broker holds a higher license. Many brokers have an office with agents working for them, but there are some brokers that work from home or a smaller office. They may also represent more than one company.

    Direct Providers are companies that have people who are employed by and sell insurance for their company.
    Regardless of whom you visit or where online you go, it is best to shop around. Get quotes from different offices, sites and companies and compare. With their quote, history of customer service and claim payouts, you should be able to find the best company and vehicle coverage for your needs.