• Auto Insurance Agents Defined: How to Find the Right One

    When shopping for car insurance, auto insurance agents are usually the first people you talk to about purchasing such a policy. Generally speaking, the job of an auto insurance agent is to seek out new customers and sell car insurance policies on behalf of the insurance companies that they represent.

    The Role of the Auto Insurance Agent

    As stated above, the primary role of an auto insurance agent is to sell auto insurance policies to new customers on behalf of the company that they work for. The role of the auto insurance agent however is not limited to writing new policies only.

    An insurance agent also provides valuable information to new and existing customers regarding car insurance policies and the type of policy that might be best for them. In addition, many customers will address almost any type of car insurance concern to their agent rather than customer service representatives at the insurance company. As such, your local auto insurance agent can handle many types of common car insurance problems for his/her customers.

    Types of Auto Insurance Agents

    There are only two types of auto insurance agents–those that sell policies for a single company and insurance agents that are independent and write policies for several companies. Many large insurance companies like Allstate and State Farm have insurance agents that dedicate themselves solely to selling policies for their respective company and are usually considered employees of the insurance company. On the other hand, independent auto insurance agents do not work for any particular insurance company and are free to offer policies from several different companies.

    Although some companies now offer auto insurance directly and remove the need for agents, some people still appreciate the friendly, personalized service that only a local auto insurance agent can offer. A good auto insurance agent not only you sells you an insurance policy but can help at times when you have questions or concerns regarding your policy and can even help you file a claim if you’re involved in an accident. So, here is a quick how-to guide on how to choose the best auto insurance agent for you.

    Determine the Type of Agent You Need

    Before you begin searching for an auto insurance agent, you should sit down and carefully evaluate your car insurance needs. Is there a particular car insurance company that you want to use? Are you open to using any company as long as prices are reasonable and service is adequate? If you’re committed to using a particular company, you’ll need to locate representatives or find an independent agent that sells policies for the company you want to use.

    Ask Around

    The most successful auto insurance agents are usually the ones that provide the best service to policyholders. So, in order to find car insurance agents that offer high levels of service, you should ask coworkers, friends and relatives about their car insurance company and the agent that they use. People that are very happy with their agents are usually willing to quickly refer you to his/her agent, and you should always take strong recommendations from people that you know seriously when considering an insurance agent.

    Call Your Homeowner’s Insurance Agent

    If you own a home and have homeowners insurance, you should call the agent that handles your homeowners policy. Your homeowner’s insurance agent already knows you and will be very appreciative of the chance to offer car insurance as well. In fact, you’ll probably also receive a large discount if you choose to insure both your home and your car with the same policy provider. Also, this will allow you to direct all of your insurance questions to the same agent – be it questions about your car or home insurance policy.

    Schedule a Meeting

    If quality customer service is your highest concern when choosing an insurance agent, you should call potential auto insurance agent candidates and schedule a meeting. Most auto insurance agents will be more than happy to sit down and discuss the types of coverage offered by the company or companies that he/she represents. You should prepare a list of questions to ask the agent and make sure to ask the agent to address any concerns or issues regarding not only insurance policies but how he/she can help you stay informed about the type of coverage you need and how he/she can help save you money.

    A good insurance agent is more than someone that sells policies; he/she is your partner in making sure that you are properly protected from the potential liability associated with an automobile accident. While saving money on an insurance policy is always important, having an insurance agent you can depend on to provide you with accurate and honest information about your car insurance options is certainly worth a lot as well.