• Car Insurance Agents: Understanding the Role They Play

    When obtaining auto liability coverage, many people turn to car insurance agents to assist them in choosing and securing the proper policy. However, in recent years many people have chosen the option of buying their policies direct from their insurance provider either on the phone or online. When making the choice concerning what option is best for you, it’s important to consider the role that an insurance agent plays and if the services that they provide are necessary or valuable to you as a consumer. Here are some of the most important functions that a good insurance agent will perform.

    Local Regulations

    Consumers that buy insurance coverage directly are responsible for verifying that the coverage that they choose meets the legal requirements in their area. All states now enforce laws regulating the type and minimum amount of liability protection that drivers must carry. If the policy you select doesn’t satisfy these laws, you are liable for the deficiencies in coverage, and you may even be guilty of breaking the law. When you buy insurance on your own, it’s up to you to educate yourself concerning your local regulations. A good insurance agent will be well versed with the ins and outs of applicable laws concerning insurance coverage, which can be an extra reassurance to customers that they are meeting their legal responsibilities.

    Variety of Options

    Like any professional in a specific field, an insurance agent will be more familiar with the different options available to his or her customers. It may be hard to find a variety of quotes when you’re an individual consumer, but agents have access to a wider variety of resources that allow them to obtain information more effectively. An agent may be able to offer you options and choices that you weren’t previously aware of as well as being able to more effectively organize and combine coverage, potentially saving you money or supplying you with better protection you may have found otherwise. Also, agents have knowledge of providers that you may not be aware of or have access to as an individual.

    Special Policies

    For some consumers who need special coverage, purchasing through an agent may be the only option for them. High-risk drivers and those who are required to obtain SR-22 coverage will probably find that it’s easiest to work with an agent. Also, individuals that use a single vehicle for both business and personal reasons are usually required to meet specific guidelines of liability coverage. Working with an agent ensures that you have the appropriate policy.

    Fringe Benefits

    Most insurance agents genuinely care about their customers; they represent their livelihood. A good agent will continue to you help as time goes by in exchange for your loyalty. Many agents will do things like help their customers file and deal with claims, as well as offering tips and guidance for communicating effectively with their insurance provider. It’s also common for agents to periodically check the coverage their customers are carrying to see if there are any changes that could be made or new options that are available to save them money.