Car Insurance Brokers – What is their role?

Published on Oct 10, 2013

There are a few ways to purchase insurance, but most people get their policy through either an insurance broker or directly from the insurance company either via an agency or a customer service line. Both options come with positives and negatives, and the choice really depends on what you need, how much time you have to shop around, and how you feel most comfortable buying your insurance.

What Is An Insurance Broker?

An insurance broker is someone who works with multiple insurance companies to provide quotes and comparisons to insurance shoppers. They don''t work directly for any one insurance company, so they don''t have any particular loyalty. They usually have several options for various lines of insurance.

Pros Of Using a Broker

Brokers can present you with multiple car insurance quotes from different insurance companies all at once, allowing you to shop and compare all in one place. Because they aren''t particularly loyal to one single insurance company, they can offer you a more objective view of each of your options. They can answer your questions and help you to choose the right coverage for your needs.

Cons Of Using a Broker

The other side of an insurance broker working with multiple insurance companies is that they don''t know any one company in quite as in-depth a fashion as an agent working for only one company would. They might not be able to give the same level of detailed information. Car insurance brokers don''t have direct access to the insurance companies, so they might not be able to provide the same deals and discounts that you could get by shopping direct.

Direct Insurance Purchases

Whether you have an insurance agent or contact the insurance company directly, buying your insurance straight from the source has a few advantages and disadvantages. Insurance agents generally work for only one company, so while they are technically still a middleman, they have direct access to the insurance company and are a representative of that company. You can also call an insurance company direct, or in many cases get quotes online.

Pros Of Buying Direct

When you buy direct you can skip the middleman and get clear, direct access to the insurance company. This can help you to save money by allowing you to get information on deals or discounts that might be available. Going direct puts you in contact with someone who knows the insurance company''s products very well and can best answer any questions you might have.

Cons Of Buying Direct

The main down side to going directly to an insurance company is that you don''t get the easy access to rate comparisons that a broker can provide. Shopping direct for rate comparisons requires that you contact multiple companies to request quotes, while a broker can do that all at one time one your behalf.

Getting Multiple Quotes Without a Broker

You can get multiple quotes through an online service, and then approach the insurance company of your choice direct to purchase the policy; this combines the convenience of a broker''s multiple quotes with the direct access of buying from an agent or insurance company directly. Online quoting systems allow you to access quotes from several insurance companies at once for comparison. You can then purchase your insurance policy direct from the company should you find a quote that suits you. You won''t have the advice or assistance of a broker in choosing your coverage, however.

Buying the right auto insurance is important to making certain you are covered properly and protected well. If you''re unsure what you need, starting with the advice of a broker or agent is a good idea. If you know what you need, you might find buying direct through a quick-quoting system is the answer.


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