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Buy Local Or Buy Online? The Difference Between A Local Insurance Agent's Quote And Online Quotes

Posted on Thu, Sep 17, 2015

In the course of one day, how many insurance commercials have you seen on TV, heard on the radio, or viewed online? Just about every cable channel, media outlet or online streaming site has insurance commercials. We are bombarded with getting quotes here or saving money there. There are so many options and promises it’s hard to make a clear decision.

What do we do when we want to compare Massachusetts insurance options? Get online! Unfortunately, many folks aren’t asking themselves “Am I really getting the best deal by going online or should I go old fashion route and speak with an agent?”

Buying direct online insurance quotes

Insurance_OnlineAdmittedly, online quotes are the easiest route to go. There are so many conveniences - doing it on your own time and in your pajamas if you choose, not having to speak with anyone, having a snack while doing it, and online quotes have evolved making the insurance recommendations to better fit your needs. Depending on the person, you could even get knock out quotes.

In theory, online insurance quotes are great. You get what you need without any hassle and sometimes with great rates. Unfortunately, unless you are an expert in the insurance industry how do you know if you are getting exactly what you need?

It’s great that technology has taken us to the point where we can explore prices and plans online. However, it’s leaving people under-insured and focusing solely on the best price. For some, the decision to buy insurance is as important as buying toilet paper. We just want something that will work good enough at the best price.

It’s understandable to want cheap quotes for your insurance and doing it in a convenient way, but have you ever bought a new piece of technology and had to call their call center with a problem? Every time it's a new person who has no idea who you are, what you need, why you purchased the product and it's always a long irritating conversation. Do you want the same for your insurance every time you file a claim or need policy information?

For some this is a small price to pay, for others it is unacceptable. Is quoting through a local agent realistically better than quoting direct online?

insurance-agentAgent quotes

Local insurance agents have a bit longer of a quoting process than online quotes. Local agents are basically a middleman so they need to collect your information, gather quotes from different companies then get a hold of you again.

Getting quotes from agent's are not always the most convenient option, but they can lead to you getting the best insurance for your needs.

Having an insurance agent is like having a personal insurance consultant. They know your needs, they know the laws, and they generally know the products inside and out. A local agent knows your situation first hand and can make appropriate suggestions which will benefit you best.

Many local agents with websites will also provide online quotes. These quotes are just as convenient as the direct buy companies but may not include all of the quotes an agent can give in person.

Overall would an agent's quote be cheaper than buying direct online? The answer is maybe. Each individual is different as well as each insurance company's pricing criteria.

So what's the best option?

If you are just online browsing for quotes then go direct first. Have a coffee, relax, do it when the time suits you. When it comes time to buy, visit your local agent.

Online quotes are great for get an idea of what you will be paying in your area, but there's much more that goes into it. Contacting an agent will allow the agent to assess the situation to make sure 1) you are getting the proper coverage you need and 2) you are not paying for something you really don't need.

Along with helping you find the best insurance plan, local agents bring special advantages that buying direct does not. Since they’re local to your area, an agent is familiar with weather related disasters such as hail damage or ice storms that have blown through your town. They are a part of and support the community you live in. Local agents can ensure that you’re getting discounts and special savings. They can help you make sense of what you’re buying and be there to help you through the claims process. When it comes to big investments like your car, your home and even your family's well-being you want an expert on your side.

We can't say whether you’ll receive better quotes from an agent or a website. It depends on the person and the insurance carriers. If you want to ensure that you are properly covered, can take advantage of discounts and will have help on your side during the claims process, then it's best to go with a real live agent.