What is the most common way to purchase automobile insurance?
There are presently 3 ways to purchase car insurance:
1) From a Independent Agent
2) From a Captive Insurance Agent
3) Directly From a Insurance Company
The first two categories, the independent agent and the captive insurance agent are somewhat similar. We will go over those two categories first.
1) Independent agent
Most often the best way to purchase Auto insurance is through independent insurance agents. These agencies are independent in that they dont work for any single insurance company and they represent multiple insurance carriers such as Travelers, Hartford, and Progressive etc. They work for to get you the lowest insurance rates with the highest rated carrier. Independent agents are also there for you when making changes to your policy, processing payment and assisting in the claim process.
2) Captive Insurance Agent
Buying from a captive insurance agent has increased in popularity over the years. These are people who work for an individual insurance company, such as State Farm or Allstate. They work at getting you the best insurance price they can, but just from their company, they will not tell you what the other companies are offering, they work solely for their insurance company.
3) Directly From insurance Company
This last category is different than the previous two in that it bypasses the Captive insurance agent or independent agent for car insurance altogether. You can purchase insurance directly from an insurance company, through call centers, or online. This bypasses the need for an agent or auto broker for car insurance. You call a number to a central call-center and a call taker will sell you insurance over the phone. Dealing with the companies directly can be very risky, and you dont know the qualifications of who you are talking to. Although this may lower their operating costs, and sometimes allow them to have lower insurance rates, most consumers agree that building a face to face relationship with a professional insurance agent gives them the peace of mind they are looking for when shopping for Auto insurance.
NOTE: The answers to coverage questions are primarily based on ISO forms generally used in Florida by most companies. However, please keep in mind that all companies forms are NOT necessarily the same. Some companies may provide broader coverage and some may be more restrictive. IN ALL CASES, THE CONSUMER MUST REFER TO HIS OR HER OWN POLICY FOR SPECIFIC COVERAGE INFORMATION.