Purchasing an insurance policy direct has some disadvantages that you may not be aware of. For one thing, you are dealing with a captive agent, which means that the agent works for the insurance company directly, and you may not be given the kind of personal treatment you feel that you deserve. Compared to purchasing from an independent agent, buying direct is more likely to result in a generic policy that is meant to suit the average driver but may not include the special coverages you need to have well-rounded auto protection.
Buying direct from a major insurance company does give someone “on the inside” to talk to about your insurance questions. Independent agents rely on people just like you to earn an income, and usually more responsive to your problems and questions. For brokers, your business is the difference between success and failure, and they are willing to go a few extra steps to make sure that you are being served as well as possible. Before you purchase a policy, whether directly or from a broker, research the insurance company by checking their rating with places such as the A.M. Best company. Ratings companies can give you an idea of the financial status of the insurance provider, and may even give you early warning of companies that are going through financial problems.
You can test the benefits of using an independent broker versus buying direct by using online insurance quotes. Begin with a national insurance company, and get a quote for an insurance policy tailored to fit your needs. Next, go to an insurance quote website that is operated by a broker company, and get a quote for the same policy. When the costs are compared, you will almost always discover that the broker site is able to offer you the same coverage at a lower price, because independent brokers shop around on your behalf, looking for the best coverage at the best price.