Agent Or Broker
An insurance agent or broker sells and negotiates insurance policies. The terms "agent" and "broker" are synonyms, although "broker" is usually used as a more informal way of referring to an agent. Every car insurance broker is licensed to sell particular types of insurance by the state, and many insurance agents specialize in several insurance types, including car insurance, homeowner's insurance, disability insurance, motorcycle insurance and much more.
A car insurance broker can be exclusive to a specific insurance company. Exclusive agents are generally thought to be less helpful from an insurance buyer's perspective, as they have less of an incentive to try to get a low cost auto insurance policy for their customers. Exclusive agents are at least partially paid on commission, so they receive more money off of larger sales. With the rise of Internet insurance comparison websites, this type of agent has become less popular. Non-exclusive agents are also paid with a commission, but as they work with several different insurance providers, their focus is more on finding a good deal for insurance buyers. They're adept at choosing safe insurance coverage limits and can often help an individual insurance buyer navigate the sometimes complex world of insurance. Many non-exclusive insurance agents have their own offices, while exclusive agents often work out of company offices or even out of the headquarters of their employers.
There are several situations in which it may be beneficial to use the services of an agent or broker. Agents are particularly capable of effectively negotiating insurance costs for their customers when several types of insurance are being purchased. An insurance customer looking for a car insurance policy along with a homeowner's insurance policy, a life insurance policy or any other relatively expensive form of insurance policy may benefit significantly from the services of a broker. Agents may also be useful in complex insurance situations, for instance when a family wants to add multiple drivers to a single policy and needs to choose an appropriate amount of insurance while still guaranteeing the lowest possible rate. As agents have experience in working with insurance, they're able to negotiate policy costs with several insurance companies, sometimes creating a sort of bidding war that is ultimately beneficial for drivers, and both exclusive and non-exclusive agents can give great advice on finding special insurance discounts that the majority of drivers may not be able to find on their own.
Agents serve an important role in the insurance buying process and can be extremely useful for drivers. They can help to identify potential insurance discounts and can give advice for buying a new insurance policy.