Have you ever wondered whether you need an auto insurance agent? Perhaps you think you can easily deal directly with your insurer and research the information you need online. The reality is that the insurance agent knows many things and has access to information that you can neither get easily or inexpensively. Here are three examples of such information:
Auto insurers aren't obligated to inform you of all the possible discounts they have. They may not even display the information on their websites. In addition, you can't call asking for information on a discount, if, in the first place, you don't know it exists. The only way to benefit from the knowledge is to talk to an agent and ask him or her to list all the discounts and help you discern the ones for which you qualify.
Some insurers use Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating as one of the factors used in calculating insurance rates. The ISO rating encompasses different aspects of your car related to safety, such as its make and model, safety ratings, and even its real-life loss records. Higher ISO ratings translate to higher risk for insurers, which means higher premiums for your coverage. It isn't easy to know your car ISO rating since you may not know all the factors used and which weight to give them. However, your agent can easily tell where your car falls.
Another advantage of dealing with agents only applies if you deal with a local one. A local agent is familiar with your state's laws, driving habits in your community/city, and even the common types of claims in the area. As such, the agent also knows how your insurer reacts to these things, and can give you valuable advice on the coverage to include in your policy, as well as the type of reaction you are likely to get from your insurer when you make a claim. These are things you can only know if you carry out an independent study in the area, but you don't need to do this since your agent already has the information.
These are just three examples of crucial services offered by agents; there may be more. Therefore, the next time you are renewing your auto insurance, take the time to talk to a local automobile insurance agency before making a move. Using an agent may cost you a small sum of money, but the benefits you get are well worth the investment.