How to Find the Right Auto Insurance Broker
First Off, What Is An Auto Insurance Broker?
Auto insurance brokers are not tied to one company, unlike captive agents who only represent one insurer. Auto insurance brokers are also alled independent agents. An auto insurance broker can compare auto insurance rates with multiple companies to find you the best rate. There’s no conflict of interest if you choose one insurer over another with an auto insurance broker.
Beware of the auto insurance broker who tries to sell you a very expensive policy to earn a high commission. That’s why it is smart to work with SmartFinancial. You’ll only be paired with an auto insurance broker who is honest and licensed.
As mentioned above, captive agents can only work for one company. For instance, a Farmers agent can only sell Farmers Insurance so they are not an auto insurance broker, just an agent.
Do I Need an Auto Insurance Broker to Shop for Car Insurance?
No, you can compare more companies than one single auto insurance broker may have at their disposal. Consider comparing over 200 companies at once using SmartFinancial’s search tool. What SmartFinancial also does is put you in touch with an auto insurance broker who fits your budget. From there, you can customize your policy.
All an auto insurance broker does is take your information and run it by the insurance company. SmartFinancial does all that an auto insurance broker does and all you have to do after that is verify that the information you submitted to SmartFinancial is correct.
The great thing about SmartFinancial is you won’t have to submit your information to each company. You fill out a form only once. Avoid shopping with multiple comparison sites, otherwise you may get too many emails or calls.
Can an Auto Insurance Broker Find Me the Best Rates?
An auto insurance broker will teach about different insurance coverages. An auto insurance broker will suggest which coverages you need.
The truth of the matter is that car insurance rates are regulated by the state. An auto insurance broker can only do so much to get you a low rate.
Every state also has set requirements for auto insurance brokers, so make sure your auto insurance broker is licensed. That’s why it’s important that you allow SmartFinancial to pair you with a trustworthy and licensed broker.
How Much Does an Auto Insurance Broker Cost?
You won’t pay an auto insurance broker directly. In most cases, auto insurance brokers make a percentage of the premium you pay on auto insurance. You shouldn’t have to pay the broker a fee upfront, although some do charge them. How much an auto insurance broker can charge depends on state regulations. So there are limits on what an auto insurance broker can charge for services.
Why Should I Work With an Auto Insurance Broker?
Working with an an auto insurance broker allows you to save time from doing the car insurance shopping yourself. If you’re looking for rock bottom rates, you should shop for an auto insurance broker by submitting your information only one time to SmartFinancial. Once SmartFinancial pairs you with an auto insurance broker that best matches your profile, they can find you the best rate. Auto insurance brokers can help you make important decisions so it’s important to work with the right one.
A knowledgeable auto insurance broker also can help you figure out which discounts apply to your situation. If you’re a high-risk driver or have a DUI on your record, an auto insurance broker can find you an insurer who will sell you a policy.
What to Look for in an Auto Insurance Broker
Honesty is the most important trait in an auto insurance broker. You want someone who is forthright in the insurance advice that they offer you. You also want an auto insurance broker with expertise, so they can customize a plan according to your risks and ability to absorb losses.
An auto insurance broker must have good customer service. Otherwise, why do they make a commission each year on your renewal? Do they seem to know all about discounts offered by their various insurance companies? Do they have the patience to plug in all the numbers to find you the best match?
How Can I Buy Car Insurance Without an Auto Insurance Broker?
Insurance agents are still the largest distribution model for buying and selling insurance. Most insurance companies will still need you to verify information so chances are that even if you shop directly, you will speak with an auto insurance broker or a captive agent.
SmartFinancial’s team can help you shop for the right auto insurance broker. Working with SmartFinancial is seamless. The process is paperless, fast and free. Take time to learn industry terms and all about car insurance before you buy. You’ll want an auto insurance broker who will educate you so you can make wise decisions. They’ll also help you figure out a budget for a deductible (and what that means!)
A good auto insurance broker will assess your needs accurately. For instance when buying homeowners insurance, they’ll make sure you’re covered for rebuilding costs and not the value of the home.
Understand Insurance Coverage Before Contacting an Insurance Broker
Here is a roundup of the different kinds of auto insurance coverages you can buy.
Liability Insurance. This coverage only takes care of the “other guy” if you’re in an at-fault accident.
Collision Insurance. This coverage helps to repair or replace your car if it is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object such as a tree, fence or guardrail. If you are at fault in an accident, only collision coverage will cover damages to your vehicle.
Comprehensive Insurance. This type of insurance covers events that aren’t covered by collision insurance. These events include fire, theft, vandalism and damages from weather such as a hailstorm, a windstorm, a hurricane and a tornado.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage. If you are the cause of a car accident that hurts someone, this type of insurance assists in paying for the other person’s injuries. Bodily injury liability coverage also helps protect you if you are sued.
Property Damage Liability Coverage. If you are in an accident and your car damages someone else’s property such as their car or mailbox, this insurance will help pay for the damages to their property.
Medical Payments Coverage. If you get injured in a car accident, this insurance helps pay for medical care and expenses for you and your passengers.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This no-fault insurance will reimburse you for any hospital and medical expenses and lost wages from an inability to work. Some states require their drivers to carry PIP.
Gap Coverage. Depreciation can create a gap between what your car is worth and what you owe on the car. This add-on coverage helps pay the difference if you should have a total loss with your vehicle.
Rental Car Reimbursement. This coverage assists in paying for a rental car while your own car is in the repair shop.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This type of insurance helps you pay for damages caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage protects you in the event of an accident where the other party is at fault and doesn’t have enough insurance.