We can argue that insurance coverage is one of the most important purchases you’ll make, as the owner of a car, home, business, or anything else. The process involves evaluation, research, and comparison of quotes.
So, it makes sense to work with a professional and use their knowledge and experience to your benefit. However, for the Internet-savvy, it’s tempting to go to an online broker or even try to do it themselves.
Today, we’re taking a look at the benefits of working with insurance brokers online and how to make the most of it.
What Can an Online Insurance Broker Do for You?
While many insurance companies encourage customers to ‘go direct’, there are benefits to using a one for assistance.
Cutting out the middle man doesn’t even save that much money.
Broker pricing tends to be quite affordable, and a trained professional will help you choose a policy that insures you in the best way possible. Not only does this keep you safe, but it may even get you lower prices as it’s not as big a risk.
Moreover, shopping through a broker is a smoother, more comfortable process than doing it by yourself. These professionals are proactive and responsive, engaging with you to give you a hand.
Plus, although you can get a quote by yourself online, those from a broker are much more accurate.
Finally, insurance brokers are familiar with all aspects of insurance. You won’t be going around reading informative articles to understand a clause of your policy.
If you do have any questions, you’ll have the right person available with answers. The extent of those answers, however, further depends on the type you select.
Full-Service vs. Discount Brokers
If you want to use the appropriate one, you must first understand the difference between full-service and discount brokers.
Going for typical full-service brokers means that you get a wide array of services at your disposal, including insurance, investment and tax advice, retirement planning, and much more, all personalized for your needs. However, this option comes with higher fees.
On the other hand, discount brokerages are great for more independent, fee-conscious insurance buyers. These services, in general, don’t offer advice, although they commonly do offer free educational tools to help you make a better decision by yourself.
In this case, being discerning about your options is even more critical, because discount brokers and their fees come in all shapes and sizes.
Keep in mind, too, that even discount brokers may offer professional guidance and recommendations for an extra fee, which could still cost you less than a full-service broker.
Negative Sides of Online Insurance Brokers
While working with a broker is almost always a plus, there are some drawbacks of doing so online.
First off, although they tend to be responsive, they won’t answer your questions immediately. Most often, you’ll submit your questions through email and wait until you get a response. In a stressful period such as insurance purchase, this can be a bother.
Moreover, working with a physical broker brings you a personal touch that you can’t get online. Of course, speaking with somebody face-to-face is a matter of preference, but in general, people enjoy the feeling of familiarity while making important decisions.
Brokers vs DIY
At this point, you’re probably either determined to go for a full package of guidance or assistance or to start navigating the insurance sea by yourself.
If you’re in the middle, though, and still struggling with the decision whether to buy insurance by yourself or with a broker, let’s compare the options across five areas.
As we mentioned earlier, you can get better insurance pricing when working with a broker, although you’ll have to pay for their services.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, insurance companies are much more inclined to offer better pricing to clients working with brokers, because they represent much less of a risk.
Buying a policy directly does seem like the most comfortable option – you get to choose all aspects of your purchase. However, it entails figuring out all aspects of insurance, which is tricky for the not-so-savvy.
If you have any questions, you can also call the company’s customer support. Here, though, you can never be sure whether they’re giving you the best possible advice or trying to make you buy something.
Finding insurance by yourself online requires you to go to an insurance platform. Such direct services are super fast, generating quotes in a matter of minutes after you fill out a form. Brokers aren’t as quick, especially online, where you have to wait for an email answer.
The only real benefit brokers have in this area is that they’ll suggest only relevant quotes, while insurance platforms don’t come with this filter – you’ll have to sift through a lot of noise.
Peace of Mind
They are trained at cross-checking policies and understanding agreement terms. You probably aren’t, so the idea of getting insurance by yourself and risking making a mistake might be stressful.
When you work with brokers, these experts examine many factors to deliver what you need and nothing else. They seek to find the right policy for you and that you’re safe from all possible harm.
Finally, when you enter an insurance platform in search of a quote, you need to fill in your personal information to get them. With reputable companies, this isn’t an issue, but there are always scammers looking to sell your data.
Such fraud can be a case with direct purchases and brokers alike, but it still feels safer when you’re giving your information to one person compared to typing it in a platform.
The Bottom Line
In the end, we can say that adding an experienced mediator to the picture does have its benefits. Things aren’t simple in the world of insurance, and having somebody help you navigate; it makes sense.
So, in conclusion, at least your first purchase of insurance online should include a broker – online or otherwise.