Car Insurance Companies market through different channels. Some sell through their own agents. Others sell through independent agents who offer policies from multiple insurance companies. Some car insurers do not use agents but sell direct to consumers over the phone or net. Get rates from several sources via the zip code box above, so you verify you are getting the very lowest price.
Full service insurance agents can help customers bundle auto and home insurance policies with the same insurer, so they are more likely to be satisfied. When it comes to ensuring a smooth claims process, agents may also encourage their customers to keep an inventory of their valuables as well as receipts for major purchases like furniture or plasmas.
Car Insurance Brokers
Most car insurance brokers offer the same insurance companies, such as Sentry, Bristol West, Explorer, etc. No matter which broker you buy car insurance from, they will place you in one of these companies. The major difference can be the service and broker fee. Most brokers will not volunteer the fee amount over the phone because they want to get you into their office. If they can get you in office, chances are you won’t visit 10 other offices like you could over the phone.
Hidden Broker Fees
Broker #1 might charge a $100 Broker Fee and Broker #2 might charge you $300. Ask the broker over the phone how much their broker fee is. Don’t let the broker hide their fee by saying “it’s in the quote.” If brokers toild you their fee was $100-$300, would you show up in their office? So the insurance broker runs your driving history and finds out you have tickets or at fault accidents, they add the broker fee in the higher required amount, telling you the increased amount is for your driving record. If they already ran your driving record, they could still raise the down payment by adding the broker fee and saying your car’s VIN# is not the same one they initially quoted you..
Accurate Price Quotes
Brokers feel pressure when you call to give you a low price quote to be competitive with the other quotes you just got earlier. If the broker ask you alot of questions, and gets your SSN and drivers license and VIN #s of your vehicles, he can give you an accurate rate. Without that info, he cannot give you a real world price!
For a small down payment, you can start the policy with the insurance company. Find out the price of the broker fee over the phone so when they quote you a rate, you will know if the quote is legit and they they are not sneaking in the fee. Driving record and incorrect VIN# will drive up the cost of insurance so that is why it is so important to fully disclose those as well.