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Home and auto insurance are a necessity. They reap countless benefits, most stemming from helpful protection in the instance of an emergency. You know, like if you forget to take the turkey out of the oven and flames burn through your cabinets and appliances. Or when you get into some trouble on the road and end up damaging your own or someone else’s vehicle.
Sure, having insurance on hand during these events is most ideal. But what about having the right insurance provider? Your insurance provider plays an important role in the level of coverage and type of insurance you have access to. Therefore, knowing how to choose your insurance provider is critical when shopping for coverage. Not sure what to look for? Don’t feel bad, this isn’t exactly something you learn in school. Just keep reading and we’ll explain some important factors for qualifying a potential provider.
How to Choose Insurance Providers
At ONIT, we can provide you with quotes from multiple insurance companies, but it’s always good to do your own research. It’s helpful to learn about the company you are choosing to insure your car and home. Here are a few simple questions that will give you a better understanding of these insurance providers.
- Talk to Family and Friends. Ah, the power of referrals. Each day we’re inundated with marketing and advertising messages that can be overwhelming. Talk to family, friends, and co-workers to learn about their experiences with an insurance company. Then call ONIT Insurance. We can take care of all of your backend paperwork and make the process quick and easy.
- Money and Financing. What can you afford? After doing the math, talking to your spouse, and returning with a number, stick with companies that meet your budget. Avoid those that do not. Consider their available financing options and talk to a representative about potential payment plans.
- Your Wants. Finally, what do you want? This is extremely important, mainly because it will determine the type of coverage you’re after. And if an insurer doesn’t provide this coverage, then they’re likely not the right provider for you. Therefore, do a little research to familiarize yourself with policies and the types of situations you want protection in before you even start looking at potential insurers. Consider the needs of your home, vehicle, and your family.
- How Long They’ve Been in Business. Simply put, the longer a company has been in business means the more experience they have helping their customers. It also likely means they know the ins and outs of the industry. They’re trusted and can provide you with answers and solutions.
- Coverage Area. There are two things to keep in mind when considering coverage area. The first being, where does this specific insurance company’s policies apply? The second, where does this insurance company have a license to write policies? For example, if you plan on taking a road trip to Canada but have an insurance policy written in the United States, you won’t have any protection from auto accidents abroad. For a robust protection plan that includes a safety net in The United States of America as well as other parts of the world, seek companies offering Commercial General Liability Coverage.
- Think Local. Some insurance companies that advertise nationally may seem like a good fit, but they may not provide adequate coverage for you and your situation. Be sure to look at smaller local options that may provide a more targeted option that provides a better solution that is tailored to you.
- Product Offering. Does this company offer the level of protection you want? What about their available policies? Does it check off all your boxes? If not, you might want to keep looking.
- Reviews. Oftentimes, the best way to learn about a company is to listen to what its customers have to say. The easiest way to do this is by searching for your company online and reading their reviews from past and current customers. What are some of their biggest complaints? For example, is their customer service murky? Does it take them an unreasonable amount of time to process an insurance claim? Do their prices fluctuate too often? Also, keep an eye out for the praise customers give. What are they doing right? Is this something you also value? NerdWallet is effective for reviewing top insurance providers.
Bonus Tip: Insurance Agent vs Insurance Broker vs Captive Agent
Yes, there’s a difference. When looking for insurance providers, don’t automatically assume you’ll need an insurance agent. A broker or captive agent might better serve your interests.
An insurance agent specializes in providing an insurance company’s products to customers at a fee. They’re responsible for helping you find the right coverage at a price you can afford. They need a license to provide you with coverage and fulfill their duties. In most cases, an insurance agent will represent the insurance company you’re seeking.
The lines blur between an insurance agent and insurance broker in the sense that their goal is to provide you with coverage. However, the key difference is an insurance broker represents and serves consumers. Insurance agents on the other hand work with insurers. Insurance brokers also can’t complete insurance sales. An insurance agent can.
A captive agent is an insurance agent that only represents one insurer. This type of agent provides insurance at a commission and can fulfill most transactions. The biggest drawback to choosing a captive agent as your provider is they only work with one insurance company. Therefore, you may not have as many options. On the flip side, you can expect a captive agent to have a wealth of knowledge regarding their company. This can be useful in getting the resources you need.
How To Choose Insurance Providers? Choose ONIT!
Insurance is something most of us do not enjoy shopping for. At ONIT Insurance Group, we make it easy to shop for insurance by doing all the work for you! We don’t have a single offer — we work with multiple insurance companies to get the best deals and lowest rates for your home, car, life, and business.
As an insurance agency, we allow you to choose what works best for you. When you call an insurance COMPANY, they can only present what products and services they offer. With ONIT Insurance, we aren’t required to present a single offer which ensures you make the most qualified decision and get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
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