If you’re new to getting quotes for home and auto insurance, you might be surprised to learn that whichever option you choose, most provide access to the same general handful of carriers.
Outside of this core detail, though, not all auto and home quoting options are created equal. While no one best choice will work for everyone, some might deliver meaningfully better results than others, based on your unique combination of needs and preferences.
In this article, the team at IHS Insurance Group will outline some of the key differences between your auto and home insurance quoting choices, what they might mean for you in the real world, and how you can learn more.
Online Quote Aggregators (aka Lead Generation Websites)
These third-party websites advertise that they can provide you with quotes from multiple insurance carriers after entering your details just once. And in a best-case scenario, that’s precisely what they deliver.
However, in many instances, these sites walk you through what appears to be a quoting process, only to land you on a generic page that tells you to call a local agent. These companies will then package your personal information into a ‘lead’ and then sell the lead to the highest bidder.
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with online quote aggregators, it’s an impersonal process that could lead to excess spam from advertisers.
- In a best-case scenario, can provide auto and home quotes from multiple companies, after entering your information just once
- Often promise to provide auto and home quotes from multiple companies, but only sell your information to local agents.
- Some lead generation websites will also sell you information to other unrelated companies, resulting in excessive spam—even unwanted phone calls.
Online agencies typically operate a lot like traditional agencies (more soon)—they’re licensed in many (if not all) states, offer auto and home policies from multiple carriers, and provide phone support to their clients.
However, some of the most significant differences are that online insurance agencies don’t have a physical presence. Instead, you’ll usually dial into a call center and speak with a licensed agent to ask questions, make changes to your policy, file a claim, and so forth.
Some popular examples include TheZebra and Insurance.com.
- Often licensed in multiple states.
- Can provide some level of personalized service
- Call centers are often open 24 hours
- Quick and easy to learn policy details or make changes
- No dedicated agent, which could be a negative if you’re looking for a more personal relationship
- No physical office, if you prefer to speak face-to-face with your agent
Direct (aka Captive) Agencies
Whereas online agencies frequently represent multiple home and auto insurance carriers, captive (also referred to as ‘exclusive’) agents represent only one company, who pays them a commission for each policy they sell. This way, you know that the agent is knowledgeable about the products they offer and that the company directly supports them.
However, from your perspective, going with a captive agent means that you’re limited to a single company from which you can obtain auto and home quotes. So, if there’s someone out there who might offer better coverage for your needs or lower rates, you wouldn’t know about it.
Common examples of captive agencies include State Farm, Allstate, and GEICO.
- Agents can be extremely knowledgeable about the carrier’s product lineup.
- The carrier supports the agent directly, in case any issues arise.
- Limited to only one insurance company
- You might pay more than necessary, or not have access to ideal coverages and endorsements.
Last, but certainly not least, we have independent agencies like IHS. While these agencies still earn commissions from policies they sell, they’re appointed with multiple (sometimes dozens) of carriers. And because you can have a face-to-face conversation with them and really explain your unique needs, independent agents can provide a personalization level not available with any of the other quoting options.
Together, independent agencies are perhaps the best option if you’re looking for access to multiple carriers, personalized service, and the best coverage at the most competitive rates.
- Represent multiple auto and home insurance carriers
- Provide personalized, face-to-face service
- Able to find the best carrier, with the best coverage, at the best rates, based on your circumstances and budget
- Many aren’t open 24 hours, although you can contact your carrier directly to answer questions, make changes, pay bills, and file claims.
What’s the Bottom Line About Getting a Quote for Home & Auto Insurance?
The fact of the matter is that there’s no one “right” way to get quotes for your home and auto insurance since your decision will primarily be based around your unique combination of needs and preferences.
For example, you’ll want to consider factors like whether or not you prefer face-to-face contact, require more of a personal or distanced relationship, comfortable handing over your personal information to a random website, and so forth.
With this said, the team at IHS Insurance Group is standing by if you decide that you need a personalized approach to home, auto, and other types of insurance. We’ve helped clients like you balance their coverage and budgetary needs for more than a decade, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
Need a FREE Quote or have questions regarding Collision Coverage? We have three convenient ways to reach us:
- If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063.
- If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back with you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE.
- Lastly, for those that want an immediate quote, please click HERE.
We look forward to speaking with you today!