What's the difference between an agent and a broker?
There are three different sources for your auto and home insurance (amongst other products). You can buy through a captive agent like American Family or State Farm. These agents have a limited product offering and limited choices because they represent only that carrier.
You can also buy through a broker. This gives you access to a wide array of products and and the longest list of carriers available. Brokers, however, do have a fees and/or commission and they have limited access to all of the service features that your policy might require. For that reason, brokers tend to be a great option for difficult to place insurance rather than your standard risks like auto and home insurance.
With an independent agent, you get the best of both worlds. Your independent agent usually represents between three and nine different insurance companies so if your rate increases or you have a concern about quality with one of those companies, he or she can offer a choice. It's easier for your agent to change carriers for you because all of your information is already available. Plus, your agent gets to know whats important for you and can assess many options to determine the best value for your needs. There is another bonus! Unlike brokers, independent agents don't have any fees or commissions that get added on to your premium. We get paid while we're servicing your policy-- it's a company direct rate and you still have that personal touch and human contact that you get with an agent.
Well, we hope this answers your questions about buying channels. We value your feedback and would love to have a conversation with you. Please give us a call or e-mail us if you would like to talk.
Back to TopWhat if I buy a car after hours?
If you're considering purchasing a car, there is little substitute for good planning even when it comes to the insurance aspects of the purchase. If you find yourself grabbing the keys and signing the title over on a Sunday, though, you're probably okay with your insurance.
The standard, personal auto policy (PAP) offers the following definition of an insured vehicle that could help you:
"Any eligible vehicle the insured acquired during the policy period, if the insured requests that the company insure it within 14 days after becoming the owner. If the vehicle replaces one listed in the policy Declarations, liability coverage is automatic. Coverage is not automatic, however, for physical damage protection to newly acquired vehicles. If the insured already has physical damage insurance on at least one vehicle and wants to extend it to the newly acquired vehicle, he or she must request it within 14 days. If there is no physical damage coverage on the policy, the insured must request it within four days for it to apply to the newly acquired vehicle."
There are a few things to consider before relying on this provision, though:
- Your policy has to be in force of course
- The policy needs to be a standard personal auto policy or special personal auto policy (it can't be a bond, named operator policy, broad form named driver, or commercial auto)
- The vehicle that you are acquiring needs to be a personal use vehicle (for instance, it can't be a taxi or a pizza delivery car-- or any other non-personal use)
- The vehicle needs to be a personal type auto (it can't be a box truck, dump truck, or even a motorcycle or RV)
- You still need to contact your agent and/or the service team the next business day to ensure that coverage extends and get your ID card
This FAQ is being provided informational and to relieve some stress for you about the auto insurance experience. It should not replace good planning or reading your policy contract. Please e-mail or call us to get your coverage bound.Back to Top