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Personal Perspective

Should You Buy an Insurance Policy Online or In-Person?

By March 1, 2014No Comments

You know you need auto and home insurance, but should you look online for a policy or talk to an agent? Consider your personal preferences and several pros and cons of each method before you decide where to purchase your insurance policies.

Online Pros:

  • Convenience: Click the mouse and instantly compare different coverage amounts and see quotes from several companies.
  • No Obligation to Buy: Never feel pressured to buy a policy. Simply opt out of receiving future quotes or communication from comparison sites.
  • Instant Coverage: As soon as you find the policy you want, buy it and print insurance cards immediately.

Online Cons:

  • Impersonal: Online policies don’t allow you to build a relationship with a person who knows and understands you.
  • Security: All your data is compiled and compared over the Internet, making your information an easy target for thieves. Plus, less reputable comparison sites may sell your data to third parties.

Agent Pros:

  • Relationship: To an agent, particularly one in your hometown, you’re more than a number. He or she builds a relationship with you and your family, see you at the grocery store and local events and truly has your best interests in mind.
  • Get Answers: If you have a question about your policy or coverage, call your agent and receive answers from a live person.
  • Negotiate Price: In cases, an insurance agent can negotiate a policy’s price. They also know you and can recommend money-saving discounts and other ways to reduce insurance costs.

Agent Cons:

  • Inconvenient: Most offices have limited evening and weekend hours, so you can’t buy or make adjustments to your policy 24/7.
  • Comparison Challenges: Certain agents sell insurance from only one company. To compare different policies, you need to work with an agent or broker who sells policies from multiple companies.

Buying insurance is a necessity. While buying online and from a local agent both have pros and cons, find the personalized service you need when you purchase from an in-person agent.