If you have a car on the road in Minnesota, car insurance is a fact of life. You can purchase it directly from an insurance company or go through an agent. Either option will provide you with some degree of coverage, but one path may not yield the same results as the other.
To understand why your coverage and service could vary depending on whether you use an agent or buy direct, it is important to first understand the dynamics that exist between insurance companies and agents.
Captive insurance agents are licensed agents who have entered into a contract or employment position with a particular insurance company. Per the name, captive agents are limited to selling policies only from the insurance companies they work for — no competitors allowed. Some of the more common captive agents include Farmers, State Farm, and American Family.
Agents are regulated by the State of Minnesota, they are required to look out for the wellbeing and best interests of their customers. So working for only one insurance company limits the extent to which a captive agent can offer advice and provide insurance solutions that meet their clients’ needs.
Captive companies often have limited underwriting rules and many times, only one price.
Some Insurance companies have a business model that doesn’t include an agent at all. Instead, they spend a larger part of their budget on advertising. You receive a similar policy at a competitive premium, but you don’t get an agent, because the money normally budgeted for an agent’s commission was spent on advertising.
Drivers should, however, be cautious when buying car insurance through a direct carrier. The reason why is because by doing so, it is easy to get distracted by lower premiums at the expense of lower limits. Some car insurers make it easy for drivers to adjust their policies online, taking away coverage until the premiums look much more attractive. When you are a good driver who hasn’t had an accident, it’s easy to forget how important quality coverage is to your financial future; that is, until you need to file a claim.
Independent Insurance Agents
Independent insurance agents are a different kind of car insurance agent altogether. They march to their own beat, working hard to bring their customers a wide range of coverage options.
Unlike captive agents, independent agents do not work for any particular company. Since they have access to multiple insurance companies, they may be able to better meet their client’s needs with better coverage at an excellent value.
Here at Pentagon Insurance Agency, we pride ourselves in standing out from the crowd. Between our friendly staff and unique coverage options, we are unlike many of the other Elk River insurance agencies. We are proud to offer local car insurance with the added benefit of:
- Local service
- Unpretentious communication
- Comprehensive risk evaluation
- Practical coverage options
- Straightforward answers to your questions
- One-stop-shopping for other lines of coverage
- Ongoing coverage support and claims assistance
In our unending commitment to serving you, we will continue to assess your car insurance needs going forward, even after you have selected a policy. As circumstances change, so do your insurance needs. If we find better coverage at a better value, we will be the first to let you know.
Should We Talk?
Yes. If you have never had the pleasure of working with an independent insurance agent, maybe it’s time to break up with your captive agent or insurer. Call us today to schedule an appointment and request your free quotes.
Peter Cole, insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN, began his career in the industry more than 30 years ago. He prides himself on backing up every sale by personally providing service to his clients and by providing the coverage they need at the best possible price.
Contact Peter to discuss your situation today!