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Independent Insurance FAQ's

An independent insurance agent sells insurance policies from multiple insurance companies. With an independent agent, there are many more options that can be provided to you compared to a captive agent.

A captive insurance agent is limited to sell insurance policies from a single insurance company. Insurance companies such as State Farm and Allstate are where you would find a captive agent.

Yes, independent insurance agents work for multiple insurance companies. While not every insurance company works with independent insurance agents, independent insurance agents can choose to work with as many or as few insurance companies as they desire.

An independent insurance agent serves as the “middleman” between you, the insurance client, and the insurance companies they work with. By simply contacting an independent insurance agent the same way you would contact a captive agent, they can get multiple insurance quotes pulled for your benefit.

Typically, independent insurance agents do not charge a fee. It does not cost any more to use an independent insurance agent because they are compensated directly by the insurance companies they are appointed with. In rare circumstances, regarding commercial policies, sometimes independent insurance agents will charge a fee.

Independent agents receive commissions for the insurance policies they sell. They are also not considered employees of any specific insurance company which means you will be receiving a much higher standard of service.

Independent insurance agents are truly the consumers friend. Here are just a few benefits and reasons why you should choose to shop for insurance with an independent agency.

 

  • Independent agents are not limited by one insurance company and, therefore, not obligated to sell you on one type of insurance policy. Since independent insurance agents shop for insurance policies on behalf of the consumer, they also tend to be much more connected with their clients compared to captive agents.
  • If you aren’t familiar with how insurance works and are looking for an insurance guide to help you navigate through coverage, independent agents can provide you a much more tailored and personal experience than captive agents. Independent insurance agents can offer a variety of products while captive agents only have their company’s product to offer you.
  • Whether you are shopping for personal insurance or commercial insurance, working with an independent insurance agency can save lots of time and money. You may have a unique situation that may take a lot of time and research to find what you need. Alternatively, you may just be trying to find ways to save on your insurance. No matter the case, independent insurance agents can serve you.

In most cases, yes, as long as she has a valid Driver’s License.

 

Insurance policies generally carry a permissive use clause that allows you to give permission for another person to drive your vehicle.

 

If this person is a household member or if they are going to be using your vehicle for an extended period of time you may need to add them to your policy as a driver.

 

Please call us if this situation arises so we can advise your further.

The short answer is: Yes. The coverages that you have on your auto policy will extend to a rental car unless:

 

  • You are renting a large truck like a U-Haul
  • You are renting the vehicle outside the US or Canada
  • You do not currently have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your Auto Insurance Policy
  • If none of these apply, then the next question is Should I still buy the rental car company’s insurance they are trying to sell me?

 

While that is a personal choice, we generally suggest that you do purchase it for two reasons:

 

  1. If you get into an accident and have to report it on your own insurance policy, it will go on your record and can affect your rate at renewal.
  2. Rental car companies will often charge you for the time their vehicle is out of commission which your insurance company may or may not pay for.

When insurance companies talk about having “Full Coverage” They are really only referencing the coverage for your car, not for your medical coverage. Traditionally “Full Coverage” equates to having Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your vehicle and that is all.

 

So what’s not covered by “Full Coverage”? A lot!

 

  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Personal Injury Protection
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • New car Replacement or GAP coverage
  • Full Glass coverage

 

These and many more coverages are not included when you ask for “Full Coverage” but are extremely important coverages to have and understand.

 

If you would like to learn more please click here to read our recent blog post on this subject or check out our Auto Insurance Buyers Guide to better understand all your coverage options.

Most, but not all, insurance companies will not require you to add teenage drivers to your policy until they have their drivers license.

 

Coverage extends to permitted drivers automatically as long as there is a licensed adult in the car.

Plain and simple- Teenage drivers cost more because they get in more accidents and cost insurance companies a lot of money.

 

Not a big surprise there but the amount that insurance companies charge to add a young driver these days can be hard to swallow.

 

How then can I mitigate the cost to add a young driver to my policy?

  • Make sure they have above a 3.0 GPA. The Good Student Discount is significant.
  • Don’t buy them a car right away. If you have two vehicles and two adult drivers, a young driver can be rated as an “occasional driver” and will not impact your premium as much as if you add another vehicle at the same time.
  • Teach them to drive defensively. If you think the cost to add a young driver is expensive, wait until they get into their first accident or get their first ticket.
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