How to hire a reputable insurance agent to purchase insurance

Insurance agents help you find the best insurance rates and policies that fit your needs. The right insurance policy helps you reduce your liability and protect your financial wellbeing.

Without insurance, you could be personally financially liable for accidents, such as a car accident or injury on your property. Insurance helps provide coverage to you, your loved ones and others that you encounter so that you don’t have to bear the burden of covering these expenses.

In case of a lawsuit, the other party will name your insurance company instead of you. And your insurance company will mount a defense on your behalf.

While it’s tempting to shop online quote comparisons for insurance, these sites often make it challenging for the average person to know and understand what the policy covers or excludes.

That’s where a reputable Virginia insurance agent can do a lot for ensuring you’re covered for a variety of unforeseen circumstances. We’ll explain what an insurance agent does, who should use an insurance agent and important questions to ask when shopping for insurance.

What does an insurance agent do?

An insurance agent serves as an intermediary between an insurance company and customers. Insurance agents might work for one specific insurance company or serve many companies. You can get quotes from both types of agents to compare rates from many companies.

Generally, using an independent agent who serves multiple companies is the best way to find the best price on quality insurance. And, these agents are not biased toward the company and can provide good advice on what is best for you.

Insurance agents serve as experts for customers. Instead of you punching in random coverage amounts into a quoting system, an insurance agent will ask you questions about your needs and financial standing. The agent will use this information to prepare an insurance policy that protects you from liability.

Who should use an insurance agent?

Some people might not need the expertise of an insurance agent. After you’ve worked with an expert and know what liability coverage you need, you can go out and get more online quotes to compare. In that case, you might not need an agent to renew your insurance.

Or, you might be an insurance expert already and know how to read a policy carefully for exclusions. It is rare that people are this experienced at identifying a good or not-so-good policy though.

The best candidates for using an insurance agent are people with more complicated insurance needs. This might include:

  • Owning multiple cars or homes
  • Need help interpreting insurance policy details to look for exclusions or gaps that could lead to liability later
  • Require business insurance in addition to personal insurance
  • Prefer to price quote multiple insurance companies at once without investing too much time or effort
  • Would rather have a relationship with someone you can call when you have questions or need to adapt your insurance policy

Important questions to ask when shopping for insurance

Most insurance agents are skilled and know the right questions to ask you to secure the best policy based on your needs. But if your insurance agent isn’t asking tons of questions, here are a few you should ask them.

  • Does my car insurance policy cover other people driving my vehicle?
  • What do you recommend as far as additional coverages of Virginia’s minimums?
  • Are there any opportunities to reduce my insurance premiums without increasing my potential liability too much?
  • Can you show me different quotes based on various deductible amounts?
  • What discounts does the insurance company provide? Can we evaluate whether I might be eligible for some of these?
  • Does my car insurance policy provide gap coverage to protect me for a car I have a loan on?
  • Can I save money on my insurance premiums by paying the full premium at once?
  • What exclusions should I be aware of on my various policies?
  • Will my car insurance policy protect me if I use my car for commercial purposes?

You want to try to gather as many details as you can about situations when you might be personally liable due to a policy exclusion. Ideally, your policy will be limited as far as exclusions. However, some budget insurance companies add many exclusions to offer less expensive policies but limit their potential payouts.

If you purchased insurance and the company is claiming they won’t cover your accident, you should speak with an attorney. Attorneys are skilled at reviewing insurance policy language to look for named exclusions. If your situation is not named, then the insurance company cannot deny your claim legally.

Contact us for a free case evaluation.

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