While the absence of an intermediary, such as an agent or a broker, could result in a cheaper premium, it is usually not the case. This is due in part to the reliance on third parties to drive business to insurance companies. If the insurer offers plans that are significantly cheaper than what they offer clients through brokers or agents, those intermediaries will find the prospect of selling their products less advantageous – and may even choose to stop selling their policies altogether. This could lead to a significant loss in potential customers, leaving insurers with the costly task of increasing investment in their own sales teams and efforts.
Although insurance brokers work for their clients, they aren’t paid by them. Instead, they make commissions based on their sales. The commission is a percentage of the premium cost and varies by state law. It usually is between two and eight percent of the premium. If you work with a broker to buy homeowners, automobile, health, business, life or any other type of insurance, you will not pay them a fee for the services they provide.
Erie is the cheapest insurance company, and arguably the most reliable insurance company as well. They score points by allowing customers to start their quote online, which we personally found to be a streamlined and fast process. Erie also scored the highest marks from the number of policies they offer. Erie offers pet coverage, free accident forgiveness, free vanishing deductibles, roadside assistance, and many more, essentially giving its customers a degree of flexibility not even found amongst the largest insurers. Customers of Erie may also be eligible for its Rate Lock program. This is a unique program where customers won't see their rates increase except for three reasons: you move to a different area, add or remove someone from your policy, or add or subtract a car. Lastly, despite its smaller size, Erie offers the same types of discounts larger national insurers provide such as bundling, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, young driver and senior driver among others.
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The biggest downside to using a car insurance broker is that it may be completely unnecessary. That’s because you can usually go directly to a car insurance company’s website and either apply for coverage directly on the page or get a number to call the company and take it from there. You’ll pay about the same rate, and maybe even less if there’s no commission baked into your premium.