When it comes to buying insurance, the first step is to figure out whether you want to purchase through an insurance agent or direct from a company. While the two may seem one-and-the-same, the differences between the two can majorly impact your trucking business. This article aims to help you decide which option will work best for you and your trucking company.
When you choose to buy trucking insurance direct from a company, you are also choosing to buy one of the standard insurance packages. These packages were designed with a “one size fits all” mentality, so you might have to buy a package with coverage you don’t need in order to receive coverage you do need.
Contrary to popular belief, insurance agents do not have the ability to negotiate a policy rate. However, the agent will be able to provide you a list of options at different price points. By being independent, agents also have access to other carrier policies and are able to tailor the policy to best suit your needs. Additionally, the agents may reach out to insurance companies most people have never even heard of, or don’t know provide commercial trucking insurance, which allows them to find even more coverage options for the insured (you) to review.
As mentioned previously, when you choose to buy a standard insurance package direct from an insurance company, there’s a chance you’re overpaying. Since the package is not tailored to your needs, there may be coverages within it that you don’t necessarily want or need. Additionally, when it comes time for renewal these agencies will only show you rates from their employer since it’s their job to keep you insured with that company.
Agents own their own business, thus must generate income by charging the insured for the service provided. However, even with the additional fee, going through an agent usually results in a cheaper premium-sometimes up to 25%-due to their ability to price shop. Furthermore, when it comes to renewal, independent agents are able to reevaluate your premium based on new rates from multiple insurance companies. Therefore, the chance for cost savings increases.
One of the biggest differences between buying direct and buying through an agent is the experience. On one hand, when you call an insurance company to talk to someone about your coverage, odds are you’re going to get transferred to someone in a call center. Yes, you will be speaking with an individual who has passed the same exams as personal agents, and therefore can address all of your needs. However, the biggest difference is that the next time you call you most likely will not be speaking to the same individual you spoke to previously.
On the other hand, working with an agent allows you to form a personal relationship since you know that when you call you’ll be talking to either the agent or someone on their small team. These individuals will be familiar with your policy, instead of simply reading general information off a database. More importantly, insurance agents will be there to advocate for you during a claim.