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You’ve got a few important options when choosing insurance — one of which is deciding whether to go with a local or national insurance agency. While many people don’t even realize the two options are different, there’s a major difference between working with a local insurance agent and working with a national company. You should obviously always go with what feels best to you, but it can help to learn a little more about why many people are deciding to work with local insurance agents over the national guys.
Local = Accessible
When you choose to work with a local insurance agency, you’re going to be able to make a personal connection. The agent you work with will be assigned to you and you will only work with that person. So if you have a question, you know when you call in you’ll get to talk to your agent. This allows the agent to better do his or her job because he or she gets to know you and your individual circumstances. It can make it easier for the agent to offer you discounts or make suggestions for changes that will save you money.
With a national company, on the other hand, you don’t get an assigned agent. You’ll likely call into a call center and talk to whoever answers the phone, which is likely to be a different person every time. While they may make notes on your file, there’s no personal connection; the agents don’t get to know you or anything about you. They’ll often work off a script, so if a possible discount isn’t in the script, it might not be offered.
Local Agents Have Local Knowledge
Working with a local insurance agent means you’re working with someone who knows the community. He or she knows the typical claims made in the area, which can help you decide what coverage you need. For example, if hail damage is common, then the agent may suggest ensuring you have adequate coverage for your car and home so you can get repairs when needed. Thanks to their local connections, your local insurance agent can help you get the best coverage, customized to your area’s most likely scenarios. When it comes time to make a claim after that hail storm, you’ll be glad that your agent persuaded you to get a policy that covered winter weather.
Local Can Mean Better Rates
With a local insurance agent, there’s way less competition for them — which means savings for you. They focus their marketing on the local area and they don’t have as much overhead because their service area is small — which they’re able to translate into their rates. This allows you to have a better chance at getting more affordable rates because the extra costs aren’t going to be translated into extra costs on your insurance premiums. You can end up saving quite a bit of money just because you’re working with a smaller company.
Deciding where to get your insurance from can be stressful, and there are good and bad things about going with either a local agent or a national company. But if you’re looking for more personalized service, then a local agent is always going to come out on top.