Online Insurance Sites vs. Insurance Agents: Finding the Right Fit for Your Needs

Finding the most cost-effective solutions for insurance coverage can provide real savings for consumers. Online resources can often provide added information on insurance policies and provisions for individuals with a clear idea of their coverage needs; however, these websites may not provide adequate explanations for those not familiar with the insurance field. For these consumers, dealing directly with a professional insurance agent can ensure that they obtain the right types of insurance for their specific set of needs.

Factors to Consider when Obtaining Insurance

Although cost is often a major consideration for consumers in selecting insurance coverage, other factors should also be part of the decision-making process:

  • The reputation of the company within the insurance industry
  • Customer service ratings, especially as they pertain to the firm’s treatment of claims
  • The deductibles required for various premium costs and levels of coverage
  • The dollar amount of coverage provided and any exclusions that may apply to those coverage amounts
  • Any value-added services that may provide added financial protection or peace of mind for consumers

In some cases, it may make good financial sense to pay a little extra for added coverage or special services. Rental reimbursement coverage, for example, adds little to the cost of monthly car insurance premiums and can potentially save consumers hundreds of dollars in the event of a covered accident.

Advantages of Online Insurance Sites

For many individuals, researching the types of insurance coverage available and obtaining premium quotes on the Internet can provide a solid basis for deciding between various companies. Online sites are a good starting place for consumers interested in a general overview of the available options and the costs associated with each type of coverage. Online home and car insurance sites can provide the following benefits:

  • In most cases they can give you a good overview of the different types of coverage that is available in the industry
  • Consumers can compare the costs and coverage provided by a wide range of insurers to determine the best choice for their needs
  • Some sites offer ratings and reviews regarding the customer service and reliability of various carriers

Even in cases where Texas consumers plan to obtain their insurance coverage by contacting a local agent, it is a good idea to research options before settling on a specific carrier for Katy home owners insurance or auto coverage.

Advantages of Purchasing Coverage Through a Local Agent

Most major insurance companies maintain offices, claims adjusters and sales agents throughout the U.S. to serve their customers. Additionally, independent insurance agents are available in most large cities. These insurance professionals are not affiliated directly with any company; instead, they evaluate coverage from a wide range of insurance firms to determine the most appropriate policy for the consumer’s needs. Building a long-term relationship with a professional insurance agent can provide assurance for consumers that they have the right levels of coverage to protect themselves financially and that any changes in family situations or insurance needs are managed quickly and efficiently with minimal effort on the part of the policyholders.

Special Rules for Car Insurance

Texas law requires drivers to maintain financial responsibility for any accidents they may cause. Generally, this requirement is met by obtaining the state-mandated minimum coverage levels for auto liability insurance:

  • At least $30,000 of coverage for each individual injured in an accident
  • $60,000 of liability insurance for each accident
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage per accident

Any amounts not covered by liability car insurance may be collected from the at-fault driver; as a result, these minimum coverage amounts may not be the best choice for all drivers in Texas. Online insurance sites may not reflect these legal requirements and may leave drivers vulnerable to citations or other legal actions in the event of an at-fault accident.

For Katy insurance home owners looking for home and auto coverage, using the same company can sometimes result in significant discounts on one or both policies. Discussing costs and coverage requirements with a professional agent can often save consumers time and money in managing their insurance needs.


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