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by Michael Harbron on Jun 15, 2021

How Agents Can Save You Money (and Frustration)

Making decisions about your Phoenix auto insurance can be stressful – because of this, some people are quick to choose an insurer that offers the cheapest premiums; they assume they’ll be saving money as time goes on. This is usually when they opt to go with a direct carrier for auto insurance.

However, this isn’t always the cheaper or better option in the long run.

While premiums for Phoenix or Scottsdale auto insurance can be lower with direct carriers, the value of that protection is also often lower. Unfortunately, many people don’t discover this until it’s too late and they need to file a claim. This is why it’s so important that people understand the difference between direct carriers and independent agents. Although many consumers aren’t familiar with these terms, you’re deciding on one or the other when you choose an insurance carrier to protect you.

What is a Direct Carrier?

Direct carriers, also called direct writers or captive writers, sell only a single brand of insurance. They use in-house sales teams to sell policies – these policies are sometimes limiting in terms of savings opportunities and coverage.

What is an Independent Agent?

Independent insurance agents can shop several different insurance brands for customers, customize the products and services they offer, and compare coverage options, pricing, and deductibles to help clients make sound insurance decisions. One agent can use dozens of different policy providers to present clients with a host of options.

The Bottom Line: Differences between Direct Carriers and Agents

Some consumers might think that all insurance carriers are the same – but they aren’t. Finding the right coverage with the right provider is the key to substantial cost savings. Direct carriers are limited to the promotions and prices that are available at that moment through the provider for which they work. In contrast, an agent can represent more than one insurance brand and can help you price options across them all.

Direct carriers often offer one-size-fits-all policies to drivers – again, because the options of the single carrier they represent are limited. An independent agent offers a more client-centric approach, recommending policies that match your needs. In other words, independent agents can provide more personalized coverage, protecting everything you need without having you pay for things you don’t need.

Remember those words of wisdom, “You get what you pay for?” This holds true with auto insurance in Phoenix just as much as anything else. While monthly premiums might be lower with a direct carrier, that doesn’t automatically mean your policy is better. Oftentimes, lower prices can translate to lower coverage; always ask yourself what exactly you’re covered for and whether you’re comfortable with that level of liability vs. protection.

An Independent Agent will be Someone on Your Side

While convenience is a huge bonus for consumers who purchase anything, ask yourself: With insurance, what would you be willing to sacrifice for that convenience? Many direct carriers enable you to go online, choose your policy, and check out right there. You won’t have to talk to anyone, making it quick and convenient. However, it’s not always a good idea to cut corners with some things, and auto insurance in Scottsdale is one of those things.

Should you ever need to file a claim, you will likely speak to someone with whom you’ve never previously interacted if you are with a direct carrier. Filing an insurance claim is stressful and frustrating enough without trying to go through the process with a stranger.

When you choose an independent agent, you’ll be working with a person who has already gotten to know you, your needs, your risk tolerance, and your assets. They will be able to advocate for you, prioritize your needs, and work with you, instead of leaving you to fight for yourself when coverage is denied or claims pay-outs are diminished. To many people, this customer-centric service is worth far more than a lower insurance premium.

  Interested in finding the best policy for your needs in a way that is easy, fast, and convenient? Summit Insurance Advisors shops for your insurance so you don’t have to. We have access to the best discounts, deals, coverages, and rates from multiple carriers to ensure that you’re able to make a sound, wise, educated decision when choosing your Phoenix auto insurance. Get a free online auto insurance quote today with no obligation – it’s free!


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5425 E Bell Road Suite 103
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254

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