It seems like you can’t watch TV, listen to the radio, or surf the internet without seeing or hearing an ad for an insurance company. With so many options, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. What you might not realize is that you also have plenty of local and regional options. There are several pros and cons to purchasing policies from a smaller insurance agency.
Pro: You’ll Get More Personalized Attention
When you work with an insurance agency that only operates regionally, such as Shelter Insurance, as opposed to one that operates nationally or internationally, there is a greater chance of you getting more individualized attention. There are fewer customers and there may be more local agents, which means that you may receive a personal touch when it comes to answering your questions, providing customer service, and remembering your names and needs when you communicate.
Con: You May Not Have 24/7 Access
Smaller insurance agencies typically don’t employ as many people, which means that you probably have a smaller window of time in which you can contact the company to ask questions, change your policies or file claims. If you are someone who prefers to get things done right away but also wants to work with a smaller company, you may need to search a little harder to find one with late-night hours, overnight customer service, or weekend hours.
Pro: You Are Likely To Pay Lower Rates
Smaller insurance companies spend less money on marketing and do not have overhead costs as high as their national or international counterparts. This means that they don’t need to charge as much for their policies, especially when insuring high-risk drivers. If you’re on a budget and need something low-cost, it is a good idea to seek out a smaller agency.
Con: You May Not Get as Much Coverage
While it isn’t always the case, sometimes lower rates at a smaller insurance agency translate to less coverage. Consider your budget, but also consider how much coverage you need realistically. If you drive alone and typically only go to work or run errands, then you may be able to get away with less coverage. However, if you drive often, go on long road trips, or often have passengers in your car, you may need more coverage than what a smaller agency can provide.
Pro: It’s Easier To Know Where Your Money Goes
When you work with a multibillion-dollar insurance corporation, there is no real way to tell whether it’s putting money back into local communities or simply lining the CEO’s pockets. When you work with a local or regional company, it can be easier to trace your money to a company that gives back to its communities, which is especially important if you want an agency that aligns with your own values.
Con: You May Not Get Access To Discounts
Smaller insurance companies typically do not offer as many discounts as larger companies. You may not be able to receive discounts for combining policies, insuring multiple pieces of property, or being a good driver. If you rely on discounts to keep your insurance costs low, be sure to ask what’s available before signing up with a company.
Regardless of whether you decide to go with a regional or national insurance company, do your research first. Verify licenses, shop for the best prices, and read reviews to ensure you’re getting the best option for you.