Should you obtain your insurance from a Direct Writer or Independent Agent?
First, you need to know the difference in order to choose Direct Writer and Independent Agent.
What is a Direct Writer?
A direct writer is an insurance company that doesn’t have independent representatives to write their business. Their employees or contracted sub-contractors the only ones who write and service your policy. Progressive Insurance and Geico Insurance, for example, are direct writers (although Progressive also offers its products through independent agents in some states). As a customer, you call these companies directly and it is their employees who service your policies. Unlike independent agents who represent multiple companies, the direct writer can only place your business within their own company. This is sort of like an ice cream shop selling only vanilla ice cream.
Why use an Independent agent?
Most independent agents represent multiple companies and will shop your policy to find the best coverage at the best premium. If there is a problem between you, the policy holder, and the insurance company, the independent agent will assist you. Independent agents can review your policies prior to renewal and can remarket (shop) your policies with other companies that may offer better pricing and coverage. Independent agents also can assist, support and advise you during a claim. Many direct companies have claim adjusters that are salaried employees. Independent agents form a relationship with their clients and policyholders are usually assigned to one customer service representative or have a staff to assist you personally.
There are no fees or additional policy costs to using an independent agent.