A move to a new state can be quite tiring and confusing, and any help you can get in setting up your new life is a blessing. The insurance agent you sign on with in your new home can help you get a lot of issues settled, such as ensuring your belongings, home, and car are all protected and that you can go ahead and make changes to things like your car registration.
One choice you'll have to make is which agent to go with. If you have a preferred agency, that narrows your choices down, but if you aren't concerned about the specific agency you get a policy from, then you've got a lot of research to do. Or, you could take advantage of another option, which is to get policies from an independent insurance agency.
When You Want the Cheapest Rates
Independent insurance agents do not have a specific contract with one insurance company. Most agents represent only one company, so when you go to an XYZ Insurance Agent, that agent will offer policies from the XYZ Insurance Company only. An independent agent may also offer policies from that company but also from several other insurance companies. You'll be able to compare costs and coverage to find a great combination that's just this side of customized for you. If you want the cheapest possible rates, for example, an independent agent can search through the policies for different companies to see who is the cheapest.
When You Are Not Concerned About Bundling Policies
One of the advantages to having all your policies through the same insurance company is that you can receive discounts for bundling them together. So, you might get 5 percent or 10 percent off your premiums if you have both your renter's insurance and your auto insurance through the same company. Bundling may also let you pay all your premiums at once, depending on how the agency has payments set up.
Because independent agents offer policies from several companies, you may not be able to find multiple policies with the same company if you're looking for the lowest prices or for particular coverage that isn't offered through one company or another. Bundling isn't that high on most people's lists of what to look for in insurance, but it is something to consider.
When You Want to Continually Modify Your Policies
If you're in the habit of continually shopping around for different policies to keep finding the lowest premiums, you're much better off with an independent agent. You can modify your policies with an agent who is tied to one company, of course, but you're limited in what you can do and what you can look for. With an independent agent, you have many more options when you want something like lower premiums or additional coverage.
Talk to some independent agents about how they choose policies to present to their clients. Some present the few that most closely match what you ask for while others present many more.