Finding local automobile insurance agents is a very smart move for the motorist intent on negotiating the best, most complete, and most affordable coverage. If agent and customer are neighbors, the agent will much more likely be supportive and helpful, and will have a deep knowledge of the general and very specific insurance needs or challenges of the area. It is also very likely that the agent and customer will have acquaintances in common, which also means that the agent would probably have been referred by someone or will be wanting to get referrals, eventually, from this new customer. These factors all work in the customer's favor, and could even bring sizeable premium discounts in automobile insurance rates even on your first auto policy.
The key to finding a reliable and helpful insurance agent is to ask for referrals. It can be very helpful to go online and check local listings for agents and agencies, but the more reliable way of finding the best fit is still through personal networks and connections. The biggest insurance carriers are very familiar to most people, not least because they advertise everywhere and have agents just about everywhere. It is very easy to find an agent of any one of these companies, but it is much more important to find an agent that is reliable and helpful, and one of the best ways to do this is by having someone refer one. So, the motorist who is looking for good auto insurance rates and service should always begin by asking friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and other motorists. In automobile insurance, as in any other field, relationships matter, and often make all the difference. A good agent will happily answer questions and provide complete information to the prospective customer, because he or she will, among other things be looking to the future.
Before meeting with the agent, however, the motorist should prepare. It is important to have some advance information about things like deductibles, liability, limits, personal injury protection, and especially importantly, what the most comfortable premium rates would be. This is not hard to come by. There is a lot of information on the internet about these and all other aspects of automobile insurance, and the agent will usually welcome the customer who arrives with information and questions about the portions that were perhaps confusing.
Once an agent is located, it is time for the prospective customer to set an appointment to meet, learn, discuss possibilities, and get quotes. It will likely be easier to get an appointment with a local insurance agent. It could even be that the agent will accommodate customers early in the morning or later in the evening, to fit personal work schedules and because belonging to the same community, they are after all, neighbors. Meeting at the agent's office allows the customer to get a further glimpse into how well the agent and the field office operate. It will give an indication of the professionalism of the agent, and a sense of the commitment of the carrier itself to the community. These are important points that may be overlooked when all is going well in the process of finding local automobile insurance, but that could have a very profound bearing on how problems and claims get resolved.
It bears reminding that even when an agent comes well referred, even in the most glowing terms, the customer has a responsibility to be alert and pro-active in doing business. It is important to ask questions in every single instance where confusion arises. The automobile insurance policy is a binding legal contract. The fine print is important no matter how friendly the relationship.