The internet has blurred the lines between what kind of services an insurance broker can provide to a customer compared to what they can now do on their own online. While it is possible to get quotes directly from a comparative online rater, it's often not the best idea -- especially if you're new to the world of insurance. The expert level service a broker can provide is still unparalleled:
What can an online rater provide?
There is an important clarification to make before jumping too far down the rabbit hole: some online comparison raters actually work with insurance brokers to provide you with quotes. They bring in the leads, the broker purchases them, and you profit from the experience by receiving the most competitive rate.
An online rater will get you fast quotes and plenty of them. Some raters will show you the premium right up front on their site and others will sell your information off to a number of insurance companies who will then contact you with their best rate.
That brings us to the cons. Quotes that aren't done natively using a company's risk-analysis system aren't going to be 100% accurate and you won't know if your home is even eligible to be covered by the company that just gave you the best rate. It's also scary to think your information might be sold to third-parties -- especially if you don't know what those companies will be using your information for.
So, while using an online rater is convenient, it's not foolproof.
What does an Insurance Broker do for you?
Getting a quote from an insurance broker puts all the right cards in your hand. Right off the bat you're given the chance to research and approve the broker you contact. And since they're a broker, they can still provide you with a wide range of quotes you'd receive elsewhere.
The strongest reason to use a broker is for their advice. A broker will be able to pinpoint exactly what you need from a policy so you're not only buying exactly what you want, but you'll also know you're eligible for the quote you receive.
Not every broker will be appointed with every company, so calling more than one is a good idea just to know you're covering all of your bases.
When it comes right down to it, an insurance broker still provides unrivaled way to search for home and auto insurance coverage. Their invaluable advice can make sure you're covered in all the right spots.