Guide to Finding the Best Insurance Agent in Columbia Falls

Comparing car insurance rates in Columbia Falls can be a lot of work since picking a good Montana insurance agency is harder than just using the same insurance agency as your neighbor. For this article’s sake, it’s assumed you’re not only searching for an excellent agent, but you also want great rates as well.

With insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and independent agents having offices in Columbia Falls, it’s difficult to determine which one will provide the best service and rates. Fortunately, you can use online price quotes to assemble a group of agencies and price estimates.

Buying car insurance locally

Agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help in the event of a claim. The biggest benefit of price shopping on the web is you may find the lowest rates and still have an agent to talk to. And supporting local businesses is especially important in Columbia Falls.

For easy comparison, once you complete this form (opens in new window), your insurance coverage information gets sent to participating agents in Columbia Falls who will return price quotes for your insurance coverage. You never need to even leave your home due to the fact that quote results will go to the email address you provide. How cool is that?! Get lower rates without the usual hassles of price shopping.

The type of car insurance agent you choose is important

When finding a good insurance agency, there are a couple of different types of agents that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in Columbia Falls can either be independent or captive.

Independent Agents

Independent agents do not work for one specific company but rather can write business with multiple insurance companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent.

When shopping rates, it’s a good idea to contact at a minimum one independent agency for the best price selection. Most have the option of insuring with lesser-known insurance companies which can save you money.

Below is a short list of independent agencies in Columbia Falls willing to provide comparison quotes.

  • Lyle E Mitchell Insurance – 813 4th Ave W – Columbia Falls, MT 59912 – (406) 892-5500
Captive Insurance Agents

These agents have only one company to place business with like American Family, Liberty Mutual and AAA. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so they have to upsell other benefits. They are usually quite knowledgeable on their products and sales techniques which can be an advantage. Consumers often buy insurance from these agents mainly due to loyalty to the company and strong financial ratings.

Deciding on a car insurance agent should depend on more than just the premium amount. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
  • How long have they worked with personal auto insurance coverage?
  • Do they assist clients in filing claims?
  • Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
  • Is their price quote a firm figure or are their hidden costs?
  • Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Can they provide you with a list of referrals?
  • If your car is in the repair shop, do you have coverage for a rental car?

Once you have received satisfactory answers and a low price estimate, you have narrowed it down to a car insurance agent that meets your needs to properly insure your vehicles.

Also consider buying direct

Car insurance agents are important, but you can also find affordable Montana auto insurance direct over the internet. Some companies who have local agents in Columbia Falls also allow you to get a quote and buy online. This is something to consider.

If you’re uneasy about selecting your own policy coverages, don’t let it bother you. Online car insurance companies provide access to licensed agents to answer your questions. Most companies also provide anytime access to help and a customer research section you can access prior to buying.

The only way to know who has the best rates, online companies or local insurance agents, is making fair comparisons of each of their rates. It’s even possible to receive different pricing when comparing quotes online and from an agent from the SAME company.

Do people save by buying online? It’s difficult to say for sure because there are many factors that influence the price you pay. It would make sense to think that a shopper who purchases direct saves money by not requiring a commission. For most companies selling online, however, there are high advertising and marketing costs so rates may not be all that different from traditional agents.

Better coverage you can count on

Drivers leave their current company for any number of reasons including an unsatisfactory settlement offer, being labeled a high risk driver, lack of trust in their agent and even high prices. Regardless of your reason, switching companies is pretty easy and you might even save some money in the process.

When trying to cut insurance costs, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There have been many situations where someone sacrificed uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that they should have had better coverage. Your focus should be to get the best coverage possible at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.

Additional car insurance links

Additional car insurance information is available on the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance website through this link. Montana drivers can read state legal mandates and laws, get help finding coverage, and find a variety of consumer forms.

The articles below may also help you learn more about car insurance in Columbia Falls