Comparing auto insurance rates in Seattle can be a lot of work since picking a good Washington insurance agent is harder than just picking up the phone. Chances are you not only want a highly trained agent, but also great rates as well.
With State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and independent agents all competing for your business, it can be hard to know which one will give you the best rates, service and coverage. To begin, you can use online quotes in order to build a list of agents and price estimates.
When should I use an insurance agent?
When it comes to choosing adequate coverage, there really is not a “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s situation is a little different.
Here are some questions about coverages that could help you determine if your insurance needs could use an agent’s help.
- What should my uninsured motorist coverage limits be in Washington?
- Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
- Which companies will insure high-risk drivers?
- Is business property covered if stolen from my car?
- If my vehicle is totaled, can I afford another vehicle?
- Will my rates increase for filing one claim?
- Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
If you’re not sure about those questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent.
Car Insurance through a local Seattle agent
Professional agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help file insurance claims. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is you can get the best rates and still choose a local agent. And supporting local agencies is definitely important in Seattle.
By using this simple form, your coverage information gets sent to participating agents in Seattle who will return price quotes for your business. You won’t need to leave your computer since price quotes are sent to the email address you provide. How’s that for easy! Get lower rates AND a local agent.
The type of car insurance agent you choose is important
When finding a local agent, there are a couple of different agency structures from which to choose. Agents are categorized either captive or independent.
Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company but instead can place your coverage amongst many companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, they simply move the coverage in-house and you don’t have to find a new agent.
When comparing rates, you should always contact at least one independent agent for maximum quote selection. Many write coverage with smaller regional carriers which may provide better rates.
The following is a short list of independent agencies in Seattle who can help you get comparison quotes.
- Fujiyama Agency Inc – 316 Maynard Ave S # 112a – Seattle, WA 98104 – (206) 682-3425
- Epic Insurance – 4025 Delridge Way SW – Seattle, WA 98106 – (206) 933-6200
- Greenwood Agency – 8314 Greenwood Ave N – Seattle, WA 98103 – (206) 783-4237
- Ellison Agency Inc – 13751 Lake City Way NE # 206 – Seattle, WA 98125 – (206) 528-0992
- Axiom Insurance Mgmt LTD – 4005 20th Ave W # 115 – Seattle, WA 98199 – (206) 264-0690
Captive agents have only one company to place business with and examples are AAA, Allstate and State Farm. These agents are not able to provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. They are well schooled in insurance sales and that can be a competitive advantage. Consumers sometimes choose to use a captive agent mainly due to high brand loyalty and strong financial ratings.
Below are captive insurance agencies in Seattle who can help you get price quote information.
- American Family Life Assurance – 11550 6th Pl NE – Seattle, WA 98125 – (206) 364-2554
- Allstate Insurance Companies – 13540 Lake City Way NE # 7 – Seattle, WA 98125 – (206) 364-1149
- Farmers Insurance Group – 7900 E Green Lake Dr N # 208 – Seattle, WA 98103 – (206) 528-1139
To view a full list of Seattle captive agents, click here to link.
Deciding on a car insurance agent requires more thought than just the price. Here are some questions to ask:
- Is assistance available after office hours?
- Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
- If your car is in the repair shop, do you have coverage for a rental car?
- How are they compensated?
- Are they full-time agents?
After getting satisfactory answers to your questions and locked in a price quote, you’ve probably found an insurance agency that meets your needs to service your policy.
Online companies should be compared
Local insurance agents can be invaluable at times, but Washington drivers can also buy direct online. Even companies that sell primarily through agents also allow consumers to quote and buy online, and that is helpful if you prefer to buy online.
If you’re concerned about not receiving proper advice, don’t let it bother you. Car insurance companies that allow you to purchase coverage provide customer service for customer questions. In addition, they usually offer live chat and online tools to clarify any questions you may have.
If you’re trying to save the most money, the best approach to discovering if agents have better prices than online companies is comparing prices for both of them. You may actually get a different price when comparing agent prices to online quotes from the same insurance company.
Can online rates save money? Many people think so, but it’s hard to say for sure since there are so many components which can adversely affect your policy premium. Many people think that a shopper who purchases direct cuts out the middleman. In reality, marketing expenses are significant and that can cost more than having to pay agents.
Washington auto insurance information
Much more information about auto insurance in Washington can be found on the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner website located here. Visitors are able to read industry bulletins, learn about insurance regulations, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and find out industry alerts.
Online plus local equals savings
When trying to cut insurance costs, don’t be tempted to skimp on coverage in order to save money. In many cases, drivers have reduced liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your goal should be to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.
People leave their current company for any number of reasons including lack of trust in their agent, delays in responding to claim requests, policy non-renewal and even unfair underwriting practices. Whatever your reason, finding a great new company can be pretty painless.