Quick Guide to Researching a Birmingham Auto Insurance Agent

Selecting a auto insurance company in Birmingham, AL can be time consuming since picking a good Alabama car insurance agent is more difficult than just making a phone call. You require a highly trained agent, and also want to find cheap rates.

Numerous car insurance agents battle for your business, and it can be difficult to compare rates to discover the definitive lowest rate

Online price comparisons from Birmingham agents

Good agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help file insurance claims. One of the great benefits of comparing insurance prices online is the fact that you can find lower rates but still work with a licensed agent.

Upon completion of this form (opens in new window), your insurance coverage information is sent to agents in your area who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to leave your house as quotes are delivered immediately to your email address. It doesn’t get any easier!

Picking a car insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
  • Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
  • Does the agency support the community they serve?
  • Does the agent have professional designations like CIC, CPCU or AIC?
  • Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?

The different types of insurance agents

When researching a good insurance agency, there are a couple of types of agencies that you can select. Agents are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive. While both can insure your vehicles, but it’s important to know how they differ since it may influence the selection process.

Captive Agents

Captive agencies write business for a single company such as Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. These agents are not able to give you multiple price quotes so they have to upsell other benefits. They receive extensive training on their company’s products which can be an advantage.

Below are captive agents in Birmingham that can give you rate quotes.

Allstate Insurance – 5971 Chalkville Ln – Birmingham, AL 35235 – (205) 655-2500
Farmers Insurance Group – 9609 Parkway E # C – Birmingham, AL 35215 – (205) 836-3511
Liberty Mutual Insurance – 3532 Vann Rd – Birmingham, AL 35235 – (205) 655-4927

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent agents do not work for one specific company but rather can write business with many different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To move your coverage to a new company, the business is moved internally and that require little work on your part.

When shopping rates, it’s recommended you include at a minimum one independent agency to ensure the widest selection of prices.

Listed below are independent agents in Birmingham that can give you price quote information.

Goldstein Insurance – 2014 Montreat Pkwy – Birmingham, AL 35216 – (205) 978-4567
Gurley-Cooke Agency – 1521 Pinson Valley Pkwy – Birmingham, AL 35217 – (205) 841-4444
Jeff Bentley Insurance – 3305 Lorna Rd – Birmingham, AL 35216 – (205) 453-0911
Blalock Agency – 22 Inverness Center Pkwy – Birmingham, AL 35242 – (205) 981-2424
Dixon Moore Agency – 9340 Helena Rd – Birmingham, AL 35244 – (205) 402-2181

For a full directory of auto insurance agents in Birmingham, visit this site.

After receiving answers to your satisfaction and locked in a price quote, chances are good that you have found a car insurance agent that is a good match to adequately provide auto insurance.

But what about Progressive, Geico and other online companies?

Insurance agencies are perfect for certain consumers, but Alabama drivers can also buy direct online. Even companies who sell through agents in Birmingham also give you the ability to get a quote and buy online, and that is helpful.

If you’re uneasy about not getting proper coverage, this is expected but don’t let that bother you. Auto insurance companies that require consumers to choose their own coverages provide options that you can contact for information. You may also access anytime access to help and a customer research section to help you answer questions.

Do people save by buying online? That is a tough question to answer due to the large number of individual components that can increase policy rates. It’s often assumed that buying directly from the company cuts out the middleman. But the reality is the cost of constant advertising is expensive and that can cost more than having to pay agents.

Final thoughts

People leave their current company for a variety of reasons including poor customer service, being labeled a high risk driver, lack of trust in their agent or high rates after DUI convictions. It doesn’t matter what your reason, finding a new company is less work than it seems.

Affordable auto insurance can be purchased both online and also from your neighborhood Birmingham agents, so compare prices from both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance companies may not provide the ability to get a quote online and these small, regional companies work with independent agents.

More consumer information in Alabama

Even more information can be found at the Alabama Department of Insurance website. Alabama drivers can read industry bulletins, view agent and company licensing information, learn about specific coverages, and view a list of available companies.

Also read more on this site for auto insurance information in Alabama and this list of insurance agents in Birmingham, AL.