If you’re looking to buy auto insurance, finding the best California auto insurance agent takes more work than just making a phone call. It’s likely you not only want a competent insurance agent, but also great rates as well.
With companies like Farmers, Allstate, and independent agents having offices in San Bernardino, consumers have a hard time knowing which will provide the best rates, service and coverage. Fortunately, consumers can use online price quotes to build a list of agencies to choose from.
It’s not one size fits all
When choosing the right insurance coverage, there really is not a “best” method to buy coverage. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s so your insurance needs to address that. For instance, these questions might point out if your situation might need an agent’s assistance.
- Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?
- What discounts do I qualify for?
- Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
- Can I afford low physical damage deductibles?
- Do I need to file an SR-22 for a DUI in California?
- Do I have any recourse if my insurance company denies a claim?
- Does my car insurance cover rental cars?
- Is my vehicle covered for smoke damage?
If you’re not sure about those questions, you might consider talking to an agent.
Comparing rates from local agents
Educated insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and help in the event of a claim. The biggest benefit of comparing insurance prices online is you may find the best rates but also keep your business local. Supporting local businesses is important especially in San Bernardino.
For easy comparison, once you complete this form (opens in new window), your information is instantly submitted to insurance agents in San Bernardino who will battle for your coverage. You won’t need to visit any agencies because quoted prices will be sent directly to your email. Now that’s easy!
Independent or Captive: It’s your choice
When looking for a reputable insurance agent or broker, there are a couple of different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in San Bernardino can either be independent (non-captive) or captive. Either one can do a good job, but it’s worth mentioning the difference between them because it can influence your agent selection.
Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company but rather can write business with any number of different companies and potentially find a lower price. To transfer your coverage to a different company, your agent can switch companies and you don’t have to find a new agent. When searching for an agent, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from multiple independent agents for the best price selection.
Listed below is a list of independent insurance agencies in San Bernardino who can help you get price quotes.
Quiditty Insurance Svc – 990 E Base Line St – San Bernardino, CA 92410 – (909) 383-1640
Sbcu Insurance Agency Inc – 421 N Sierra Way – San Bernardino, CA 92410 – (909) 384-9987
North American Insurance Agcy – 225 W Hospitality Ln – San Bernardino, CA 92408 – (909) 888-1321
Captive Insurance Agents
This type of agents are contracted to one company such as State Farm, Allstate and AAA. They generally cannot place coverage with different providers so they have to upsell other benefits. They are very knowledgeable on their company’s products which can be an advantage.
The following are captive agencies in San Bernardino willing to provide rate quotes.
Farmers Insurance Group – 1911 Commercenter E # 115 – San Bernardino, CA 92408 – (909) 383-1215
State Farm Insurance – 454 N Arrowhead Ave – San Bernardino, CA 92401 – (909) 889-4017
Allstate Insurance – 560 N D St – San Bernardino, CA 92401 – (909) 381-6421
To view a complete directory of captive agents in San Bernardino, visit this site.
Choosing an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:
- Is working in the agency their full-time job?
- Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
- How often do they review policy coverages?
- What insurance companies do they work with?
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- How are they compensated?
Once you have reasonable responses for all questions you ask and a good coverage price, you may have just found an auto insurance agent that can service your policy.
Can I save by eliminating the insurance agent?
Licensed agents serve a purpose, but you also have the option of buying direct over the internet. Even companies that sell primarily through agents also give you the ability to buy direct on their websites, and that can save time if you’re trying to lower your rates.
If you’re worried about not having someone to ask questions when buying direct, that shouldn’t be an issue. All companies provide customer service to answer your questions. Consumers also can use live chat and online tools so you can feel comfortable buying online.
Is online auto insurance cheaper? Many people think so, but it’s hard to say for sure since there are many things that can increase policy rates. Common logic is that buying car insurance online saves the commission normally paid to an agent. For most companies selling online, however, the cost of constant advertising is expensive and that can cost more than having to pay agents.
Additional auto insurance information can be found on the website for the California Department of Insurance located here. Visitors are able to view agent and company licensing information, read state legal mandates and laws, and find out which companies have the most complaints.
Do the work, save more money
People who switch companies do it for a number of reasons such as extreme rates for teen drivers, not issuing a premium refund, an unsatisfactory settlement offer and even policy cancellation. Whatever your reason, finding a new auto insurance company can be easy and end up saving you some money.
Low-cost auto insurance is attainable from both online companies and also from your neighborhood San Bernardino agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best rate selection. A few companies may not provide the ability to get a quote online and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.