There are two ways to get insurance either through a broker or through an insurance company. Simply put, a broker is a third party, similar to a real estate agent that will help place you with an insurance company. The broker themselves will not be the one insuring your vehicle or home, but will simply act as the liaison as well as customer service provider for your policy. Read more about the functions of a broker: What is a Car Insurance Broker?
From the consumer’s point of view, you can either buy your insurance through a broker or straight from the insurance company. The advantage of going with an insurance broker is that they have computer systems as well as working relationships with a number of insurance companies that can assess which insurance company would be right for you. It’s also much easier to develop a relationship with your broker rather than a faceless insurance company, which can lead to a better customer service experience for you. The caveat is you have to choose a good broker.
Finding an Insurance Company
Prior to the internet, if you decided not to go through a brokerage, you would have to call up an insurance company and fill out their application in order to get a quote. The problem with this is that if you wanted to get quotes from different insurance companies you would have to keep filling out the same application over and over again. You can imagine how time consuming this was? Luckily in the late 90s, many insurers and brokerages began offering online comparison quotes in which you fill out one application and get quotes from many companies.