Using a National Insurance Broker vs. Local Agent

A woman reads her notes on her desk about the difference between purchasing insurance through a brokerage vs. agent

Comparing prices and coverage from multiple insurance companies is an important part of the insurance shopping process. While you can gather quote comparisons on your own, you can also opt to go through the process with a professional. If you’re considering partnering with a professional to shop for insurance rates, you have the option to work with either a national insurance broker or a local agent, with each offering a different experience. Here’s what you need to know about using a national insurance broker versus a local agent.

What does a local insurance agent do?

A local insurance agent sells and negotiates various forms of insurance to match the needs of their customer. An agent may work for multiple insurance companies, more representing the company than the customer, often making their money entirely from commissions. At SelectQuote, our licensed insurance agents are licensed in all 50 states, and while they may be local to you, as a national insurance brokerage, we may be able to provide you with more choice and tailored coverage from the trusted insurance companies we represent.

What does a national insurance broker do?

National insurance brokers work as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance company. A broker represents the customer instead of the insurance company, and is often a better option for those with complicated insurance needs. SelectQuote is an insurance brokerage that partners with multiple home and auto insurance companies to match you to the best insurance carrier and coverage for you. SelectQuote not only gives you price quotes, but also handles every step of the insurance buying process. 

National Insurance Brokerage vs. Local Insurance Agent: The Main Differences

  • Geographic coverage and knowledge of local vs. national markets
    • Using a local insurance agent can be beneficial for home insurance, for example, as they have insider knowledge of your home’s location and community, and can help you find the best coverage for the risks you face in your area. 
  • Process
    • An agent can complete the entire insurance transaction while a broker cannot. A broker can get price quotes from multiple insurers but when the customer is ready to buy, they’ll be connected to the insurance company. 
  • Customer service
    • A local agent may understand your situation better simply by being local. A national broker represents the customer, not the insurer, so you can be confident that they have your best interests in mind. 
  • Dependability
    • National insurance brokerages have been around for years and can offer peace of mind of not worrying about whether your insurance company can pay your claim. 
  • Cost
    • With brokers representing multiple insurance companies, they can help you compare prices and coverage to find the best choice for you. Brokers are required to provide full disclosures on commission rates so you can be confident that you are receiving honest service. 

How SelectQuote Can Help You Find the Best Insurance For You

No matter where you live, what your situation is, or what you need insured, SelectQuote is here to help find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. We work with some of the most trusted carriers and can help you understand the different types of coverages available, opportunities for discounts, answer any questions you have and more. Our process takes just minutes, saving you time and money.

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