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Benefits of an Online Multi-Carrier Brokerage Firm vs a Local Agent [guest post]

In our current hectic and fast-paced lifestyle, technology has caught up with every industry, making businesses work better, faster and safer. The life insurance industry is no different.

Shopping for Insurance OnlineTechnology has simplified the process of applying for and buying life insurance so greatly that it is now possible to buy life insurance online with just a few clicks. Most new life insurance buyers in the market are therefore left wondering whether to stick to the traditional route of meeting with a local life insurance agent or buying online.

What is a multi-carrier brokerage firm?

A multi-carrier brokerage firm, also called an online life insurance agency, conducts its life insurance business through its website. It deals with hundreds of carriers and uses technology to link in real time to life insurance carriers’ computers. This means the information it offers to the end customer is up to date and accurate. These multi-carrier brokerage firms also offer life insurance-related resources to gain information, unbiased advice, use free tools like life insurance needs calculators, and request for free quotes.

Why is buying through an online multi-carrier brokerage firm better than buying through a local agent?

The traditional way of buying life insurance through a local agent is greatly challenged by the arrival of online life insurance agencies. Let’s see why buying online is better:

  • A local agent represents just a handful of life insurance companies and may recommend the wrong product to you
    Life insurance should be bought after shopping around. Since a local agent deals with just a few carriers, you only get the best of what’s in his portfolio. Sometimes, a biased agent will even sell you policies that don’t fit your needs, only because he or she gets a higher commission on it. On the other hand, when you buy online, you are assured that the quotes recommended to you are true, because they are picked up through a database consisting of thousands of life insurance policies. The process is automated and therefore, completely unbiased.
  • Online multi-carrier agencies are fast and safe
    When you buy through a local agent, the buying process takes time. The agent will need a few days to get the information he/she needs or will have to meet you several times, and you will likely take a few days to decide. When you buy online, you can make the process as fast as you want it to be, because quotes, as well as complete information about them, is given to you in minutes.
  • Buying through an agent can get uncomfortable because you need to divulge complete personal information
    Filling up a life insurance application form manually in the presence of an agent can get uncomfortable because the agent will need to ask you a few personal questions that can embarrass you. He will also need to know the details on your finances. Buying online is more comfortable because you are not face-to-face with the person asking you questions. All you need to do is fill in their form as truthfully as possible, and you are done.
  • Multi-carrier websites are a one-stop shop
    Life insurance is a very personal decision and an online agency not only gives you quotes but also gives you access to life insurance-related resources, online tools such as life insurance needs calculators, advice on how to get the best results on your physical exam, and complete financial information and comparison charts on the quotes you shortlist. With a local agent on the contrary, the information is more likely to be subjective because agents are also looking to maximize their incomes, and they earn better on some products than on others. Also, an agent may not have access to all the information you need off the cuff and may need to meet with you several times before you can make a decision.
  • Life insurance carriers have niche areas in their underwriting processes
    This means that a particular company may look more favorably on a particular health or lifestyle condition than others. So if you are a cancer survivor, Company X may look more favorably on you than other companies. These niche areas are constantly changing, and a local agent may never be able to be on top of the latest changes, because of his limitations. A multi-carrier online agency however, is directly connected to each carrier’s network, and its database is automatically updated to reveal the latest niche areas of each carrier. You are therefore more likely to get a better life insurance rate with an online multi-carrier life insurance agency.
  • Buying online is faster, cheaper and more reliable
    Because of the above points, when you buy online through a multi-carrier life insurance agency website, you will be offered the best rates, your needs are matched to the right policies and you are able to make a well-informed decision because you are provided with complete information on the policies you are considering.
  • Afraid of buying online?
    If you are worried about using your credit card online, you can still use the services of an online multi-carrier agency website. Once you are given the quotes, you can opt for someone from the agency to call you, follow up with you, or use an alternative way to pay for your life insurance. In other words, you don’t have to pay online if you receive quotes online.

Online life insurance agency websites provide an indispensable service

The intention of this article is not to discredit the services of local agents, some of who are extremely trustworthy and committed. However, today they just can’t compete with the technological advancements that online multi-carrier agencies have incorporated into their businesses. Accessing an online multi-carrier website is simply the smarter, more economical thing to do.


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