There are three main ways to shop and buy insurance for your car, and there are pros and cons to
each. Online shopping and purchasing offers very convenient 24 hour ability to manage your policy with
keyboard strokes and mouse clicks. The only way to receive an accurate quote is by providing personal
information such as your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number.
Entering your personal information on the worldwide web is a hazard. Another problem with this method
of quoting and buying is the inability to take advantage of a knowledgeable "live" agent. Each auto
company has their proprietary method for segmenting or categorizing their rates into different tiers.
Each tier determines the price that is applied, to the options chosen, on a policy. A mouse, keyboard,
and interactive software will not inform you of which options to select, for access to the lowest price tiers.

A captive agent is one that represents a single company such as Allstate. Captive agents from
reputable companies go through a rigorous screening process before they are allowed to represent the
company. They are professional trusted advisors who are thoroughly trained and managed by their
companies. Captive agents know how their companies tiering system works "hands down" and will apply
that knowledge to individual circumstances to gain the lowest price. The Allstate agent, and other
captive agents, only represent one company and will not provide you with a
comparison price from
other top companies.

Independent insurance agencies represent a variety of companies. If the independent agency
represents well established, highly rated companies, such as Progressive, AIG, Mercury, Travelers,
etc... then this agency has undergone a thorough screening process. A good independent agency will
find you the right company with their lowest price tier, providing the best value for your auto policy.
Also, a good independent agency will provide this service at each renewal interval or when a substantial
change to your policy, like adding a youthful operator, affects the price.

When receiving a quote from an independent agent, the consumer gains an advantage from the ability
to compare rates and choose from a variety of companies offered by that agent. Also, this advantage
remains available at each renewal interval, providing the opportunity to save money again and again.
One thing independent agents are not able to do is provide the rate that is available directly from
Progressive. To ensure the lowest available rate from Progressive,
shoppers need to receive one quote
directly from the Company and compare that with a Progressive quote offered by an independent agent.

Initially, Progressive offered their products exclusively through independent agents. When the Company
began offering policies directly, rates remained the same for each distribution channel. At one time,
they re-branded themselves for the independents with the name “Drive Insurance”. This was short lived
in favor of leveraging the one well known name, Progressive. Experiencing these changes as an
independent agent, I believe the current business model (same name, different rates) provides for the
lowest overall rates with the least confusion.

With a little knowledge and a lot of shopping, consumers can significantly lower their cost.
Progressive is just one excellent company among many to purchase from. Receiving quotes from a
variety of companies and through a variety of purchasing methods is the best way to attain a low cost
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Cheap Car Insurance - Pros and Cons of Different Provider Types
Insurance Quotes Online by Authorized Progressive Agent