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I have had my home & auto insurance with USAA for a couple of years now, and have never filed a claim. I have heard people recommend finding a broker with physical presence, to deal with face-to-face if I ever need to file a claim. And as well to consult with as other insurance needs arise. Is an online relationship with an insurance broker sufficient to meet these needs?

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"Traditional" insurance agent guy here. There is no right answer in my opinion because your individual needs cannot be generalized.

There are a variety of factors that influence the price charged to you including but not limited to your past claims history, geographic location, credit profile, and the carrier's book of business itself. This is just a small sampling, in reality their pricing calculations may be far more complicated. The point is there is no one-size-fits all carrier.

My agency works with 15 different carriers. Sometimes we can offer the best combination of coverage and cost to a prospective client that beats their existing coverage; other times we are nowhere close to being competitive.

The most important thing you can do is find a person/site/company you can trust and one that does not take advantage of you. Insurance policies are complex and "getting the best deal" may oftentimes mean lessening coverage without realizing it. So I would recommend using whatever service channel (online, phone, local agent) that's most convenient and consultative for you. And otherwise, shop around once every year or two to make sure you're still getting the most for your money.

  • +1. Welcome to Money.SE! Thanks for the disclaimer and for the insight. – Ben Miller May 2 '16 at 1:59

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protected by Chris W. Rea Apr 10 at 11:12

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