Do You Need to Use an Insurance Agent?

Do you need an insurance agent? The advent of smartphones and other high-tech inventions have made service jobs such as insurance agents less needed. Nowadays, it seems like the younger generation prefers to do all their business online and less business face-to-face. Auto insurance agents and brokers are becoming less and less prominent as people have switched to auto insurance websites.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 3, 2021

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With the advent of the Internet, many “offline” businesses have started to become obsolete. Things that you may have once used back in the early 90s and 80s might not really exist anymore. You may remember video rental stores, which now know are hard to find because of Netflix and HBOgo. Mom and pop retail stores have also made an exit from the market thanks to sites like and eBay. Travel agents don’t really seem to have much use anymore either, as most consumers prefer to use sites like Priceline and Kayak. With that being said, how about the fate of car insurance agents and brokers? Do we really need them anymore?

The Internet, smartphones, and other high-tech inventions are all gaining popularity worldwide. A lot of this technology is making service jobs such as insurance agents less needed. Nowadays, it seems like the younger generation prefers to do all their business online and less business face-to-face. Auto insurance agents and brokers are getting less and less prominent as more people have begun to use auto insurance websites such as to compare insurance quotes.

Insurance Agents Are A Dying Profession

Are auto insurance agents even needed anymore? Do you need to use one when purchasing car insurance?

Let’s take a look at some statistics regarding market trends:

  • According to a Comscore 2011 report on auto insurance, nearly 20% of all consumers purchase their car insurance online. In addition, this number is continually rising.
  • According to a 2011 JD Power and Associates report, 58% of Generation Y consumers used insurance websites to research insurance companies before purchasing insurance.
  • The same JD Power and Associates study reports that 48% of Generation Y consumers get insurance quotes from websites (rather than brokers/agents).

The reasons for these trends are quite simple. The younger generation is more comfortable using technology to make “big purchases.” Living in the digital age, more and more people will continue to flock to the Internet in order to buy auto insurance and away from insurance brokers and agents. As insurance is a non-tangible good, consumers do not really need to “test drive” it or look it over in person before purchasing it. Using the Internet to find auto insurance “gets the job done” and is much more convenient.

The older generation, however, will continue to use auto insurance agents as they have a greater comfort in working with individuals and building long-term relationships. Insurance agents and brokers can offer that personal-connection that a computer will never be able to offer.

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Buying Auto Insurance Online Is Cheaper

Another advantage of buying insurance online without the off-line help of a broker/agent is the money that can be saved by not using one. The rising costs of insurance continue to make premiums unaffordable for many people. People on a tight budget often cannot justify spending money on a broker or agent fee, especially when all the information and tools they need are readily available online.

Apart from whatever commission you would save that would normally go to the broker or agent, by comparing rates online, you can also get rates from a broader range of companies. With one click of the mouse, you can compare rates from just about every auto insurance company out there. With this speed and convenience, why even bother using an insurance agent?

Do You Want To Buy Insurance Online?

What are your thoughts on purchasing car insurance through the Internet? Do you feel comfortable doing so or do you prefer to use an agent? If so, why? Use the comment form below to tell us what you think.

If you would like to test the waters of online insurance purchasing, enter your zip code in our form box above to get an insurance quote. By using the comparison tool, you will be able to compare quotes from the top insurance companies all in one place.

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