Is a Car Insurance Broker Worth It?

A car insurance broker can help you find cheap auto coverage and avoid policy mistakes, but there’s sometimes an added fee.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
A car insurance broker is like a personal insurance shopper. Unlike insurance agents, they work directly for consumers and can help you save money and choose the right coverage
While some brokers charge a fee, others work on commission, meaning that the advantages of using one can outweigh any added costs. But if you’ve never shopped for
car insurance
with a broker before, you might have some questions. We’re here to answer those questions and help you find the
cheap car insurance
you need. 
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What is a car insurance broker—and who needs one?

A car insurance broker is a skilled insurance professional who can help clients compare insurance policies from multiple companies at no added cost
Working with an insurance broker is a good way to lower your insurance costs, avoid insurers that are hard to work with, and tailor your coverage to your actual needs. 
Anyone can shop for car insurance without a broker simply by calling up an insurance company or
going online for a free quote
. But most drivers can benefit from insurance brokers, especially if they’re: 
Insurance brokers make money in two ways. Some brokers
charge a fee
in exchange for their services, which can add to your overall costs. However, brokers are required by law to tell you that fee upfront, and you’ll only have to pay it after you sign an insurance policy contract. If you decline the policy the broker finds for you, you won’t have to pay. 
But many brokers don’t charge fees at all. Instead, they earn money through commissions, which come directly from insurance companies and won’t raise the cost of your coverage. You’d pay the same amount if you bought the policy directly from the company. 

Insurance agents vs. insurance brokers

Don’t get insurance brokers confused with insurance agents. While both agents and brokers help customers buy insurance, there’s one very big difference. 
Brokers work for their clients, while insurance agents work for insurance companies. There are two different types of insurance agents: 
  • Captive agents, who work for a single insurance company and will only sell policies from that provider
  • Independent insurance agents, who work for more than one insurer and can compare coverage options and auto insurance rates from different insurance providers
While an independent insurance agent can do a lot of the same things a broker can, they are still representatives of the insurance companies they work for and may direct buyers towards more expensive policies. 
Insurance brokers, on the other hand, represent consumers. Because they’re paid mainly through fees and commissions, brokers have a built-in incentive to find a policy that meets your insurance needs and fits your budget. The happier you are with the insurance provider they match you with, the more money the broker makes—so you’ll be their priority, not the company. 
"I was nervous to buy insurance for my first car because I had heard horror stories about the insurance prices in New York. After not even two minutes, I found four quotes from
under $125/month. By the end of the night, I was on the road safe and insured!” —Reuben R. 

What are the pros and cons of working with an auto insurance broker?

The main advantage of working with a car insurance broker is the expertise they’ll bring from their experience in the insurance industry. A broker can help you: 
  1. Avoid overpaying for car insurance: You might be paying for coverage you’ll never use or paying well above the industry average for necessary coverage. Brokers can quickly identify bloat in your insurance policy and help you trim down any unnecessary costs. 
  2. Avoid being underinsured: On the other hand, if you’re really trying to cut down your costs, you may have inadvertently given up coverage that could save you from
    catastrophic financial losses
    . A broker will know the difference between prudent shopping and unnecessary risk and can help you lock in the right coverage at a price that works for you. 
  3. Shop for multiple insurance products: Maybe you own a home and a small business in addition to your car—and you need insurance for all of it. Some brokers can help you shop for
    homeowners insurance
    , business insurance, or life insurance alongside your auto policy.  
  4. Get the real scoop on car insurance companies: Because agents work for insurance providers, they won’t always be transparent about things like customer service and claims handling. If you’ve been burned by a provider in the past, a broker can help you navigate the market with insider knowledge. 
  5. Interpret car insurance jargon: The insurance industry relies on causing headaches for consumers with dense language. If you just want to get auto insurance quotes without having to look up a bunch of
    unfamiliar terms
    , a broker can translate them for you. 
  6. Save time and money: The main advantage of shopping with a broker is skipping the time-consuming
    quote comparison process
    —and still getting the best rates on cheap car insurance. 
Working with an insurance broker can add a small amount to your overall insurance costs, but it could save you enough to make up for that added expense. 
helped me change to Progressive after being with my previous insurer for 25 years. The app is amazing! It grabs your information and finds you a huge variety of choices between insurance carriers and coverage levels.”—Leila S. 

Disadvantages of working with a broker

Of course, the big disadvantage of working with a broker is the potential added cost. If your broker charges you a fee, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether the extra expense is worth the savings and guidance you’d get in exchange. 

Advantages of working with a mobile broker

If you’re on the fence about using a broker, keep in mind the added advantages of working with a mobile broker like the
  • No face-to-face interaction or phone calls: Look, we get it. Insurance shopping isn’t fun. Neither are phone calls or visits to an insurance agency. Using a mobile broker lets you skip the worst parts of buying insurance and do it all via text. 
  • Lightning-fast shopping: Thanks to the power of AI and machine learning, a trusted quote comparison app like Jerry can get you results in seconds (unlike a traditional broker, who might take hours or days to get back to you). 
  • Easy-to-use guided insurance comparison: If you prefer a more hands-on approach to insurance shopping, a mobile broker can allow you to analyze your options yourself, with helpful definitions and guidance available to help you make informed decisions. 
Because shopping with a mobile broker is fast, convenient, and doesn’t require any extra phone calls or office visits, it’s an easy way for drivers who might not need a traditional broker’s assistance to find instant savings on their car insurance rates.
"My old insurance renewed at double my previous rate, so it was time to switch. Because of
, I’m a 22-year-old with full coverage Nationwide at $130/month and $250 deductibles. That’s unheard of!” —Isaac S.

How to get the best car insurance quotes (with or without a broker)

There are three basic ways to get car insurance quotes: 
  • Through an agent: Anyone can call up an insurance company or speak to a local agent to get quotes. Most companies also offer online quotes. The downside of this method is that you’ll have to do a lot of legwork to get quotes from multiple agents to compare rates—or just accept whatever you get. 
  • Through a traditional broker: Find an insurance broker near you and ask for a free consultation. You’ll get customized quotes and have the option to decline coverage if you’re not happy with the plans you’re given—but be sure to ask about fees and incentives so you understand exactly what you’re paying for. 
  • Through a mobile broker: Download the Jerry app or another trusted quote comparison app. Enter your information, wait a minute or two, and review your quotes in the app. If you’ve got any questions, Jerry’s live agents can answer by text or phone. There’s no fee for using Jerry, and you’ll pay the same amount as you would if you went to the trouble of contacting companies directly. 

Bottom line: is a car insurance broker worth it?

Using a mobile broker like Jerry is worth it for any driver, since there’s no added cost to shopping with Jerry. 
In addition to car insurance savings, Jerry can help you find cheap home insurance, renters insurance, and even auto loan refinancing offers. 
"This was so easy! Signing up with
saved me $499 on my semi-annual insurance. As if it was nothing!” —Kache P.
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Insurance brokers get paid through fees or commissions. Fees may be capped by state laws, and they’ll always be listed upfront. Commissions come directly from insurance companies and won’t affect your insurance premium.
If you’re a landlord or business owner looking for a complex insurance policy, go with a large brokerage firm. If you’re an ordinary driver looking for cheap insurance, use a convenient mobile broker like Jerry.
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