Myth No. 5: Working with many agents saves money
Should you shop for your life insurance through one agent or several? Can a one-company "captive" agent get you the best rates? How about your multiline home-auto insurer?
While situations vary, Steuer recommends working with one agent or broker who writes for a dozen or more companies, especially if you have health issues.
"Some companies just won't touch cancer patients; other companies will consider them on a case-by-case basis or they'll consider cancer survivors," he says. "Then sometimes there's a competitive advantage where your agent will say, 'Company A is willing to go standard (rates) on this. Will you consider going standard on it as well?' and set up a negotiation."
What about using several agents? "It doesn't work out well because then you have to interpret all the stuff that you're getting from the agents rather than hiring an expert to sort through it," he says.
How about using a captive agent? "That would be a major disadvantage because they don't have multiple underwriters," Steuer says.
That said, your home-auto insurer may not be a bad choice for those who want to keep all their policies under one roof.
"You'll probably pay 5 (percent) to 10 percent more in premiums," he says. But for some, that might be worth it."