Oakland, CA Car Insurance Agent 101

When trying to find a good insurance agent in Oakland, California, you can always do an initial search for an agent online to save yourself time. It’s highly likely that not only do you want a highly trained agent, but you also need great rates as well.

With companies like independent agents, Allstate and State Farm having offices in Oakland, it’s hard to tell which car insurance agent will have the best service and rates. To help decide, it’s easy to use online quoting to build a list of agencies from which to choose.

Best way to find Oakland agents

Good agents can help determine the best coverages and help you file claims. The biggest benefit of price shopping on the web is that you can obtain the best rates but also keep your business local. Supporting local agencies is definitely important in Oakland.

To find an agent, once you fill out this quick form, your coverage information is sent to local insurance agents who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You don’t have to leave your computer since price quotes are sent straight to your inbox. How’s that for easy!

Choose an insurance agent wisely

When looking for local Oakland agents, there are a couple of different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Oakland agents are classified as either independent (non-captive) or captive. Both do a good job, but it’s worth learning the differences because it can impact your selection of an agent.

Independent Agencies or Brokers

Independent agents are not required to write business for one company but instead can place your coverage with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. If you are not satisfied with one company, an independent agent can move your coverage and you won’t have to switch agencies. When shopping rates, it’s a good idea to include at least one independent agent for maximum quote selection. Most have the option of insuring with lesser-known insurance companies which can save you money.

Below is a list of independent agents in Oakland that are able to give pricing information.

  • John S Allen Agency – 5301 Claremont Ave – Oakland, CA 94618 – (510) 658-2722
  • Norm Young Agency – 4335 Piedmont Ave – Oakland, CA 94611 – (510) 652-2004
  • David E Quan Agency – 523 47th St – Oakland, CA 94609 – (510) 653-8880
  • RRPI Insurance Svc – 1700 Broadway # 2 – Oakland, CA 94612 – (510) 832-7774
  • First Stop Insurance Svc – 4067 Sequoyah Rd – Oakland, CA 94605 – (510) 777-1766
Captive Insurance Agents

Captive agents work for only one company such as Allstate, Farmers Insurance, State Farm and AAA. They generally cannot provide prices from multiple companies so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. Captive agents are trained well on their products and sales techniques which can be an advantage. Consumers frequently purchase coverage from captives mainly due to loyalty to the company and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.

Below is a list of captive agents in Oakland that can give you comparison quotes.

  • Allstate Insurance – 3608 Grand Ave # 203 – Oakland, CA 94610 – (510) 451-4933
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 828 Harrison St – Oakland, CA 94607 – (510) 465-0582
  • State Farm Insurance – 6228 Merced Ave – Oakland, CA 94611 – (510) 339-4444

To view a complete directory of car insurance agents in Oakland, please view this page.

Deciding on an insurance agency shouldn’t rely on just the bottom line cost. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
  • How are they compensated?
  • Is vehicle mileage a factor when determining depreciation for repairs?
  • Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
  • How much can you save by raising your physical damage deductibles?
  • Who are their largest clients?
  • Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
  • Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?

After receiving acceptable answers as well as a affordable price, chances are good that you have found a car insurance agent that will properly service your car insurance policy.

You have the option to buy auto insurance direct online

Auto insurance agents are a valuable resource, but California consumers also have the option to buy from online companies direct. Some companies who sell through the agent channel also allow you to buy a policy online, and that is helpful if you don’t want to take the time to contact agents.

If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll have guidance, this is expected but don’t let that bother you. Car insurance companies provide access to licensed agents for getting questions answered.

Is pricing better online? That question is hard to answer since there are many things that can increase policy rates. Many people think that buying online cuts out the agent as a middleman. For most online online companies, however, marketing their products costs a lot of money and that can quickly cost more than paying an agent.

Additional information is located on the California Department of Insurance website located here. California drivers can read consumer alerts, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, find disaster information, and learn about specific coverages.

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Summing up your car insurance search

Cheap car insurance can be bought both online and also from your neighborhood Oakland agents, so you should compare both to have the best rate selection. Some insurance companies may not provide online quoting and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.

California insurance company

People switch companies for a number of reasons such as delays in paying claims, being labeled a high risk driver, high rates after DUI convictions and extreme rates for teen drivers. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch choosing a new insurance company is less work than it seems.