The best bet on insurance? A local agent.

Shopping for auto insurance is pretty straightforward, right? Find out the minimum coverage required by law and by your auto finance company, then Google up the company that can provide it for the least amount of money. After that you tick the boxes that will cost the least.

It’s a common approach, but one that leaves a lot to chance.

If you’re ever involved in a claim, this could be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. To eliminate the risk of inadequate coverage, we recommend buying auto insurance through a local agent. They can help you balance budgetary constraints with appropriate levels of protection.

Legal-minimum coverage will keep you out of trouble if you get pulled over, but that’s about all the value that’s there. In Idaho, with legal-minimum coverage will get you $25,000 in bodily injury and property damage coverage per person. And in today’s economic environment, that could leave you on the hook for hundreds of thousands. And there’s no legal recourse to make up the difference.

If you’re in an accident and you are at fault, you’ll pay for everything that your insurance company doesn’t. If you ticked the wrong box on the purchase interface, there’s no undo button.

A qualified insurance agent can help you spot these pitfalls before it’s too late. Their insight runs much deeper than tick-boxes on a screen. They know what accidents cost, and they should know how to make sure their clients won’t foot the bill.

If you are injured in an accident and are not at fault, we can often make insurance companies pay when they’re unwilling to. But we can only make the other driver’s insurance company pay for the coverage the other driver purchased and the underinsured coverage you paid to cover yourself.

Insurance companies won’t pay more than the coverage the at fault driver has purchased. A local agent can help you make sure you get the coverage (particularly under-insured coverage) and protection you need if you are in an accident.