02/23/2015 12:00 EST | Updated 03/12/2015 01:59 EDT

Need A Hand? 5 Situations Where It Makes Sense To Call A Broker

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With Google at your disposal, navigating your insurance options seems simple and straightforward — but once you start delving in, you may find that it's anything but. Sometimes it just makes sense to call in a professional to help you sort through the vast array of information; here are five situations where it makes sense to step away from Google and seek out an insurance broker:

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When you're new to the game

Is this your first time buying insurance? Although it seems like it should be straightforward, there are lots of aspects of insurance to consider: deductibles, conditions, cancellations, extras, discounts and so forth. An insurance broker deals with dozens of different insurers every day and knows all the ins and outs of the different policies. What's more, they're willing to take the time to advise, educate and help you address your individual needs. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

When you want to explore your options

Your bank promises that it will always give you the best rate, but often their "best rate" is higher than the other rates you're seeing or hearing about. This is more than just frustrating; it leaves you wondering if you’re getting the best possible rate you can. Sure, there can be definite advantages to using one institution for all your important financial dealings — loyalty discounts, for instance — but if you're feeling a little uninformed about all of the options available to you, it can't hurt to see what a broker has to offer by shopping around at a number of different places. Plus, they become your customer service advocate — no more fighting with advisors or waiting on hold. They'll do all of that for you.

When price really matters

After mortgaging a home, starting a business or buying your dream car, it's only natural to find yourself a little strapped for cash and not wanting a large chunk of the income you do have going towards insuring that new asset that you worked so hard to obtain. Working with a mortgage broker will nearly always get you a better rate than you would find on your own, so you'll have one less thing to worry about financially.

When your situation is complicated

Do you have unique assets? A distinct risk potential? Multiple stakeholders? Property in several locations? If you're dealing with many different considerations, it can be difficult to find an insurance policy that can be customized to suit your needs. An insurance broker works with all sorts of clients, businesses, and insurers on a wide range of diverse situations, so they're well-equipped to help you find the right insurance solution to meet your unique requirements.

When you don't have time to shop around

Sure, you could spend a few weeks or months calling around and scouring the internet for the best rate to suit your needs — and if you have lots of free time, go for it. But for the rest of us who have a to-do list that rivals a Tolstoy novel in length, insurance brokers are a good option. Brokers have the ability to cut to the chase and find the best deal at the click of a button, and it's their job to boil down complicated facts and figures into a quick and simple decision for you.