No matter what type of insurance you need, navigating the available choices can seem like a big hassle. Perhaps the first decision you'll need to make is whether to use an independent insurance broker or a direct writer. What's the difference? Simply put, independent brokers and agents will work for you and connect you to insurance products from a wide range of companies. Direct writers work for one company, usually one of the "big name" companies like Geico, and only have access to that company's products. Some large companies like Liberty Mutual and Allstate make use of both independent agents and direct writers, but many employ only direct writers. In some cases, using a direct writer is the only way to purchase a policy from a particular company.