The insurance answer for defining market is the prospective companies that you can shop for your insurance.

An insurance broker can request quotes from more then one company and thus shop the market for their clients. A direct writer has a more limited market in that they represent one insurance company. An agent can have more then one company but is usually more limited to choice then a broker.

Having more markets can be to your advantage. You can gain wider coverage and receives quotes to help you get the best pricing available. That being said, online insurance can provide good pricing but without the same advice that you could get from a broker or agent.

Expert advice is often in your best interest particularly if your needs pertain to a business. Consider a broker or agent as an insurance partner to help you gain the protection you need for financial catastrophe if you experience a claim.

The insurance answer for you is determined by your needs. If you feel very comfortable with controlling your own policy then check what is available from all the sources and choose whichever one you want. If you want an experienced adviser to assist you then an agent or broker is recommended.