There are two types of insurance agents, Captive insurance agents, and independent insurance agents.
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive insurance agents are agents that work with and for one company. They are usually employees or subcontractors of that insurance carrier and have one option of products or brands they are allowed to sell. Captive insurance companies are places like State Farm, Geico, Farmers & Allstate.
Independent Insurance Agents
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple different insurance carriers and can determine what is the best options for you, the consumer. A common phrase is, they can do the insurance shopping for you. They can provide options and find out which insurance company fits your needs.
Not all independent agents are the same, nor do they all have access to the same companies. But all independent agents are going to offer you an unbiased opinion as they do not work for one insurance carrier, they work with many.
Independent agents are also free to use. What I mean by that is they get paid a portion of your insurance premium by the insurance company. There are no additional fees added to your auto or home insurance policies.
Who is better
This article is not to determine who is a better fit for you. Each consumer needs to determine who they would like to do business with and why.
While Captive Insurance agents will give you usually an extremely large national brand name and some products that go with that, Independent agents will give you more than a personal relationship. You usually choose to buy insurance through an independent agent because you want to do business with them, not necessarily one of the insurance companies that they represent.
Independent insurance agents will work for you and give you advice as a trusted advisor, not just someone who is selling products.
I think it is important to look at all options when choosing an insurance agent. See what it will be like to work with a Captive agent and an independent agent. I know price is a driving force behind most insurance decisions but I recommend the relationship and trust you feel should be just as important.
Working with an independent insurance agent will help you understand the coverage you have, what you need and the options available to you.
If you don’t have a relationship with an independent agent or want a review of your insurance?
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