Insurance is one of those imperative, but headache producing topics that most people prefer to avoid. Having an experienced insurance agent will help you navigate the insurance world without wasting countless days and hours searching for the right insurance, and help you prevent gaps in coverage that could destroy your livelihood or cause a substantial loss that takes years to recover from. A good insurance agent will listend to your needs and suggest the coverage and policies that will best work for you and your budget.

An insurance agent is indispensable and adds no cost to your to your insurance policy. They can make sure you are covered against all perils and can find discounts to bring your premiums down. Using an agent instead of going directly to an insurance company is really a no-brainer.

But agents are not all the same, and choosing the right one can sometimes mean saving thousands on insurance in the form of the premiums you pay or the loss you could not claim because your insurance was inadequate. To properly choose the right agent you first need to understand the two types of agent you can choose from: the captive and the independent.

Captive Agents

A captive insurance agent works exclusively for one insurance company and is allowed to sell products of only the parent company. The agent is basically held “captive” by the company they work for. They can only offer you specific products and services offered by that company and are controlled by pricing structures and placement instructions. Sometimes, the company can offer competitive rates in the beginning, but as rates rise your options and that of your agent are limited to the company they work for. If you want a better price you are forced to abandon the agent you have built a relationship with and are forced to find another.

Independent Agents

An independent agent, on the other hand, can sell policies from many different companies, allowing them to be more objective about what works for the one client versus another. Unlike the captive agent, they manage their own overhead and pay their own expenses which affords them the ability to offer a wider range of insurance products. An independent agent, because of their autonomy, is not pressured to sell you a one size fits all policy. Because of the range of insurance companies they work with, they can change you to a company offering a better or more competitive product. If you decide you do not like a specific insurance company because of bad reviews or bad press you can move to another and still retain the knowledge and expertise of your agent. Bottom line, you can trust that what your independent agent tells you is in your best interest.

Why is an independent agency a better fit for the clients needs?

No doubt, both captive and independent agencies have various benefits as well as negative sides according to varying perspectives. However, independent agencies are far better than captive agencies in many ways and can better meet the clients needs. An independent insurance agency facilitates its clients with multiple options that a single product insurance company can’t.

Key benefits of working with an independent insurance agency:

  1. Flexibility– Since independent insurance agencies represent many different carriers, they can offer their clients a diverse range of coverage options and price points.
  2. Personalized Attention– Independent insurance agencies provide their clients with personalized guidance and attention to detail, understanding a wider variety of insurance products that a consumer may need.
  3. Long Term Relationship– If you don’t like your insurance company, you don’t have to go find a new agent. Your independent agent can move you to another company that suits your needs.
  4. Better Communication– An independent insurance agent understands the unique challenges of living and buying insurance in you area. They can advise you on a wider range of insurance services.

Finding a good insurance agent is hard. There are many who will throw you a policy, collect their commission, and move on. Once you have found a good independent insurance agent, you can trust that policies will remain at competitive rates and that your coverage will adequately cover you during a time of need. Choose an independent agent and build a lifetime relationship that reap dividends year after year for you, your family, or your business.