The Benefits of Shopping Insurance Through an Independent Agent

When you’re shopping for an insurance policy, you will be approached by two kinds of agents; captive and independent. Knowing the difference between both can save you a lot of time and money. Read on to know everything about both.

So, Who’s Who & What’s What?

If you’re confused between who’s an independent agent and who’s the captive one, then don’t fret; the good thing is you are making an effort to find the difference. Many don’t even bother and end up paying a lot more or getting a useless policy. That said, here’s the difference between both:

Captive Insurance Agent:

Many leading insurance companies have their own army of agents that know their company’s policies and products by heart. As a result, they can better educate the customers, offer discounts and suggest products that they do need.

They are the captive insurance agents because they work with just one insurer, hence the word ‘captive’. But because of this, they hold client satisfaction extremely important as it will benefit their company, ultimately helping their career.

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Independent Insurance Agents:  

As the name suggests, they are the free birds with several insurance companies’ products under their wings. They have a range of options for the same policy to offer to their clients and help them get the best quotes.

However, they’re not as educated about every company’s policies, products and discounts as the captive agents. This means there is a risk you may not be fully informed about a coverage’s policies when making a purchase.

So Which One Should I Work With?

This is the literal million-dollar question that you should be asking yourself. However, if you ask us, we will say both have their strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few key advantages and disadvantages of working with both:

  • Captive Agents specialize in the products they are selling to you. Working for one company compels them to learn everything about the product from the inside out. You will be able to leverage that knowledge to make a well-informed decision.
  • Captive Agents are not free birds (Self-employed) like independent agents, so they cannot make mistakes, resulting in client dissatisfaction, leading to losing their job at the company. This will benefit you, as you will be given proper time, guidance and support.
  • Independent Agents are best when it comes to getting a policy at low costs. They offer you a range of policies with varying prices so you can get the most economical one. Captive agents will sell only their company’s policy, no matter how expensive it is.
  • When it’s time for making a claim, independent agents will work on your behalf to get the documents ready and ensure the claim is cleared (if it’s a legit one). On the other hand, Captive agents will work on their company’s behalf, so you may need to do everything on your own.

Both of them have their pros and cons, and if cost is not your concern and you want to make a well-informed decision, captive agents may be better suited for you.