What is an Independent Insurance Agent?

There are two types of insurance agents, independent and captive agents.

Captive agents have been hired by a company to sell only that company’s products. They do not have the flexibility to research and quote with other companies and are limited in the products they can provide. In contrast, independent agents can write for multiple companies. This allows independent agents to research and quote with different companies to find the best fit for their customer’s needs.

Different companies have different types of customers they are looking to retain. For example, if a couple has a clean driving record and young children, Company A would be the best fit for that couple, because they specialize in middle-aged drivers with no tickets or accidents. When that couple’s children start driving, Company, A might no longer be the best fit for them. Company B specializes in young drivers and can provide the same coverage at a lower price than Company A. As the couple continues to age and the children move out, Company C specializes in people over the age of 50, offering products unique to that stage of life. As the couple’s needs change, an independent agent has the knowledge and ability to write with all three companies. The advantages also include keeping their insurance in one place and partnering with one person. While a captive agent can only write for one company, an independent agent’s flexibility allows the customer to have confidence they are getting the best value and coverage for their stage of life.