Captive and Independent Insurance Agents

Insurance agents perform many functions including providing quotes to clients and selling them a policy. An insurance agent can either be a captive agent or an independent agent but both provide the same service to clients. An insurance agent is convenient because they are local and they will provide or seek answers to a client’s question.

One type of insurance agent that is employed by an insurer is called a captive agent. A captive agent is an insurance agent that sells insurance products exclusively for only one insurance company. Some of the insurance companies that use captive agents included Nationwide, AllState and State Farm. These insurers will usually provide their captive agents with an allowance for office expenses and benefits such as pensions as well as continued insurance training. Many insurance carriers are trying to contain business costs by shedding their captive agents and relying more on independent agents or direct marketing through the mail, by phone and on the Internet.

Another type of insurance agent that is utilized by many types of insurers is called an independent agent. An independent agent is able to write business with many different insurers from which they have obtained a license. There are many benefits for the independent agent when selling insurance products. These include the ability to obtain multiple insurance price quotes to find a company with the best price. An independent agent can sometime obtain additional discounts on certain types of insurance products depending on their standing with an insurer. Also, these types of agents generally earn a commission from each type of policy that they write for an insurer.

Whether or not an agent is captive or independent they both provide the same type of functions. That is they both sell various types of insurance products to their insureds or clients. An insurance agent is also capable of servicing a policy for an insured. This means that if an insured requires more coverage or needs to make a change to their policy the agent can do that. Unlike a captive agent an independent agent makes use of a marketing representative as a contact with a particular insurance company. The marketing representative is available to answer questions from an agency as well as promote and market a company’s insurance products.

An insurance agent is usually local and available to answer questions from an insured or potential clients. A captive agent or independent agent are both a good way to sell and market insurance products because an agent can recommend additional products to their clients. Many times an insured will buy an additional policy because they like the agent that they use.