Purchasing insurance can be overwhelming when factoring in all the information needed and understanding policy coverages, limits and exclusions. While you can buy your insurance directly from an insurance company or use a captive agent, there is another option: an independent agent.
.What is an Independent Insurance Agent?
An independent agent works with multiple insurance companies to offer an entire suite of insurance products to meet consumer needs. Captive agents work with just one insurance company, offering only the products offered by that specific company. When you call one of those “800” numbers you see on television, you are only getting one rate- theirs!
According to a 2018 agency Universe Study by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. (IIABA), there are approximately 36,500 independent insurance agencies in the United States. The IIABA has partnered with 47 insurance companies across the country, which independent insurance agents can access through their network. If an insurance company has the Trusted Choice logo, it is represented by independent agencies.
What are the Advantages of Independent Insurance Agents?
There are several advantages to working with independent insurance agents vs captive agents.
Multiple Quotes from Different Companies
One of the best benefits to working with an independent insurance agency is having them shop for insurance quotes for you. With access to multiple companies, the independent insurance agent can check rates with several companies at once.
You only have to provide your household information once, which saves you time. Independent insurance agents want to provide you with the best insurance rate so you will choose them, so it may save you more money than shopping on your own or working with a captive agent.
Agent Can Stay With You if You Switch Providers
When your policy comes up for renewal, your agent will know. An independent agent can find out about an insurance increase and shop for better rates to help you determine if you should stay with the same company or switch.
Even if you switch insurance carriers, you can stay with the same insurance agent. This can allow you to build a relationship with your independent insurance agent no matter what company you choose for your insurance policies.
Personalized Customer Service
While captive agents can also provide personalized customer service, independent insurance agents will work hard to keep your business so you do not go to another agency. This means answering questions about rates, coverages and claims or filing claims on your behalf. If there is an issue with your coverage or claim, you can depend on your independent insurance agent to help resolve your problem.
Your Best Interests
On top of personalized customer service, an independent agent is not bound by the same rules and restrictions as captive agents, so they can use their knowledge of companies and policies to steer you in the right direction. Unlike captive agents, we represent you- not the insurance companies.
Smaller Insurance Companies
Independent insurance agencies typically work with small- to mid-size insurance companies, though they do work with some of the larger companies like Progressive. An independent agent may present you with an insurance quote from an unfamiliar company but one that still meets your needs and offers the right insurance coverage for your family.
As an independent agent for over 35 years, we know how to find our clients the right coverage for their situations at the most competitive pricing. Often times, carriers will adjust their pricing- some companies filing for rate increases while others may opt for a rate decrease. When this happens, we can do the shopping on your behalf to find the best option at that time. Far too often, when prices go up, our clients don’t realize that we can usually find a better option for them as opposed to going to another agency where they may not know the staff, and they won’t know you. Before looking elsewhere, always call us first to see if we can help you. If you have any questions whatsoever, you can call us at 781-289-7445 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org