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What is an Independent Insurance Agent?

Independent Insurance Agent

In the simplest definition, an independent insurance agent is a professional who sells insurance policies for several different insurance companies. This means independent agents are not tied to any one company and can contract with a variety of insurance companies.  As a result, they can offer a wider variety of policies and insurance products. This improves the client’s ability to get coverage that fits their specific needs. This is a key difference between an independent and a captive insurance agent.

Independent insurance agents provide comparison quotes

Independent insurance agents are the “OG” of comparison rate quotes. They can compare insurance policies and rates from multiple insurance companies, offering policyholders a range of options. This ability to shop the market improves the consumer’s chances of getting the right coverage for their needs and budget.  Clients are not limited to the coverage options provided by a single insurance company.

The role of the independent agent

Like their captive agent counterparts, an independent agent must understand the client’s insurance needs and goals. Only by fully understanding the consumer’s goals and needs can the agent shop the large variety of carriers and policies to provide a customized insurance solution. Because of this, an independent agent needs more experience. They are compelled to understand the rules, products, premium ratings, and underwriting of several companies.

If done correctly, the independent has a better chance to tailor insurance products and recommendations to meet the consumer’s objectives.

Experience and accessibility and more products

One of the key benefits of working with an independent insurance agent is the level of personal attention and expertise offered. Independent agents are often more accessible and responsive to their clients than captive agents, who are frequently restricted by the policies and procedures of their exclusive insurance company relationship.

An experienced independent agent will have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to offer their clients. They understand the ins and outs of many different insurance products and policies and can provide valuable advice and guidance to help clients make informed decisions about their insurance coverage.

Independent insurance agents save you money

One of the biggest advantages of working with an independent insurance agent is the ability to save money on insurance. Independent agents have access to a range of insurance products and policies from multiple insurance companies, which allows them to offer competitive rates and discounts to their clients. Clients can often find insurance coverage that is more affordable than what they might be able to find on their own.

Do independent insurance agents sell quality policies?

The short answer is yes. In fact, some of the oldest and most respected insurance companies work with independent insurance agents. Companies like:

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  • Travelers Insurance

  • Safeco Insurance

  • Liberty Mutual

  • CSE

  • NatGen Premier

  • The Hartford

  • Progressive

  • Berkshire Hathaway GUARD

  • Mercury

  • Nationwide

  • Chubb

  • .. and more

An independent cannot offer State Farm or Farmers Insurance, because these companies are represented by captive insurance agents. What is interesting, however, is that the captive companies continue to find ways to work with independents. For instance, Farmers purchased MetLife and Allstate offers both Allstate branded companies and NatGen Premier through independents.

Why don’t you hear more about independents?

Because there is exclusivity between the captive agent and their carrier, these insurance companies advertise much more than companies offer through independents. Additionally, the captive agent is more included to use the insurance company’s logo and brand as their identity. These two things work together to help aid awareness in the community.

However, because an insurance company advertises regularly, doesn’t make them a better company. They have to advertise because they know their agents are at a comparative disadvantage when it comes to the choice an independent insurance agent can offer.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for insurance coverage that is tailored to your specific needs and budget, working with an independent insurance agent is a great option.

If you take the time to choose a good insurance agent, an independent agent can make a real difference. Their broad range of insurance products and services, expert advice, and guidance, will help you find the coverage that is right for you. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, an independent insurance agent can help you make informed decisions about your insurance coverage. In fact, IronPoint Insurance Services is an independent agency, you can contact us if you’d like a quote or start online.

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