Weighing Your Options When Shopping for Insurance: Independent Brokers vs. Captive Agents
When it comes to buying insurance, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing who will provide your coverage. There are two main types of insurance agents you need to be familiar with when choosing coverage for you and your family: independent insurance brokers and captive agents. Both have their own unique benefits, but understanding the key differences between them can help you make an informed decision on which type of agent is best for you.
Independent Insurance Brokers:
Independent insurance brokers are not tied to any specific insurance company. They represent multiple insurance companies and are able to shop around to find the best coverage at the best price for their clients. No matter how unique your needs are, they can help create a plan tailored to your situation with the wide variety of options at their disposal. For example, The Legacy Guardians is an insurance brokerage offering dozens of carriers with product lines including auto, home, business, life, Medicare, specialty health insurance, and annuities.
Working with one of our independent licensed brokers means you aren't limited to one carrier's products, underwriting restrictions, or prices. As a bonus, brokers do not charge anything to do the shopping for you, it is a free service that can save you time and money.
Captive agents, on the other hand, are tied to specific insurance companies, usually representing one particular company or subsidiaries of it. Due to the limited product offering, they may have more in-depth knowledge of the products offered by their insurance company. However, they can only offer the products of the company they represent, which limits your options. This also means that captive agents may have more limited experience in the current changes in the industry marketplace or additional benefit options available with other carriers that may be more competitive for your specific needs. Furthermore, they are incentivized to sell policies from the company they represent, sometimes with specific product line quotas, which can result in them pushing certain products over others.
The main advantage of working with a captive agent is that their company brand may have more name recognition due to the marketing structure, however this may also create a higher price point for their products than may be available with an independent broker. If considering working with a captive agent, it is especially advisable to still compare with other carriers. This will require you to do additional research by individually contacting other captive agents with different carriers and/or an independent broker, like those with The Legacy Guardians, who can do the shopping for you.
How Do You Choose?
Ultimately, the choice between an independent insurance broker and a captive agent will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a wide range of coverage options and competitive prices, an independent broker like The Legacy Guardians may be the best choice. If you're looking for greater brand name recognition, you may prefer a captive agent. The key is to do your research, ask questions, and make an informed decision.
Do you have additional questions about the benefits of working with and independent brokerage like The Legacy Guardians? Contact a licensed broker on our team today to discuss. We'd love the opportunity to serve you and your family!