Category : Insurance
To make a good decision of who to work with for your insurance needs the first thing you need to understand is the role of an insurance agent. An insurance agent acts as a representative to the insurance company or companies they are appointed with for you. The agent is licensed within the state to give them the fiduciary responsibility to be your advocate. They must put your interests above their own and above any insurance company. Even though the agent is paid by the insurance company or companies they are appointed with, the agent works for you.
When working with an independent agent, you the consumer receive many benefits. One of the main benefits is you have more choices for your coverage.
Having a multitude of companies, an independent agent will be able to custom fit your needs to the variety of policies provided by those companies. You will be able to find policies that are similar with different companies but the agent will help navigate the differences. The agent will also help understand what discounts are available to reduce premiums and provide options.
Captive agents are those that identify themselves as an agent of their primary company. Captive agents have quotas or numbers of policies they have to sell with their primary company each month. So even if they have other available options from other carriers, they will first try to sell their primary company’s products. They may not even inform you fully about other possibilities for your coverage.
Direct writing insurance companies are companies that do not have representatives or agents to write their business but employees that work with consumers. This sounds like it would save you money but it doesn’t take into account what all an agent does for you. The employees can only offer you products from their company. They may offer comparisons to other carriers but they will not take into account discounts offered by they other carriers. Who do these employees represent? Do they represent you?
In conclusion, a local independent agent will work for you, offer you choices, provide all your insurance needs in one place, and be there to advocate for you when needed.