Types of Insurance Agents: A Basic Guide

There are many times in your life when you need to take out insurance. Some of those times are pretty straightforward and you can easily compare plans for yourself and make an informed decision. However, there are also times when choosing the right plan, or even figuring out what types of plans are available, isn’t so obvious. For example, when you buy insurance for your small business, when you buy home insurance, or when you buy life insurance, you are making some very important decisions on a very complex subject.

When you are looking for an insurance policy that can affect your life so severely, it is a good idea to find an insurance agent who can help you choose a policy that is right for you. There are three basic types of insurance professionals who can help you:

Independent Insurance Agent

An independent insurance agent is an agent who is not employed by one insurance company. Typically, the agent works with a select few companies and helps customers choose policies from one of them. This can be useful because the policies of different insurance companies may have different strengths and weaknesses, which the agent is familiar with. An independent agent is a good option if you’re not sure which company to go with, but you know that the price ranges and coverages they offer are comparable. Essentially, you only need the agent to make sure you get the best deal.

Capital Insurance Agent

A captive insurance agent is one that only works for one specific company. Obviously, this type of agent is the way to go if you already know you want a policy from that insurance company. These agents will help you compare different policies to determine which coverage and price is right for you. They’re just policies from the same company, that’s all. Sometimes customers already have insurance with a certain insurer and prefer to buy new policies from the same insurer.

Insurance agent

Insurance brokers are not agents because they do not sell policies directly. Working with insurance brokers is usually reserved for the most complex insurance needs. Insurance brokers contact agents from many different insurance companies to determine which policies are available, how much they cost, and what type of coverage you can expect. An insurance broker can even negotiate with insurance agents to lower the price.

Another reason why you may want to use an insurance broker is if you want customized insurance. If you are looking for an insurance agency that has policies that can be tailored exactly to your needs, an insurance broker can be a useful resource. However, more and more insurance companies recognize that there is a high demand for personalized policies. This makes it relatively easy to find an agency that offers such policies, wherever you are.