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How an Independent Insurance Agency Works

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Published on Aug 28, 2016

Independent insurance agents are one of the 3 avenues to getting home, auto, and business insurance. But the differences can be hard to perceive. This video breaks down your options.

Here are some highlights:

The 3 access points to home, auto, and business insurance:

1. Online/800 Number
Go out and get your own insurance policies using a web portal or calling a hotline

2. Captive Agent
A local branch of a large insurance company. The term “captive” means the local representative works for the company.

3. Independent Agent
A small business that provides access to multiple insurance companies and advice about which company and coverage is best for you.

Pros & Cons of Each:

SPEED:
Generally, the fastest way to get an insurance quote is through direct access to an online company. Their systems are automated and can give you a quote immediately. No advice about how good your policy is but fast.

LOCAL:
Here both Captive and Independent Agents should have you covered. You can walk into their office, meet face to face, and talk through your insurance options.

QUALITY:
When it comes to the best companies, high quality coverage, and well-rounded advice, independent agents have every motivation to be the best option. They aren’t tied to one company so their advice is much less biased. They work with companies that focus on quality rather than blasting the airways with a billion ads.

PRICE:
It’s important to note that no company or insurance agent can ever claim to have the best price. That’s simply because price is constantly changing. When you’re looking for insurance, it’s a single moment in time. The company that’s the best right then may not be the best in a year.
Having said that, Independent agents have a huge advantage on price for two reason:
1. There is price competition inside the agency
Independent agencies work with multiple companies. So the companies know that they have to bring their best pricing every year to stay relevant. If they can’t, the agency can just move on.

2. Independent agents see the ebb and flow of price
Captive agents see one company all day long. This is the only company they can offer. Independents are motivated to be watching and connect with the companies that are most competitive.

So, What’s an Independent Insurance Agency:
• Access to multiple exclusive insurance companies
• Works for you not the company
• Is motivated by quality and good advice
• Can usually find the best price and coverage
• Helps during claims

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