What is an independent insurance agent?
An independent agent is an insurance agent that sells insurance policies provided by several different insurance companies, rather than a single insurance company. An independent agent is not considered an employee of a specific insurance company
Independent insurance agents are able to offer you quotes from multiple insurance carriers rather than a single carrier which is a plus when you are shopping for insurance
Many times, independent agents can save their clients more money and/or offer them more coverage options because they have access to more carriers. They are also able to offer their policy holders Unbiased Advice because they are not expected to choose one particular carrier over others and are not “employees” of a carrier – their job is to find you the best rate and coverage options within their portfolio of carriers (companies they are appointed to write policies with)
Another advantage to having an independent agent is that you will often be able to retain the same agent even if you switch carriers. That means you have the benefit of dealing with someone you already know and trust and who is familiar with your needs and risks. What this also means is that your independent agent can help you look for a better deal when they know one of their carriers is implementing a rate increase – Whereas captive agents have less options.
At the end of the day, whether your agent is independent or captive, you will still want to look for an agent that is proactive, knowledgeable, and is there for you when you need them.