By Perry Salvagne – Hodge Insurance Agency, Inc
There are many ways to buy insurance, whether online, over the telephone, or through a local insurance agent. For a trusted professional you can turn to for advice and guidance, an agent is the best route; however, there are two types of agents: captive and independent. Both may be able to find an insurance solution to suit your needs, but there are several valuable services that an independent agent offers that a captive agent cannot. While a captive agent is limited to selling the products of only one market, by representing multiple companies, an independent agent is able to leverage the freedom of choice of multiple products and the resources and industry knowledge of multiple carriers, all without bias towards one over any other.
Independent agents, on average, represent eight different carriers that they can access and research to find the best package for their client based on price, coverage and service. Unlike independent agents, captive agents are limited by contract to selling the products of the company they work for. In effect, independent agents work more for their customers than for the individual carriers they represent.
With access to the products of multiple carriers, an agent can therefore offer a more diverse selection of products and programs, allowing you to find an insurance solution that fits your needs. This allows an independent agency to become a