What is the difference between using Insurance Brokers vs Agents?
Let's face it, shopping for insurance is generally a dreaded and time consuming task. Not exactly fun and although it only takes about 15 minutes to get a preliminary rate – that's only the rate from ONE company. How many agents do you want to call and how many blocks of 15-30 minutes do you want to take out of your life?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to call one agent and have them shop your auto, home, life, heath or other insurance policies around FOR you without it costing you a dime of money or time away from your family?
That's the difference between a Captive Insurance AGENT and a Multi-Carrier Insurance BROKER (sometimes known as a multi-carrier independent agent or agency). A captive agent can only write for ONE carrier such as Allstate, Geico, State Farm, Nationwide or Liberty Mutual to name a few which means you have to call each and every one of those carriers if you want a rate from each and every one!
Now an Insurance Broker on the other hand writes for MULTIPLE Carriers saving you a whole bunch of time and that's not even mentioning money! When you work with an insurance broker, you give them your information ONE time, they in turn, enter it into their system just like a captive, one carrier agent does, but the difference is the broker will then receive rates from a multitude of carriers!
Do you want to hear the best part?
Brokers are paid the same way as captive agents… but instead of an agent who needs to make a “sale” with the one auto policy or one home policy or one life policy they have to offer, a brokers job is find you the BEST available policy for you to “buy” that's right for YOUR given situation on a budget that YOU can afford! The captive agent has to sell you on why THEIR limited product line is so great and why you ‘need' to use THEM, where the insurance broker has a much easier job to find YOU a carrier that can offer YOU the quality coverage that YOU actually need with a premium that fits into YOUR budget.
You see a captive agent is about trying to fit you into THEIR product.
An insurance broker is about fitting the best product around YOU.
Which do you prefer… to be “sold” a policy because the agent only has the one to offer OR… “buy” the policy that is right for your needs? Now don't get me wrong here… I'm NOT saying the products that single carrier agents represent won't be anything less than perfect for your needs! What I am saying is what happens when that carrier's price goes up? What happens when you need a coverage that they do not offer like guaranteed replacement cost on your homeowners insurance? What about wanting to use the same agent for more than just your auto and home needs like life insurance? If you are working with a single company captive agent, you are stuck to only use that companies products which may or may not be the best fit for you. And in all honesty, how many of them do you know who will tell you that you can get better down the street? When working with a broker, you are less restricted because they are able to offer many more carriers, many more products, many more types of insurance and of course, many more price points, so an insurance brokers job is to seek out and find the best product for YOUR need, not try to “fit you into what a captive agent happens to have available”.
Want to hear another great benefit of working with a broker?
When it comes time to shop your policies around in the future to be sure you are receiving the best value… all you have to do is call your broker and tell them to do so. If you're with a captive agent, there isn't anything to shop around because they only have one product to offer.
Captive agents are in a “you can take it or leave it” situation.
Insurance brokers are in a “let's see which product fits YOUR situation the best”.
What are your thoughts about the DIFFERENT BENEFITS between working with a Captive Agent vs. Insurance Broker?