Friday, March 05, 2010

What Are the Benefits of an Independent Insurance Broker?

Insurance is sold by two types of agents: captive and independent. Although both types of agents can help you purchase acceptable insurance products, the independent insurance broker typically offers additional value not seen with captive agents.

Freedom

Independent insurance brokers are not limited to selling products from only one company. They represent multiple insurance carriers, which benefits you because it increases the number of products and services that the agent can evaluate on your behalf. A captive agent can sell the products of only one insurer.

Flexibility

The independent insurance broker has a great deal of flexibility when it comes to solving your problems. If you are dissatisfied with your current insurance policy, the broker can move your coverage to another provider and continue to act as your liaison with the new provider.

Industry Knowledge

Independent brokers can be more familiar with current events in the industry, because each of the carriers they represent sends its own informational updates and newsletters. Captive agents, on the other hand, only receive news information and industry updates from one specific carrier.

Resources

Independent insurance brokers have a substantially larger network of contacts. Because they work with multiple insurance companies, and each company has its own research department, the independent broker is able to speak with multiple representatives from several companies to obtain insight about any potential problems or concerns.

Unbiased Opinions

The fear of receiving a biased review or opinion of a particular insurance company or product is greatly reduced when you work with an independent broker. Since the majority of insurance carriers pay the same commission, there is no advantage to the broker to steer you toward one particular company or policy.

References

Central Carolina: Why Use an Independent Insurance Agent?
Safeco Insurance: Why an Independent Agent?
Article originally published on eHow Money (03/05/2010)