Advantages of an Independent Insurance Agent vs. a Captive Agent
Insurance agents inevitably need to make one common, yet highly important decision in their career. Do they choose to go down the path of being an independent insurance agent or a captive agent? There’s much to consider at this crossroad. Everyone has a different vision, but the advantages of choosing to be an independent insurance agent can definitely be worthwhile. Let’s take a look at why.
Independent Agent vs. Captive Agent – What’s the Difference?
Captive insurance agents are contracted to work exclusively with a single carrier or umbrella group. Captive agents find potential clients for a carrier or group of carriers only.
An independent agent on the other hand, is not solely contracted to just one insurance carrier. They are able to contract with as many insurance carriers as they need to suit their clients’ needs.
The Advantages of Being Independent
1. Ability to Represent Multiple Carriers
For independent insurance agents who deal with Medicare options especially, the ability to represent multiple carriers is crucial. Selling plans to seniors based on their health needs is the polar opposite of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ situation, which captive agents face. That sense of variety and choice in available coverage options from multiple carriers will not only help clients, but agents too.
As an independent agent you can build your portfolio of insurance options from multiple carriers for potential clients and direct them to what suits them best. This provides an opportunity to serve a variety of clients. The freedom to choose is especially important when it comes to offering options with different types of products, such as Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, Part D, ancillary products, and more.
2. Support When you Want It
Field Marketing Organizations (FMO’s), something captive agents don’t get to enjoy, support independent agents with training and marketing resources to help them improve their skills, especially when it comes to client acquisition. FMO’s routinely help new independent agents connect with insurance carriers to build their offerings portfolio, a stumbling block some new independent agents run into.
At AGA, we offer agents invaluable resources and financial support to build and improve their business. In addition to administrative support we also offer valuable marketing resources like our 50% Co-Op marketing program which will pay for 50% of your marketing budget.
Find out the 3 Most Effective Co-op Resources Agents are Using to Increase Sales
3. Be your own Boss
Heading down the independent route is a great choice for those who want the freedom to choose when they work. As an independent agent you can choose your own hours. Don’t want to work on Friday? You don’t have to. As an independent agent, the amount of work you put in is your choice. You can schedule meetings in the evenings, weekends, or when the kids are in school. Independent agents are not tied down to a schedule set by a company like most captive agents are.
Another perk of being an independent insurance agent is you don’t have to stress about contractual obligations and monthly/annual quotas to meet. Being independent means you set your own goals.
4. Potential for Higher Earnings
Being able to represent multiple carriers can also provide the potential for higher earnings. There will be more streams of revenue available, because there are more options for clients to consider before walking away. The ability to offer multiple options to a client ensures they receive the best plan possible for them and as a result they turn into a happy client. Happy clients bring referrals. More referrals mean more potential to sell. Independent insurance agents also generally make a higher percentage commission than captive agents.