What is a Captive Insurance Agent?

Insurance agent meeting with prospective clients
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In your search for auto and home insurance, you may have come across the term captive insurance agent. It does not exactly sound like a good thing and may have left you wondering precisely what a captive insurance agent is. Whether you are looking for a new insurance agent or are thinking of becoming an insurance agent, it is a good idea to know what a captive insurance agent's job responsibilities include and who they represent.

Who does a captive agent work for?

Captive insurance agents work directly for a single insurance carrier. A lot of well known, highly rated insurance carriers employ captive agents. State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide agents are all examples of captive agents solely able to sell their own family of products.

What does a captive agent do?

Captive insurance agents are trained on their family of products making them experts in their company policies. They do not have to learn different products and rules of multiple insurance carriers. When you call a captive agent, they will immediately know if they have a product in which you qualify. After answering a few simple questions they will probably have a quick estimate of what your price will be with their company.

The same as any insurance agent, a captive agent will be there for personalized customer service. Maintaining and hopefully reviewing your policy on a regular basis.

They will be able to answer all of your insurance related questions and help guide you through the policy purchasing process and claims process. Agents also handle billing questions and payments. They are able to help you understand changes to your policy and premium.

What products do captive agents offer?

Captive insurance agents often represent very large insurance carriers which offer a full spectrum of insurance and financial products.

Common Insurance Products:

  • Auto
  • Home, Mobile Home, Rental, Umbrella
  • Toys: Motorcycle, Boat, RV
  • Commercial
  • Health

Common Financial Products:

  • Annuities
  • Retirement Plans
  • Mutual Funds
  • Life
  • Business Life

Offering services for all of your insurance and financial needs is definitely a perk of being a captive agent. All of your needs will be met in a streamlined fashion which will not only give you bundle discounts, but also simplicity which is hard to get from multiple companies.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Captive agents usually have quotas to hit in order to keep their position and earn bonuses. It really is not terribly different from independent insurance agents, but you might feel a little more pressure to purchase a financial product from a captive agent when all you really want is car insurance. It is good to know what options are available, but sometimes a pushy agent can turn potential clients off quickly.

Captive insurance agents offer a specialized insurance and financial expertise which is hard to beat anywhere else. If you are looking for an agent who knows their product inside and out, a captive agent is a great place to start. Dealing with the same company on a daily basis makes a captive agent an expert in no time at all.

Dealing with the big name insurance carriers gives a sense of stability and trust you really cannot get with the smaller carriers.

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