What is an Independent Agent?
Insurance Agents with Options
Car insurance is sold through three different means independent agents, captive agents, and direct through the internet. An independent agent is an agent with options. Independent agents have more to offer than other agents making them a strong competitor in the insurance industry. Learn what independent agents are and how they can help you get a great rate on insurance.
Independent agents have been around since 1896. Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America or the Big “I” is the association that helps build the structure of independent agencies. More than 7100 independent agencies are selling on behalf of 43 different insurance carriers across the U.S.
An independent agent has a secret weapon.
Quick quotes from multiple insurance carriers are one of the major benefits of independent agents. If you are shopping for insurance, independent agents are a great place to start because they can check several different companies’ rates all at once. The more companies checked equals a greater chance of finding the best rate for you and your family. The time-saving factor is huge because you only have to provide your information one time.
The ability to retain the same agent even if you switch carriers is another perk of having your insurance with an independent agent. A strong relationship can be built with your independent agent and if your rates start to creep up, your agent can possibly find you lower rates without ever switching agents. Many people put up with higher rates because they are not comfortable leaving their trusted agent. Independent agents give their clients more options.
An independent agent works for you, not the insurance company.
An independent agent is not an employee of an insurance company. Technically, an independent agent’s boss is you, the client. Independent agents broker insurance companies and get paid commission; however, they do not receive a salary as an employee. Working with an agent that is not solely employed by one carrier is nice because you can get unbiased advice.
A good independent agent can be proactive when it comes to your insurance rate. They are able to get a head start when it comes to rate changes. For instance, if an agent knows one of its companies’ rates is increasing, they can start looking for a better deal before the increase takes place. Captive agents are helpless and have to roll with the punches of the carrier they represent.
Independent agents provide personalized customer service.
Since an independent agent works for you, often times they will file your claim with the parent company. Personalized customer service is a high priority for independent agencies. Having an agent makes it so you don't have to deal with the automated 800 numbers quite as often. Plus, an agent can give you advice before filing a claim.
Independent agents have the ability to be a great time and money savers for their clients. However, just because an agent is independent doesn’t mean they are the best. You still need to look for good agent qualities, such as availability, knowledgeable, and proactive.
Insurance Carriers Selling Products through an Independent Agent
The list is a good portion of independent insurance carriers. Find a thorough list of carriers at Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. If you are looking for an independent agent, look for the Trusted Choice brand which is owned by Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
- Allied Property and Casualty
- American Strategic
- Auto Owners
- Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
- Cincinnati Insurance Company
- Colorado Casualty
- EMC Insurance Companies
- General Casualty
- The Hanover Insurance Group
- Harleysville Insurance
- The Hartford
- Ohio Casualty
- Peerless Insurance
- Penn National Insurance
- The Republic Group
- West Bend Mutual
- Westfield Insurance
- Zurich North America