Many people see insurance agents as the door-to-door salesmen who try to sell you every type of insurance under the sun, whether you need it or not. Although there are insurance agents like this, not all agents work door-to-door. There are a plethora of insurance agents, with the most common types being independent insurance agents, captive insurance agents, and international insurance agents.
Independent Insurance Agents
Independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company. This gives the clients an opportunity to select an insurance policy from a range of insurance companies. This benefits the client because the independent insurance agents can match insurance policies for the client with a company that offers the best rate, quote, and coverage. They provide all types of insurance, including automobile, home, commercial, life, and health insurance.
In addition to providing the insurance policies to clients, independent insurance agents also advise clients on the different types of insurance and recommend various loss-prevention ideas to cut costs. These agents for insurance will be with the client in the event that a claim is filed and will be by the client’s side until the claim is settled.
In recent years, the number of independent insurance agents offering financial planning services to their clients has increased. These agents offer information about retirement planning and estate planning. They can also become licensed to sell mutual funds and securities.
Captive Insurance Agents
A captive insurance agent is similar to an independent insurance agent. The main difference between a captive insurance agent and an independent insurance agent is that a captive insurance agent represents only one insurance company.
The captive insurance agent only has a relationship with the company being represented. This means that all policies and products can only come from this single company. Without being able to represent a number of companies, the client is forced to select a policy or product from one company, without being able to compare different quotes and companies.
International Insurance Agents
International insurance agents are not as popularly heard about, but are important if you plan on visiting overseas either on vacation or as a student through a study-abroad program. International insurance agents provide insurance for those going overseas who require insurance.
They sell the insurance both in individual packages and in group packages, based on the client’s needs. This insurance is typically either health insurance or travel insurance. Even if you already have health insurance domestically, many travel agents recommend purchasing health insurance from an international insurance agent in order to have health coverage in the country you are visiting in case of an emergency. If you are headed to a country which is known for less-than-sanitary water or food conditions, it is recommended to talk with an international insurance agent to purchase international health insurance.
If you are on the lookout for the best deal, a highly rated insurance company, and the ability to choose an insurance company from a selection of companies chosen for you based on your needs and criteria, talking with an independent insurance agent would be your best bet. If you already know which insurance company you want to go with and are going with them because of a particular factor and do not need to see any other options, you should meet with a captive insurance agent. If you are heading out of the domestic borders and want international health or travel insurance, you should talk to an international insurance agent. Always remember that insurance agents are your friends, not enemies.