Why You Should Be Working With An Independent Insurance Agent

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Why You Should Be Working With An Independent Insurance Agent

Insurance is a tough landscape to navigate. When considering the changes in your life that happen every day, the constant changes within the insurance industry and the economic hurdles presented to us daily, figuring out what coverages are right for you and the optimal pricing for those coverages would prove to be a full-time job. This is why working with an experienced independent insurance advisor is a good idea. The expertise that an independent agent provides will allow you to obtain all of the information needed to make an educated decision on your insurance portfolio.  

 What is an independent agent and why is it important to work with them specifically? 

 When purchasing an insurance policy there are 3 basic distribution models.   

Direct Carriers

With the direct model, which would be you purchasing directly from a carrier. This way has the potential to be convenient but lacks experienced advising and puts all of the risks on you to know what to purchase. You are either purchasing online or through a call center employed by web developers and/or entry-level customer service reps that may lack experience in what it is that you are looking for. Most direct carriers are incentivized by daily volume which could also lack personalized service. That  “15 minutes to save you 15%” is a catchy line but the strategic position of that is they only want to give you 15 minutes of their time before you become unprofitable in their business model. While their coverages are valid, it is not ideal when aiming to protect some of your larger assets from loss.      

Exclusive or Captive Agencies

The exclusive agency model does provide advising from dedicated insurance professionals. The main disadvantage of working with an exclusive agency is that they only represent one or very few insurance companies. This means you will only get one product offering when working with an exclusive agent. This leads to a reliance on that company having your needs perfectly fit their product. If it doesn’t happen to fit what it is that you are looking for, you could end up with coverage gaps or a hard sell from the sales representative you are working with. Also, if that specific company decides to raise rates or get rid of specific coverage, there are minimal solutions or options within that agency to correct your problem. Carriers that use the exclusive agency model all provide valid coverages but do have their limitations when it comes to taking care of the client’s best needs and interests. 

Independent Insurance Agencies

Independent agencies provide the most flexibility when it comes to taking care of the client. Independents will have access to multiple carriers to potentially place a client and possess the knowledge of knowing not everyone fits the same mold. With that knowledge, you tend to get a more in-depth conversation about your risk profile specifically so they know exactly where you would be a good fit coverage and price wise. While independents do have the advantage of being able to work for the client versus the company, it doesn’t go without a potential drawback. With independent agents’ ability to work with so many carriers, you will find that some agents specialize in certain things. Some independents will only write flood insurance, or business insurance and not personal insurance, and vice versa. However, a good amount of independent agents will work with everyone and have a specific department for each risk. Truly a win-win scenario for the client. 

From the perspective of the client, independent agencies can find the product you’re looking for, take the time to learn about your unique needs and preferences, have a thorough understanding of the insurance market to make sure you’re not overpaying for your coverages, and have the flexibility to work for you rather than the carrier. The independent model has grown dramatically over time in the insurance sector as more consumers become aware of how these models operate through online education and information. An independent agent can fulfill your desire to have a trustworthy advisor at your disposal to guide you through the process. 

Get in touch with The Staples Agency to start a conversation if you search for an independent agency to work with. With access to a wide variety of carriers and experts in risks related to businesses, individuals, and farms. We will be more than delighted to spend time getting to know you and learning about your specific needs and goals for preserving what you have worked so hard to achieve.

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