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When you are looking to buy life insurance in Arizona, and beyond, one of the first things you should consider is whether or not to go with an independent agent or a captive agent.

Independent vs. Captive Insurance Agents – What to Know, What to Ask

Finding the right agent to guide you through your life insurance policy could be as important as the policy itself. You want what’s right for you and your family. That’s why, in today’s post, we’re exploring the difference between an independent agent and a captive agent.

Independent Agents

Working with an independent agent will allow you access to multiple companies from which you can choose your carrier and the level of coverage you want because an independent agent can shop around for you to find the best plan with the best rates.

A good independent agent represents you, not one carrier. He is there with your best interest in mind to shop around for the right policy. He also serves as your advocate and liaison to the carrier in case you have any needs or questions. When you first submit your application, your agent will go to bat for you to work with the underwriters on your case, helping to facilitate everything they need in a timely manner and give you the best odds for policy approval. A good agent will also touch base with you once a year or so to review your policy and make sure it’s up to date. Here are a few additional needs you may have where an independent agent could help:

  • Being unable to reach an insurer regarding a claim.
  • Preventing loss through bad faith actions from an insurer (their policy language is confusing or unclear).
  • Help facilitate a claim and serve as a customer service representative between you and the insurance carrier.

An independent insurance agent represents YOU (not the carrier) and can shop around and find the best rates for their clients. This saves them time and money on commissions and provides a more personalized experience with multiple carriers.

Captive Agents

Captive agents are insurance representatives that work for a specific company and represent that one company when talking to you about your insurance needs. They usually have the same job as any other employee, but they also get commissions from their employer to bring in more clients and sell more policies.

If you’re looking to get a quote from one insurance company, you’ll want to work with a captive agent. If you like the idea of shopping around and comparing the best quotes from multiple insurance companies, you’ll want to work with an independent agent.

Generally speaking, there isn’t one better type of insurance agent. It all depends on your needs and situation.

Questions to Ask a Life Insurance Agent You May Want to Work With

Here are a few questions to ask a potential life insurance agent.

  1. Are the carriers you represent A-rated? 
  2. How long has your firm been in business?
  3. What type of policies do you offer?
  4. What is the average rating of your Google reviews? 

For other questions to ask, visit our blog post, 10 Essential Questions to Ask Your Agent When Considering Life Insurance in the Phoenix Area.

When it comes to purchasing life insurance, the agent you choose can make all the difference. Whether you want an independent or captive agent will depend on your needs and goals for buying a policy.

Here at Life Matters, we know you need an insurance agent who will take time to listen, educate and make professional recommendations without high-pressure sales tactics. If you’re in the Phoenix area, we invite you to reach out today so we can help answer any questions about which type of life insurance is right for your situation.

Reach out for a no-obligation 15-minute consult.