An insurance agent is an employee who works directly with an insurance company. In general, they are often useful when you are looking to buy business insurance or employer policies . The fact of having an insurance agent or broker can help you obtain better offers, much more competitive rates while receiving an insurance policy with quality coverage.
Insurance agents sell and broker life, health, property, or other types of insurance. All this, depending on the policy you are looking for. Now, as an insurance agent, they can work for an insurance company , refer clients to independent brokers, or work as an independent broker themselves.
Successful insurance agents implement marketing strategies to promote current and new insurance policies. Marketing activities are also crucial in attracting new clients to your agency.
Insurance agents must assess the needs of their clients and propose plans that meet the criteria, as well as the clients’ financial status. In addition to determining the client’s needs, they must also develop a protection plan quoting rates for immediate coverage and long-term goals.
What Type of Policies Does an Insurance Agent or Broker Sell?
Insurance brokers typically specialize in certain types of insurance; In this way, they help their clients to obtain the best experiences (and rates) in the area where they have the most experience. Among the most sold policies by an insurance agent are:
Commercial Insurance .
Business owner’s policy (BOP).
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
Commercial auto insurance.
Auto Policy .
Other policies :
Note : Licensed insurance agents who primarily assist small business owners . Therefore, most of the policies they offer are business-related. However, insurance brokers sell personal auto policies, travel insurance, life policies, etc.
Types of Insurance Agents or Brokers
Currently, in the United States you can find two types of insurance agents:
Agents «Captives» or in English «Captive» . They are known as such for directly representing a firm or a single insurer.
Independent Brokers . They work with various insurance companies and usually offer more varied options.
Keep in mind that all insurance agents (both captive and independent) work on a commission basis, offer various insurance plans; and they are trained to carry out the entire process for you.
What is the difference between an Agent and an Insurance Broker?
Who Regulates Insurance Agents?
In the United States, there is an insurance commission responsible for licensing independent agents, insurance companies, and brokers operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and American territories.
On the other hand, the state commissions must regulate the marketing and sales of insurers ; and the activities of its agents through financial reports . If you need more information about insurance regulation in your state of residence, you can visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website .
Why Hire an Insurance Agent?
The answer is simple. An insurance agent will always be better able to manage sales and maximize the income of a company. Therefore, companies that choose to recruit insurance agents often get better employer policies while saving thousands of dollars.
Now, if you are looking for personal insurance, the picture may be different. If you think you have the time to compare options before buying a policy, the reality is that you may not need an insurance agent.
Although, if you do not know how to handle yourself in the world of insurance policies, it is your first time buying an important policy and you want to save money; We recommend that you seek the help of a broker.
Remember that both insurance agents and brokers are able to find the best offers and rates that suit you. Therefore, employing the services of an agent or broker saves you money, but also time.
How to Hire an Insurance Agent or Broker?
Insurance agents are already part of the most famous insurers in the country . For example, Geico Insurance, State Farm, Mapfre, Erie, Allstate and many more already have agents. In other words, you just have to contact the insurance company of your choice and request the help of an agent.
There are cases where insurance agents are part of companies or organizations that work hand in hand with insurers to offer the best business plans , health policies, umbrella insurance and more.
Now when it comes to insurance brokers (the vast majority of them) you can get them online . However, we do not recommend that you engage the services of an insurance broker without first reviewing their reputation and sales history . Keep in mind that scams are the order of the day and it is always better to prevent.
Here is a list of the most famous insurance agents in the United States:
DHD Insurance (Insurance Agents specializing in health and life policies).
AON PLC (Specialists in Business Risk Insurance).
Marsh McLennan (Named the #1 Insurance Broker in the country by Forbes in 2017). He specializes in both business and private insurance.
WTC (Willis Towers Watson) Sells personal, business risk and capital protection policies.
Truist Insurance Holdings (Financial Risk Management, both business and personal).
A “captive” life insurance agent sells products from only one company. For example: A State Farm agent only sells policies issued by State Farm. Now, an independent agent or broker can sell policies from a wide variety of insurance companies.
That means you can compare prices and offers from different insurers. At least those where there are sales agreements.
Please note, you cannot purchase a policy (through an independent agent) from a company that exclusively employs captive agents such as: State Farm, Allstate, Geico, etc. So an independent insurance agent is your best option if you don’t know how or are having trouble qualifying for good coverage.
Regardless of what type of insurance agent or broker you hire; it is necessary to request references from accountants, lawyers or financial planners. Also, we recommend that you look online for reviews of the agent you want to hire. In this way, you can guarantee that you are working hand in hand with reliable professionals .