Can You Be An Independent Insurance Agent? Here’s What You Need To Know
In the insurance industry there two types of agents: captive and independent. Both types are legitimate professions that sell top-quality insurance. As it is with everything, there are pros and cons to each. However, choosing to be an independent agent is preferable to being a captive agent.
According to Statista, as of 2018, there were approximately 1.2 million insurance agents in the United States.
Whether you are planning on becoming an insurance agent or are a captive agent thinking of making the switch, here are 3 advantages of being an independent agent.
In this blog
Freedom & Flexibility
As an independent agent, you have the opportunity to have your own agency and be your own boss. In that regard, you can make important decisions and chart the course for your agency. You have the freedom to operate the way you feel comfortable.
By being an independent insurance agent, you are not bound by the procedures that captive agents have to go through. More importantly, since you own your business, you are free to sell insurance from multiple companies. You get to choose which carriers to get certified by and represent. This way, you can provide your clients with multiple options when it comes to insurance and help them find the best one that fits their needs.
In addition to freedom, you also have more flexibility with your time. Some agents choose to work on the move and set meetings at cafés or coffee shops. They are also able to easily meet with clients in their homes. As an agent, you have the flexibility to make decisions that help you operate the way you want.
Focus on Service
An independent agent’s main priority should be the service they provide to their clients. It is imperative that you take the time to get to know your clients and their individual insurance needs.
Once you find out what their requirements are, you can search through the companies you represent to provide them with a few policy options to choose from. In doing so, you can save them time and money by ensuring that you are getting them the right policy for their needs at the most affordable price.
With the freedom and flexibility that comes with becoming an independent insurance agent, you also get to prioritize your clients more. When you become your own boss, you can focus more on what you are providing to them.
Providing good service to your clients is a gift that keeps on giving. When you pay attention to the needs of your clients and provide them with great customer service, they are more likely to be satisfied. And satisfied customers are likely to refer you to their family and friends. For an independent insurance agent, this helps create more leads and revenue. As per Ritterim, it is also one of the ways to build client loyalty. It is far more cost-effective to retain existing clients than to find new ones.
Since independent insurance agents can represent multiple insurance companies, they are regularly provided with valuable information from their carriers. These include premium rates, in-depth coverage details, additional costs, and more. This is an extra learning opportunity for agents and many can find this information valuable since it provides clarity about the various insurance lines that are offered.
A captive agent is only provided with the information related to the carrier that they are working for. If the agent is proactive enough, they can search for additional information on their own time. But independent agents will get this knowledge by default given their working methods.
When you utilize the resources that are at your disposal, you are able to get a better picture of the insurance industry as a whole. With your extensive knowledge about multiple carriers, you can present yourself as someone who is well-versed in the insurance industry. This can help you become a great independent agent in the long run.
Should You Become An Independent Insurance Agent
Although this path can seem daunting at first, you will definitely learn a lot about yourself and the insurance industry. Like with starting any new business, you must be willing to invest and make certain sacrifices, but it can pay off handsomely.
In the end, the choice is yours when it comes to what kind of insurance agent you want to be. Whether you want to be an independent or captive agent, be familiar with the pros and cons. Make sure your choice is based on what works for you and what you wish to achieve in your career.
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