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Captive vs Independent Insurance Agents: What's the Difference?

You may have heard “captive” and “independent” agents when buying insurance. But what do these terms mean, and how do they affect your insurance buying experience? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between captive and independent agents and help you decide which is right.


A person who wants to purchase life insurance will search for the best life insurance rates and company. The process of getting the best plan for you is straightforward. However, the company will not talk to you directly. You need to contact the company’s agents to guide you along the way. It is essential to know that there are two types of insurance agents. For instance, captive vs independent insurance agents is two. They will represent the company or companies and give you information about what the company can offer to applicants.

Captive insurance agent definition

A captive agent is an insurance agent who works exclusively for one insurance company rather than representing multiple companies. The insurance company that the agent works for typically owns the agency, and the agent is paid a salary rather than a commission. Captive agents may offer various insurance products, including auto, home, and life insurance.

How To Get The Best Life Insurance Policy?

Life insurance - ohioThe truth is that there are myriad ways to acquire the best deal when it comes to life insurance. You may opt for an agent that you know who sells different kinds of insurance policies like home, health, auto, and life. The very first step to finding out everything you need to know is to get an appointment. You can choose to talk to an agent over the phone or go online and talk over a zoom meeting.  Also, can use the new quote and apply platform.

If you do not know on a personal level, then it means they come from local sources. It is good to discuss it face to face if you are dealing with someone you do not know. Talking to someone upfront is ideal for many. Often, some people cannot go out of their homes to acquire insurance coverage. It is true, especially nowadays, when everyone is forced to stay at home. 

Another great option is to do an online search. One can find an array of options when it comes to insurers online. Almost all insurance brokers like Coach B. Life Insurance today have their website. However, an online search requires more of your time. There are lots of searches that you need to do to come up with the best decision. Once you find the right company, then the next step is to search for the best policy. After that, you also need to make a comparison of pricing against other insurers. Importantly, search for the reputation of the company. It will spare you from worries knowing that you are dealing with a reputable insurer. 

Either way, personal or online, you still need to talk to an insurance agent. They will help you from the first step up to the last step of the process. You can choose captive or independent agents to help you.

Difference between Captive vs Independent Insurance Agents

choosing a life insurance companyA captive agent is working exclusively for an insurance provider. Also, they will offer you just one quote. It is the most convenient method to acquire the coverage that you need. However, you are limited to what they are selling you. There is no other option for you. What they say is the information you get. You will not be able to compare the quotation and the coverage against other insurers. But you can always go online and do your research. You can decide whether to get the policy or look for alternatives. 

On the other hand, agents working for a particular insurer can offer you hundreds or more insurance providers options. Some think that it might also be a daunting task. The truth is that the agent will narrow down the choices for you. They can do it by asking several questions about your personal life and finances.

With captive agents, they will sell you the company’s policies. Also, some insurers design their policy that is more expensive than others. These companies are prolonged to react to new changes in the world of life insurance. Some may also add some hidden charges to their clients. Policies lack other features that you can find in other policies being offered by independent agents. A captive insurance agent salary is usually lower than an independent agent.

Independent agents can offer diverse choices and talk to you about your needs, wants, and current financial standing. They will provide you with several insurers with different coverage according to their understanding of your situation. Also, they will aid you in searching for the best plan that suits your individual needs. The agent basically will do all the talking as you need to share some personal information. One need not worry about sharing personal things as there is a confidentiality agreement. According to an experienced agent, there is no specific product that can fit into all scenarios.

Another essential thing to remember is the end of the policy. When the time comes that you want to renew the policy, the premium price can go up with the captive agent. Pricing changes every year, and by the time you need to continue, it will surely go up. Some agents also raise their rates over the years, and it will affect the pricing. Unfortunately, you do not have any options, but to get the policy they offer without any price comparison. Some might offer to cut some critical features of the coverage to lower down the price.

With an independent agent, they shop around for you to find the best deals. They will again do the same process and give you several great deals. Also, they will only offer choices that are within your needs and budget.

List of captive agent insurance companies

Captive agents work exclusively for one insurance company and can only offer policies from that company. Some well-known captive agent insurance companies include State Farm, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance. While captive agents may have a deep understanding of the policies offered by their company, they may need help to provide you with the best deal or coverage options available on the market. It’s important to shop around and compare policies from multiple companies before deciding.

List of non captive insurance companies

Non-captive insurance agents, or independent agents, work with multiple insurance companies and can offer policies from various providers. This allows them to compare policies and find their clients’ best coverage and rates. Some well-known non-captive insurance companies include Progressive, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual. When working with an independent agent, it’s important to communicate your specific needs and budget to ensure they find the best policy for you.

In addition to the big names like Progressive, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual, many other non-captive insurance companies are out there. Some of these include Allstate, Farmers, Travelers, and State Farm. Each company has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to research and compares policies before deciding. Working with a non-captive agent can be a great way to find the best coverage and rates, but it’s important to remember that they may only have access to some insurance providers. Be sure to ask about their network of providers and how they choose which policies to recommend.

A captive insurance agent vs broker

Understanding the difference between a captive agent and a broker is important. A captive agent works exclusively for one insurance company and can only offer policies from that company. They may need more options for finding their clients’ best coverage and rates. On the other hand, a broker works for the client and can offer policies from multiple insurance companies. They have more flexibility in finding the best approach for their client’s needs and budgets.

While a captive agent may have a deep understanding of the policies offered by their company, they may need to provide a different level of personalized service than a broker. A broker can take the time to understand their client’s unique situation and find policies that fit their needs. Additionally, a broker can often negotiate better rates and coverage options on behalf of their clients, as they have access to a wider range of policies. Ultimately, the choice between a captive agent and a broker depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. It’s important to research and choose an agent or broker who can provide the best service and coverage for your situation.

Pros and cons of independent insurance agent

Independent insurance agents have the advantage of being able to offer policies from multiple insurance companies, giving clients more options to choose from. They also have more flexibility in finding the best approach for their client’s needs and budgets. However, they may have different expertise in a particular insurance company’s policies than a captive agent would. Additionally, independent agents may have extra support and resources than captive agents, which could impact their ability to provide timely and effective service to their clients.

One of the biggest advantages of working with an independent insurance agent is the ability to shop around for the best policy. Because they are not tied to one specific insurance company, they can offer policies from multiple providers, giving clients more options. This can be especially helpful for clients with unique or particular insurance needs, as an independent agent can find a policy tailored to their situation.

Being an independent insurance agent

Being an independent insurance agent can be a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy helping others and have a strong understanding of the insurance industry. Independent agents can work with multiple insurance companies and tailor policies to meet clients’ needs. However, it’s important to note that independent agents may need more resources and support and work harder to establish their reputation and build a client base. Ultimately, deciding to become an independent agent should be based on individual goals and preferences.

Is an independent insurance agent a good profession? One of the biggest advantages of being an independent insurance agent is the ability to work with multiple insurance companies. This allows agents to offer their clients a wider range of policies and coverage options and to find the best fit for each individual’s needs and budget. Independent agents can also set their schedules and work from anywhere, which can be a major perk for those who value flexibility and work-life

What Type of Insurance Can Both Offer?

Whatever your situation is or the kind of policy you are looking for, an independent agent can help you find it. They will discuss in detail and ask you several questions. It is important not to get intimidated by their questions. Most personal questions are beneficial in finding the best coverage for you. They can ask you about your lifestyle. For instance, they want to know if you are a smoker. They will also need to know your daily activities and your work. Medical history or family background is also vital information to give. These questions can tell them your level of risk as an insured, which is an important factor for the monthly premium.

life insurance definitionBoth independent and captive agents will discuss the type of coverage. There are term life, no medical exam life insurance, instant term life,  universal life, or final expense life insurance plans. It is better to understand the difference between the two. It is an insurance coverage with a fixed term of 5, 10, or 20 years with term life. You need to pay for monthly premiums within the term. You will get the death benefit when you pass away within that period. However, if you outlive the term, be ready to say goodbye to all your paid premiums.

Moreover, permanent coverage is a plan to last for a lifetime. It will run as long as you live and give death benefits once you pass away and provide your beneficiary cash value. Yes, it has a cash value that grows within the course of the policy. The beauty is the fact that you can loan or borrow the cash value while still alive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between captive and non captive?

Captive insurance refers to a situation where a company creates its insurance subsidiary to cover its risks. Non-captive insurance relates to insurance purchased from an outside provider, such as an insurance company. The main difference between the two is that captive insurance allows the company to have more control over its insurance coverage and costs, while non-captive insurance provides more flexibility and options for range.

What does a captive insurance agent mean?

A captive insurance agent is an insurance agent who works exclusively for one insurance company. They are "captives" of that company and can only sell their products. This is different from an independent insurance agent who can sell policies from multiple insurance companies.

What do independent agents mean in insurance?

Independent agents work for themselves or an independent insurance agency rather than being employed by a specific insurance company. They can offer policies from multiple insurance companies, giving customers more options and potentially better rates. Independent agents also provide personalized service and can help customers navigate the insurance buying process.

Aim for the Best Customer Service

Lastly, you must always look for the best customer service. It is the first thing that you need to observe as you talk to an agent.

At Coach B., the help you need with your life insurance choice is just a phone call away.  Call today, 800-342-1537.

Meet the team

About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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