What is the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent? I thought they were the same thing?
Answers | 2
Usually, you hear Brokers referred to as "Independent Agents." In that phrase, "agent" means that we are acting in behalf of each of the multiple carriers that we are contracted with. Keep an eye on the Independent part, thought, since that is the key word. Term.com is an independent brokerage. Our other companies are independent brokerages offering health insurance, property casualty coverage, etc. Put short, we can sell anything. The world is a big place and customers need many things. As an independent, I can query my client on what is desired or needed - and no matter what they tell me, if it exists and is ethical and practical, I'll find it so they don't have to be squeezed into what is "on the shelf" at the moment. Is that a kick against agents? Nope. Some people want to connect to that distribution model for reasons of their own, as I mentioned. You should go check out both. See what you think. At the end of any given day, that is what it will come down to since you are the customer.
For additional info, see the article at MoneyTips titled: Pros and Cons of Using an Insurance Broker/Agent (http://www.moneytips.com/pros-and-cons-of-using-an-insurance-broker-or-agent)
I am a captive agent with the ability to sell for many companies if the main company I represent has no desire to insure a particular risk. I guess I could be considered a broker, but I wouldn't use the term based on my experience with other brokers.
The main items you want to look for in an agent or broker are trust, ease of doing business, and chemistry. Most of us know when we have found a company or person we like doing business with, who also has a good product at an acceptable price.
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