Types of Insurance Agents

Insurance agents are trained professionals who bridge the gap between the insurer and the insurance company. In as much as we need well-priced and valued policies, many people are unaware that such people exist and therefore blindly choose policies without consultation. Insurance agents are equipped with relevant information that can help you find the best insurance policy. They possess marketing and advisory skills that are very useful in helping you identify a satisfactory insurance deal. There are various types of these agents.

Independent agents
This type of agent represents many insurance companies. Shopping for an insurance policy with an independent insurance agent helps the insured to compare the different insurance rates from the many insurance companies available. The independent agent is not an employee of any of the insurance companies; they simply represent them and receive commission on any insurance policies sold. The payment of independent insurance agents is commission based on the total cost of the policy sold and the company they represent pays them.

Their ability to offer you a wider range of choice of insurance companies to choose from makes them suitable in situations where your needs are very specific. The independent insurance agent will help you match the policies, based on the quoted rate, value and coverage. They will remain by your side in the event an insurance claim is filed until it is settled, and they also offer advice on loss prevention strategies that can help cut costs. People rarely concentrate on their financial planning obligations; this has led to a number of them getting into huge debts. Independent insurance agents offer financial planning services, such as investment and retirement planning tips.

Captive or exclusive agents
This is a type of insurance agent that represents a single insurance company or a specific group of insurer. They are, therefore, capable of offering only one type of quote or price for an insurance policy. They advertise under the name of the company they represent, both in print and electronic media, including billboards and signposts. Since they are not employees of the insurance company they represent, their payments are based on commission on the policy they sell for the insurer.

It is preferable to visit a captive insurance agent if your needs are specific with no additional requirements. The major difference between an independent insurance agent and a captive or exclusive agent is that the captive agent only has a relationship with a single insurance company that he represents, whilst an independent insurance agent has contact with multiple insurance companies that he represents.

International agents
Each country has its own particular insurance policies, which can vary from country to country. The environmental and health conditions also vary from one country to another. Those who travel internationally are advised to seek medical and travel insurance from the countries they are visiting even if they already have such from their parent countries. International insurance agents are agents who operate on an international scope and are typically limited to only health and medical insurance. Based on the needs of the clients, the policies can either be in individual or group packages.

Life insurance agents
These are insurance agents who specialize in selling only life insurance policies. They also offer financial and estate planning advice to clients who consist of individuals, families and businesses. These agents offer education on issues that even their clients never knew existed, and their policies ensure that their client’s needs and specifications are wholly met. Since their payments are based on commission, some may be tempted to sell you policies that do not entirely satisfy your needs in order to maximize their income.

Direct writing systems and insurance brokers are also considered as agents. Whilst direct writing involves no agents, brokers are attached and answerable to the clients.

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