Many insurance shoppers aren't aware that they have a choice in the type of insurance agent they do business with. There are two types of insurance agents: exclusive (also known as captive) agents and independent agents. Exclusive agents represent just one insurance company, whereas Independent agents represent multiple insurance carriers.
Here at Morris Insurance Services, we have a unique perspective on both ways of doing business, because we were formerly an exclusive agency before we transitioned to an Independent agency several years ago. The beauty of an independent agency boils down to "choice."
As Independent agents, we are able to choose which carriers we do business with. As a result, we are able to extend this flexibility to our customers and offer a broader range of insurance solutions to our clients. This ensures that we are always able to offer the most comprehensive coverage to our customers at the most attractive premiums on the market.
While both types of agents are bound by the rules and premiums of the companies they represent, exclusive agents have a greater obligation to promote their single carriers product simply because they have no other choice. For example, when an exclusive carrier raises premiums, an exclusive agent's only choices are to change coverages or look for discounts that a customer may not be getting. As Independent agents, we are able to be selective about the companies we do business with. When one of our carriers raises their premiums, we are able to "re-shop" their policy with our other carriers to ensure that our customers are receiving the most competitive price available. Of course, price is not the only thing that matters when selecting an insurance company. Available coverages and underwriting policies are other key factors that we are able to evaluate when choosing where to place a client's business.
You may be wondering why anyone would choose to do business with an exclusive agent over an independent. Usually, exclusive agencies are larger national carriers that provide instant brand recognition that grants a customer a level of perceived trust. State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and the like spend a tremendous amount on marketing in order to make themselves household names that the insurance buying public might turn to first. As an agent, the marketing provided by these large companies provides effective advertising that they could not possibly afford on their own. Exclusive Insurance carriers also extend other types of support to their agents, such as training opportunities, help with employee costs, and technology support. The trade off for this support is that the agent agrees to only offer that one company's product.
While they may not be as large as some of the big guys listed above, the carriers offered by Independent agencies are still well-respected national carriers. At Morris Insurance Services, we represent Travelers, Nationwide, Safeco, and Liberty Mutual to name a few. We also represent several smaller local or regional carriers that might just be the best fit for our customers. You can check out a full list of our carriers here.
By nature of our contracts with the carriers we represent, we feel that we are inherently in the best position to put our customer's needs above those of the insurance company. Our customers can always trust us to pair them with the carrier best suited to their specific insurance needs. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you!
Check out the video below for more info!