Once you have decided to pursue a career as an insurance agent, you have to decide if being a captive agent or an independent agent is right for you. Both have pros and cons, but choosing a career as an independent insurance agent typically offers a few more advantages.
Independence– Being an independent insurance agent allows you to fulfill your entrepreneurial spirit. You are your own boss. You can work independently, set the tone of you agency and maintain your desired work-life balance. And you reap the rewards of your hard work.
Choice – One of the biggest competitive advantages you will have as an independent agent vs. captives, is the ability to offer customers a choice. Because you represent different insurance companies, you are able to offer a variety of coverage options and price points. On average, independent agents represent five to eight different insurance companies. With your connections and knowledge of the market, you are able to find the best coverage and value for your customers, all the while offering service on a personal level.
Relationships – You will have the opportunity to connect with customers and build lasting relationships. By becoming a trusted adviser, you understand the needs of your customer and can ensure adequate coverage. You are able to help your customers through all stages of life, whether they are renting an apartment or buying a home, starting a business, getting married, adding a teen driver to an auto policy, or looking to cover their retirement condo. You can develop life-long relationships with your customers.
Community – Because you share an interest in the community where your customers live, you are able to understand the benefits and challenges that they face based on your location. You can become involved in the community; sponsoring youth sports teams, buying from local businesses and supporting school organizations.
Finally, when making your decision, you may also consider joining an insurance network. An insurance network provides members with mutual support, extended resources and group benefits. There are many long term advantages that come with being an independent insurance agent. Do your research, weigh your options, and get selling!
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