What’s an Impartial Life Insurance Dealer?

If you've ever bought or bought life insurance, you've probably learned that it can be a difficult process.

Buying life insurance can be overwhelming with so many different companies and policies to choose from.

A independent life insurance broker can advise you competently and help you to find the best life insurance and save you time and money.

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What is an Independent Life Insurance Broker?

Independent vs. in-house life insurance brokers

Why should I use an independent life insurance broker?

How to Find the Right Independent Life Insurance Broker

Get lower prices through an independent agent

While an independent broker can offer insurance options from many different companies, an exclusive broker can only cover a limited number of products.

While buying an exceptional policy can be quick and easy, using an independent agent who represents several highly rated insurers gives you the advantage of being able to compare policies from several companies at the same time.

When you choose an independent broker to find the best life insurance product for your circumstances and budget, you will know very quickly that your broker is working for you and not the companies they represent.

What is an Independent Life Insurance Broker?

An independent agent (broker) owns or works for an independent agency. The term “independent intermediary” means that the intermediary is generally self-employed and represents several insurance companies rather than being employed by a single company.

Independent brokers know they work for their clients, not the companies they represent. Instead of receiving a salary, they earn commissions that are only paid by the insurance company after they complete a sale for their client or prospect.

Independent agents typically have an advantage over captive agents, and that advantage is passed on to the customer. Additionally, since they represent many life insurance companies, they have access to virtually every product a potential customer might need.

On the other hand, if your circumstances do not match the captive agent's product selection, you have probably wasted your time and will end up with a seasoned independent agent anyway.

Independent vs. in-house life insurance brokers

While there are some benefits to working with a captive agent (State Farm, Allstate, Farmers), the benefits of working with an independent agent far outweigh the benefits.

Independent agent

  • Representing many highly rated insurance companies
  • Access to the type of life insurance product you need
  • Prioritizes the customer and not the company
  • Can drop insurance companies that disappoint customers
  • Personalized customer service and claims service

Captured agent

  • Usually limited to one or two insurance companies
  • Limited types of insurance products
  • Since employed in the company – the needs of the company come first
  • No control over disappointed customers
  • Usually not involved with customer service or claims service

Why should I use an independent life insurance broker?

There are many benefits to using an independent agent. Depending on your product needs, individual circumstances, and budget, some benefits may be more important than others. Here we will discuss the benefits that customers have told us to be the most important:

Independent agents are licensed experts

Independent agents help customers understand the complexities of insurance. You know the industry very well and are able to convey sophisticated insurance information in simple terms.

They can help you make smart decisions about your insurance coverage. And they will do their best to uncover everyday risks that you may not have considered.

Your independent agent will become your advocate in purchasing and purchasing the best insurance solution to mitigate the most worrying risks.

Independent agents are personal advisers

Independent insurance brokers are experts at finding competitive rates for you. They can negotiate more favorable terms and provide you with the cover you need.

As your personal agent, your independent agent will work with you to understand your unique needs and concerns. They make sure that you are adequately covered.

Additionally, experienced and reputable independent brokers will follow up with clients after the sale to find out if life events have affected your day-to-day risks and suggest appropriate coverage changes.

Independent agents become your lawyer

Your independent agent remains involved as your attorney between you and your insurance company.

If you have problems with billing or service, you as a customer can speak to your agent at any time for advice on how best to resolve your situation.

While most insurance companies prefer agents not to get involved in a claims dispute, you will rarely find an independent agent to sit on their hands when a customer is struggling with perceived service issues. Independent agents get involved.

You are always close by

Regardless of whether you have taken out your life insurance over the phone, online or in the broker's office, your independent broker is always there for you.

In today's market, more and more agents are expanding their market reach with innovative technology. This technology enables you to communicate with your agent while on vacation on the other side of the world.

Most independent agents have technology that enables their customers to stay in touch around the clock.

Most independents offer one-stop shopping

To deter other agents from poaching their customers, many independent agents are licensed in multiple lines of business. This means they can "round off" any account by offering auto insurance, home insurance, and even business insurance to every customer.

One-stop shopping makes it easier for the customer to buy insurance and protects the broker from other brokers poaching their customers by offering other insurance products that customers generally need.

You are an advocate for life

Although captive agents come and go frequently, independent agents are self-employed and likely will be your attorney for life.

It is not uncommon for a broker to have two or three generations of clients in a single family. Because an experienced and reputable independent agent is in constant touch with their clients, it is not uncommon for them to attend a client's weddings, birth parties, and funerals.

When your teen is finally licensed to drive, your independent agent will be available to handle the car insurance or recommend a trusted agent to take care of it.

How to Find the Right Independent Life Insurance Broker

Disability statistics

With hundreds or even thousands of independent brokers in each state, you may find it difficult to find an experienced and reputable broker to meet your needs.

Almost every independent agent is online, and many are licensed in each state. This means that finding an agent that is right for you can be as difficult as finding a policy that suits you.

Before you begin your search for the perfect agent, we recommend that you take the following steps, which are likely to take up less than an hour of your precious time.

Check their website

If you are considering an agent who offers insurance products online, visit their website to make sure they offer product information, risk information, and lots of information about the companies they represent.

Most independents also have an instant quote form on their website, but keep in mind that the quote or offers you receive are "quoted prices" until you've spoken to the agent and gone through the subscription process.

While an online listing is not set in stone, use it as a starting point when comparing a particular product sold by multiple carriers.

Also, find easy-to-find contact forms and phone numbers for the agent. Also, look for evidence that the information you share is confidential.

Check your credentials

Many agents have different credentials than a state insurance license. If it is important to you that your agent is certified in certain areas of risk management, you can contact the licensing department of your state's Department of Insurance.

Most departments have a list of agents that have been or are being investigated for licensing issues. The insurance department in each state where the agent is licensed will also track that agent's training requirements.

You can also search for job titles online if an agent you're considering has a CIC, CPCU, or ARM designation.

Face-to-face or telephone interview

Often times, potential customers are put off by an agent when they finally speak to or meet an agent. Personality traits can make or break a long-term relationship. So don't be shy about discussing your circumstances, needs, or budget with an agent early on.

Before placing your trust in an agent, it is useful to make sure that he or she is not only trustworthy but also easy to understand. A phone call or a face-to-face meeting gives you the opportunity to assess your product knowledge and get a feel for your integrity.

Inquire about the agents' work history

It's not uncommon for captive agents to move from company to company over the course of their careers, but most independent agents are pretty stationary once they either start or work for an independent agency.

It is perfectly legitimate for you to ask a potential agent to send you their work history. Finally, it makes sense to steer clear of "shop-hoppers" if you want to build a long-term relationship with an insurance professional who deals with such personal services as life insurance and retirement planning.

If an agent seems offended when you ask for a résumé, cut off the conversation and call someone else. There are certainly plenty to choose from.

Get lower prices through an independent agent

Once you understand the difference between a captive and an independent agent, you will quickly find that an independent agent places your needs above the insurance company's needs.

Alternatively, you will likely quickly find that a captive agent is limited in its product selection and therefore usually only offers insurance products that are easy to place. If your suitcase fits in their "box," you probably go well with them, but will they end up going well with you and your corporate family?

The post What is an Independent Life Insurance Broker? first appeared on Lifeinsure.com.

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