Should you choose a life insurance agent or broker? Tough Question explained in depth!
For starters…let’s cover that this is not meant to offend anyone. It’s a popular question that needs answers. Life insurance agent or broker? Which one is better is the big questions.
We are here to explain what you need to know to make the correct decision.
So What’s the difference between a life insurance agent or broker?
Let’s cover the big difference. So what is it? What can a Life insurance Broker do for me that a captive life insurance agent can’t? The choice between a life insurance broker and a captive insurance agent is not always easy. You may not even be aware of the difference or that…
A broker may be able to tailor a life insurance policy for you by navigating several companies. Besides that, what else can you gain by choosing a life insurance broker?
This discussion should help clarify the differences for you. Here are the key difference between the life insurance broker and the captive life insurance agent.
Reason # 1 – Life Insurance Agent or Broker?
A Captive Agent can only offer you one option and only one company products.
So what does this mean for you?.
It means they are not going to be able to tailor things in the most ethical manner for the consumer. This is nothing against the captive agent. They don’t have the same access and abilities to find a perfect fit you. A Life Insurance Broker will have several companies to present to you. The broker will present them after reviewing the true need and analyzing what will fit you best.
Because they don’t have that option.
Let’s say for instance you are searching for a 30 Year Term Life Insurance Policy. Of course, the company most likely carries this life insurance option, but they carry it at only one price.
The PRICE THAT COMPANY has set!
As the consumer, that means that another strong company may exist for you. As much as 50% less cost out of your pocket. The Life Insurance Broker will be able to see this immediately and present all options to you.
Life insurance agent or broker, part 2-The Captive Life Insurance Agent does not have the option to look into other options for you. Thus, of course, will relay to you only the benefits of the one option he or she is presenting.
Next, you have the Life Insurance Broker
If you choose the Life Insurance Broker he or she will often be able to present you several options. Access to over 50 life insurance companies. Having full capabilities of working FOR YOU and always having your best interest in mind.
Let’s face it!
You’re either very healthy or deemed a higher risk. The Life Insurance Broker will recognize which one that may be and know what options to present and look at.
Life Insurance is a sensitive discussion and should you should treat in such a manner.
Choosing a life insurance broker ensures that YOU ALWAYS COME FIRST. The Life Insurance Broker has a responsibility to work for YOU and No one single company.
Most Life Insurance Brokers also represent some of the strongest companies. The Life Insurance market is saturated with options. You should not overlook all the top companies available. A captive life insurance agent may be able to present one of these. Why not allow the life insurance broker to present them all?
Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying anything negative toward any Captive Life Insurance Companies or Captive Life Insurance Agents. Plenty of great options are out and available for the consumer. Yes, even while using a Captive Life Insurance Agent.
But is your budget limited? Has a life Insurance broker presented all options to you? Are you sure you can’t save money on the same policy with the same terms?
You could be paying 50% higher premiums for the mere fact that you know a Captive Life Insurance Agent. Is this worth not speaking to a life insurance broker? or The life insurance broker could have presented carriers with other perks. You won’t know unless you give it a shot.
Reason # 2 to choose a broker over a captive insurance agent.
Searching the Open Life Insurance Market. This may seem like it falls into category #1 but stay with me here for a second. The Life Insurance broker is not always bargain shopping for the client
A Life Insurance Broker is also going to search the open market and compare all carriers. 50 plus Life Insurance carriers to tailor to the client needs could mean some legwork. Your Life Insurance Broker has you covered for this.
Things such as Special Riders, special health consideration, and living benefits. These are something your life insurance broker sees daily. He or she knows what companies to contact first. They know the ins and outs are ready to show you the best fit.
Reason #3 to choose a broker- Life insurance agent or broker
Let’s face it, how many people can say they are enjoying shopping for Life Insurance currently. Life Insurance is not the most appealing shopping spree you will engage in. It’s frustrating going over health questions, and other sensitive information. Your life insurance broker knows this. He or she only ask necessary questions to find you the perfect fit. A fit that meets your budget and coverage desires.
So why not deal with the Life Insurance Broker who can be a one-stop and get it done for you.
Reason #4- to choose the Life Insurance Broker- Life insurance agent or broker?
Life Insurance Clients is all a life insurance broker has and what they live for. It’s the lifeblood of there business and your the primary concern.
Captive Life Insurance agents know one way to conduct business. It was most likely taught to them shortly after becoming licensed. They don’t have the same arsenal of companies and options to look at. They aren’t as familiar with medical conditions.
A Life Insurance Broker is also concerned with what’s known as persistency levels. Don’t worry. This is good for you. This means his or her main goal is to keep you happy and find the right fit the first time.
With that, you should know the life insurance broker will always be looking for ways to touch base or help! The broker is going to want to go out of his or her way to make sure your taken care of.
You’re not another statistic or number in the eyes of life insurance broker. You are valued and your best interest is top of mind for the life insurance broker.
Reason # 5 to choose an Independent Life Insurance Agent- Life insurance agent or Broker?
No More hold times.No more annoying customer service representatives. You can call your personal life insurance to handle the issue. The broker will call whichever your carrier you need and handle the claims and paperwork.
When you work with a life insurance broker, you will call him or her for all issues. He or she will handle the issue. No questions asked. You could do this in several ways.
What am I referring to exactly? Let’s say you need to change a beneficiary.
Would you rather call the Life Insurance carrier? or give your trusted life insurance broker a quick call and let him handle it?
Behind the scenes for you with no worries on your end and no time wasted?
The answer is obvious
Reason #6 to choose an Independent Life Insurance Agent- Life Insurance agent or broker?
Life insurance Brokers often hold high designations and higher education? Why? Because the life insurance broker is often self-employed. This drives him or her to be a master at his or her craft and be a true practitioner of life insurance. A Life insurance broker is a true advisor of options for you.
A Captive Life Insurance Agent may be in the autopilot at times. They may respond to request without giving much feedback at all.
A Life Insurance broker is going to listen. Then, they will tailor and execute a well-constructed plan for you. The life insurance broker will be inquiring and sending information off. Information inquiring about the best rates for you. Rates with several carriers across the United States.
Reason #7 To choose an Independent Life Insurance Agent- Life insurance agent or broker?
High-Risk Life Insurance can be difficult to navigate. Even more difficult for a Captive Life Insurance Agent. A Life insurance broker will have strong knowledge and experience in field underwriting. He or she has seen plenty of cases with special circumstances.
A Captive agent may take your information. Put you through a rigorous amount of underwriting, invasive questions, and lab test. All it may get you in the end….? Declined. A Life insurance broker does not like to waste your time or his or her own. They will only put in an application when they feel confident it will be approved. Is this 100%? No. It is a common practice however and most life insurance brokers know which carriers handle certain risk.
A Life Insurance Broker will know which carriers favor certain health hazards.They will work in your corner. Contacting the appropriate carriers to verify information beforehand. Blind submitting your Life Insurance policy is never a good use of time. Not for you. Not for me, and not for a captive life insurance agent.
Your Life Insurance Application Process
Could you still be turned down? Perhaps,
Would you rather be declined after a strong methodical effort for the correct coverage and price?
has it been declined after a lengthy process and testing because you wanted to make a quick call? A call to that Captive Life Insurance Agent.
Reason # 8 to choose an Independent Life Insurance Agent- Life insurance agent or broker?
– as someone stated in reason #1 it comes down to price.
This reason to choose the Life Insurance Broker will be brief.
WHY PAY MORE FOR A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY? You can get the same policy with the same coverage. For Cheaper!
Again, the CAPTIVE Insurance agent does not have these options. This is not your fault or their. It’s the way it is!
Reason #9 to choose an Independent Life Insurance Agent- Life insurance agent or broker?
Before anyone begins rolling the eyes at this reason, let me explain.
Am I saying Captive Agents are not as intelligent?
Of course not.
There is a very high probability that the life insurance broker is a small business owner. This means he or she is operating at his or expense and it’s their agency. It’s important that they further education and build the business. It’s not saying a Captive Agent may not be as educated.
It’s safe to say and I would hope most would agree that owning a business is not easy. It’s feasible and most likely these individuals take their craft seriously. If they don’t, his or her business may
Some Life Insurance Agency Owners (independents) may even be financially licensed as well.
Is this necessary? No. Does it help? Of course,
Knowledge is power. Anything a life insurance broker can do to help is something to consider.
It’s your family and future that depends on it! So where are we with this? Life insurance agent or broker?
Investopedia describes An independent agent is an insurance agent that sells insurance policies provided by several different insurance companies, rather than a single insurance company. An independent agent receives commissions for the policies that he or she sells and is not considered an employee of a specific insurance company.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say to be very selective about who you work with for your life insurance.
Captive Agents are not always a bad pick. Know the differences. Know what the life insurance broker can do for you and how it is different.
I began my career as a Captive Life Insurance Agent and found myself in binds, and ethical dilemmas. All too often I found that what my company offered didn’t what the client needed so I knew it was time for a change.
My advice, speak to a Life Insurance Broker
Let him or she do the legwork, search the open market to save you time and money and sit back and let them review and stay in touch and constantly be thinking of your best interest!
Article published and updated 2/19/2018- Updated- 10-19-2018
Josh Martin is an Independent Life Insurance Agent licensed in 47 U.S. state helping hundreds of people in securing Life Insurance for affordable rates with Reputable and strong Life Insurance Carriers.