Understanding the differences among types of insurance agents can make a big difference to your bottom line. The type of agent you choose will determine the choices you’re offered. There are two basic kinds of agents:

  • Captive agents. Captive agents represent one insurance company. As part of their business agreement, they offer only that company’s products.
  • Independent agents and brokers. Independent agents offer products from different companies. Often, they can offer more choices and savings because they can review multiple options to find the right mix of companies, policies and rates for you.

If you decide that you want the in-person, personalized counsel and local service an independent insurance agent offers you, here are a few things you’ll want to discuss with him or her:

  • Have an aging vehicle? You don’t always need the same level of physical damage coverage on older cars. If you drive an older car, an independent agent or broker can advise you on what level of coverage makes the most sense. Raising the deductible on older cars could save you money each year, too.
  • Own another type of vehicle that needs coverage, too? If you have a motorcycle, boat, RV, ATV or snowmobile, ask your agent about a multi-policy discount.
  • Had any changes in your life lately? It’s not just your car’s year, make and model that determine auto insurance rates. If you’ve recently moved, gotten married or had a birthday, you may be eligible for discounts.
  • Have a need for more than one policy? It’s not necessary to put all of your policies with one company. A real advantage that an independent agent offers you is the ability to pick “best of class” companies for homeowners, car insurance, etc. and place your business with each so you can receive specialized products and service.

To learn more, talk to an independent insurance agent at

Article courtesy of Progressive Insurance. © Progressive Insurance, all rights reserved.

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