What Are the Different Types of Insurance Agents?

Insurance agents are classified the type of insurance they sell and their relationship with the companies that underwrite the policies they sell. Homeowners insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and health insurance are just a few of the many fields in which agents specialize. Some agents work for a single insurance company, while others sell products from several companies or are hired insurance buyers to shop for policies on their behalf. Agents are increasingly divided into two groups: those who work as part of large agent pools and those who work on their own.

Each insurance product has its own set of characteristics. Because of the distinction between types of insurance, it is advantageous for an agent to focus on one or two types of coverage. Because health insurance is such a complicated product, insurance agents who sell it are likely to specialize. Smaller communities and agencies are more likely to sell a variety of products because specialization makes less sense in those environments. Secondary products, such as annuities or other investments, are sold all types of agents.

The relationship that insurance agents have with the companies that underwrite the policies they sell is a key distinction between them. Some agents have exclusive agreements with a single company. These agents may have access to discounted rates, but they are restricted in the products they can sell.

Independent insurance agents make a living selling policies from a variety of companies. They are able to provide competitive quotes from a variety of different insurance providers because they work with multiple firms. Independent agents’ clients will typically have a larger selection of products to choose from as a result of this. However, such agents must devote more time and effort to learning the specifics of products from a variety of companies.

Insurance brokers, not insurance agencies, act on behalf of customers. However, they serve a similar purpose locating policies that meet the needs of consumers at the lowest possible cost. In some cases, brokers may be able to work out a deal with other agents.

The nature of work as an insurance agent is changing due to advancements in communication technology. Many insurance agents are now employed in large agent pools to support insurance orders placed over the phone or via the Internet. These agents may or may not keep in touch with specific clients on a regular basis. Such relationships are usually maintained more traditional insurance agents.