<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://q.quora.com/_/ad/c4ba33543f6649e78450d9e83622f5af/pixel?tag=ViewContent&amp;noscript=1">

7 Reasons to Use an Independent Insurance Agent

Lenny Robbins
Aug 14, 2012 12:43:00 AM

ask an expert sign against a sky background for 7 reasons to use an independent life insurance agentWhen you begin to think about life insurance, you should carefully consider what services you want your agent to provide for you. Should you get life insurance from a captive agent who works for a particular company? We don't think so and here are 7 reasons why an independent life insurance agent might be a better choice:


1. Experience

An independent term life insurance agent has experience with many different companies and policies. The will know many small differences from one company or product to another that can benefit you.  They are often the best guide for helping you figure out which company and policy fit best for your situation.

2. Works with Many Companies

Captive agents work for one particular company. They only know the products that company sells and more importantly these are the only choices they can offer to you.

Independent agents, on the other hand, work with many highly rated companies. 

  • They understand the different underwriting guidelines of those carriers
  • They can help you choose one likely to give you a favorable rating.
  • Having more choices will enable you to insure that you get the best life insurance for your particular situation. 
  • Whether you have underwriting issues or not, an independent agent opens up more options for you.

3. Aware of Special Offers

An independent life insurance agent will be able to help you take advantage of special offers such as "table shaving," which might allow a person with a serious health problem, like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, to get Universal Life at a better underwriting rate than they could get for term life.

Additionally, sometimes a carrier has a program that may just fit your situation.  One carrier had a program for smokers.  If you were buying a permanent policy and in the process of quitting smoking, they would give you non-smoker rates for the first 3 years, and if you had stopped by then, these rates would continue.  There is and was no other carrier willing to do this. 

4. No Extra Cost for Service

It isn't often you get something for nothing, yet when you choose an independent agent you get someone whose goal is your best interest to guide you through the life insurance labyrinth. Your guide knows all about the details of life insurance, more than you would ever want to know and they give you the value of this expertise at no extra charge!

Whether you use an independent agent, a captive agent or an in house agent, your cost for insurance never changes as these are set by the insurance company and filed with the state commissioner of insurance.

5. Can Help Solve Problems

Do you have?

  • Health issues which concern you?
  • Perhaps your weight isn't where it should be, or you smoke.
  • Or maybe you race cars or participate in other extreme sports. 
  • Are you a private pilot?

Any of these can increase your insurance cost.  Some senior life insurance underwriting guidelines  are more lenient than others for these issues.  Do you know which carriers?  Of course not!  That's why an independent term life insurance agent is your best guide.

An independent life insurance agent knows what carriers are looking for, and can help present these "issues" to in the best light.

6. Will Make Sure You Get the Right Insurance to Fulfill Your Goals

Do you really know how much insurance you need? Have you thought about how life insurance can help you meet retirement planning goals? An independent agent can discuss your options with you and help you choose the right amount and type of insurance.

Not everyone understands the difference between term and permanent coverage.  If you want permanent coverage, there are many options available, some offering more value than others.  Also some permanent policies can be guaranteed up to age 85, 95, 100 or 121, or anywhere in between.  Make sure you know what you are buying and that the policy will do what you need it to do.

7. Will Be Your Personal Shopper

Ever wished you could have someone to sort through your choices and explain why one is better than another? That is exactly what an independent agent will do for you.  Have specific questions?  Get them answered in a timely manner by asking your personal agent.  Their job is to help you understand your choices as well as understanding why one option is better for you than another.  There are no stupid questions, it's extremely important for you to be comfortable with your purchase and to understand what you are buying!

The Bottom Line

Because life insurance is so important, you need expert help to make the best decision. Although you can get senior life insurance without much guidance, it's not your best route.  Take the time to understand your life insurance purchase, as you plan to have the coverage for a long time.  As these seven reasons show, your best guide is an independent term life insurance agent.

Download Life Insurance 101