If a person was born around the 1920’s in the Unites States they would know basically only one car that was widely available to purchase, the Ford Model T. In fact, from 1913 until 1927 there were over 15 million sold in the United States when the car was a relatively new invention. Now if a person from that same time period could only jump ahead a century later and see how many different choices there are when it comes to what vehicle they wanted to purchase they would be astounded at the options and companies to choose from. The Ford motor company combined with the innovation of assembly line production made them a household name and somewhat of a monopoly simply because there were no other choices. Now there are many domestic car manufacturers, dozens of international car manufacturers, and even now electric cars to pick from! What a change in perspective that person would have. After being in the insurance industry for almost 20 years now, this is how I look at life & disability income insurance. Long gone are the days when you would go to one company for all your insurance needs, yet many carriers still believe for whatever reason that they are the only car for sale on the road. The purpose of this article is comparing Independent Insurance Agencies to Captive Insurance Agencies.
Captive Insurance Agencies
Often representing Mutual Carriers which are owned by the policyholders, Captive Agencies push their name brand often at the expense of providing competitive products to offer to the consumers. Working for a Captive Agency means just that, you’re captive to their product line. These can often be the same place where you purchase your car insurance for example, however, by getting what you perceive as a group discount by bundling all of your property and casualty lines of insurance with your life insurance you limit your options and often pay more than you should for what you’re trying to accomplish. Be weary of a well-known name for your life and disability income needs, just because a commercial has a duck quacking at you to go to them know that the life insurance industry is a highly regulated industry. Paying to build a company’s name comes at the expense of being competitive in a marketplace where there are dozens of highly rated companies to choose from. Captive Insurance agencies are not the recommended place to go for your life and disability income needs. Their tactics are dated while lacking transparency in a world where information is power.
Independent Insurance Agencies
People often use the phrase ‘broker’ when it comes to describing Independent Insurance Agencies I think because they think of a stock broker, however, the appropriate term is independent when referring to the insurance industry. Being independent empowers an agency the ability to access various non-captive carriers and their full product lines. An independent agency has to access these various carriers through an Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) and by doing so allows them to get whatever product is appropriate for any person’s insurance needs. Whether it’s term insurance, permanent insurance, annuity products, or short and long-term disability products independent agents don’t have to pitch only one company’s product line. An independent agency doesn’t need their agents to work from the bottom of any totem pole for the sake of the company and their career with that company, but rather can focus on their clients’ needs in an ethical fashion that benefits their clients over the stake of any particular carrier. With the life insurance industry’s regulatory-diligence the highest-rated companies are all highly competitive and change with the times. Their products are just as solid as ones offered by captive carriers, but their prices are competitive and their products are more innovative to keep up with consumers’ changing needs.
In short, many an insurance agent gets their start in this industry being fed the cool aid from one captive carrier or another. They start at the bottom of the totem pole and are told to keep their head down and sale sale sale! Tell everyone how great that one carrier is and how their products have all of the answers for every consumer in order to work their way up in their career path to make that one company the best. There are a handful of captive carriers that have taken it so far as to attempt to turn the insurance industry into a pyramid scheme. I understand why people often have a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to saying the word insurance or even thinking about it. I’ve seen so many overpriced products, poorly-designed products, underfunded policies on horrible foundations, as well as underperforming products that I don’t blame people for not knowing who to trust. Considering the responsibility that is placed upon an honest insurance agent’s shoulders it takes the power of choice and transparency to lighten your path so that you know who to trust.
You need an Independent Insurance Agency in your corner who simplifies the process and is an advocate on your behalf not the company’s. Think twice when an agent tells you his one company has all of your answers for you and your family, it’s 2018, not 1918, and there are dozens of companies to choose from for insurance needs.
Work with an Independent Insurance Agency for your life & disability income needs and you won’t end up with a Ford Model T sitting in your driveway. Please visit www.millenniuminsurancegroup.com or call us at 206-247-5360, we’re here to help.