Insurance Carrier vs Insurance Agent

exclusive agent vs independent agency

Whether you’re a practicing insurance agent, a hopeful trying to get your feet wet in the industry, or merely a customer, it’s helpful to understand the difference between an insurance carrier and an insurance agent. These two terms are often used interchangeably by people who don’t know better, but the reality is that they refer to two completely different things.

emphasizes that agents and carriers must work closely together within the insurance industry, so no matter what your role, read on.

What is an Insurance Carrier?

An is a company that holds individual insurance policies. You no doubt have a card with the name of one or more of these companies in your wallet right now. The insurance carrier collects monthly premiums on policies, and it is the insurance carrier who will pay out if a claim is filed. Think of insurance carriers as entire companies, be they large or small, comprised of individuals who perform a variety of different industry jobs.

Most insurance carriers employ agents who help to sell their insurance to clients. However, not every insurance agent works for a single carrier. Insurance agents who do work for a single carrier are known as captive agents, and those who do not are known as independent agents.

What is an Insurance Agent?

As an , you work directly with families and individuals. Insurance agents might also serve businesses or corporations. It is the responsibility of an insurance agent to find the right policy for their client and get them signed up. An insurance agent needs to have done the research to find out what plans and policies are available so that they can match up their client with the best policy to suit the client’s needs. One way to think of an insurance agent that helps distinguish them from insurance carriers is to mentally categorize them as salespeople, since salesmanship is such an important part of the job.

Employment for insurance agents is currently on the rise, so if you’re considering a career in this field, it’s a great time to take the plunge.

Want to Become an Insurance Agent?

If you’ve got strong people skills and great attention to detail, you’ll likely find success as an insurance agent. When , you need to consider two factors—customer service and product offering. That means you’ll need to work with insurance carriers and acquire contracts you can pass along to your clients. You’ll also need to be an expert at listening to what they’re looking for in a policy and going out and finding it for them.

Once you build the right connections and relationships with insurance carriers, the job of an insurance agent gets a lot easier. .

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