If you have to choose between an insurance company agent and an independent insurance agent, you might want to choose the independent agent over the one who works for the company. It may look more impressive when an agent works for a company rather than by himself. But there are certain advantages that an independent agent has over a company agent.
Probably the most important reason that you should prefer an independent insurance agent is the fact that independent agents usually have a network of many insurance companies. An insurance company agent is only responsible for its company's policies, and is therefore limited with only what his or her company has to offer the clients. Independent agents, however, represent more or less five to eight insurance companies in the area. An independent insurance agent would have deep knowledge on each of these company's insurance policies, the prices, the coverage, and the services. As would depend on his or her client, the independent would then be able to put in the best combination of price, coverage, and quality that the client wants in an insurance.
Of course, this can't be all that elevates an independent agent over an insurance company agent, although most of the other reasons are tied to the reason stated above. For example, you are assured that the independent agent would be more informed and knowledgeable about the kinds of policies and services that each insurance companies are offering to clients. This is because he or she has many companies to cover. The company agent, on the other, has to focus on his company's policies, thereby limiting his knowledge about the coverage and services of the rival companies.
Given the vast business network of the independent agent, you are also assured that he or she is more effective with social interaction and negotiations. You will be able to assess how professional he or she is with how strong and experienced her customer and community ties are. This implies that the independent agent will be able to provide a better service, no matter from which company your insurance will come from.
In cases where you as a client and policyholder are dissatisfied with your current insurance, and you want some changes to the coverage and service, it would be an advantage if your agent works independently. This way, there will be only minimal changes to deal with since the independent agent is not beholden to just one company. If you stick to only one insurance company, however, and if you are only holding on to their policies, it might get difficult to get changes made especially if the changes you want is not included in their list coverages.
The one thing to really remember when choosing between and independent agent and a company agent is that you will get more quality and value from an independent agent. He or she will hunt down the best combination for you, filled with the right set of coverages and policies that you want. You are also assured that he will keep track of any changes to the policies and will take care of it for you. You can look at it this way: an independent insurance agent puts you first before the insurance companies lined up.