Moving from a Captive Agency to an Independent Agency from the perspective of an Agent
I started working for a local large captive Agent in May of 2022. What is a captive agent? A captive agent is an insurance agent that works for only one insurance company. As a first-time insurance agent fresh out of Commonwealth School of Insurance to say I was overwhelmed by the upcoming training laid before me was an understatement. I had never worked in sales before being hired by my new employer.
The first month was filled with product knowledge and training videos. Product knowledge is important to any agency because you want to know and stand beside what you are selling to your clients and customers. The difference is, those Captive agencies only have company specific products they sell, and you can only get them through those companies.
I often struggled helping my clients that had specific needs because they didn’t fit into the parameters of OUR product line. If the client didn’t meet our company underwriting guidelines, we were forced to refer to companies or independent agencies which can offer multiple options for their clients. Knowing you must send customers somewhere else to meet their needs is very disheartening when you are trying to build your book of business.
Sometime later, I had decided to take my skill set elsewhere to McDaniel Insurance in Kentucky. They are an independent insurance agency in my hometown Shelbyville, Kentucky. Right off the bat there was an immediate shift in company culture and a new set of skill requirements.
As an independent agency you have access to a broad spectrum of companies you can run auto, homeowners, and life insurance quotes through. My agency represents reputable companies such as, Erie, Grange, Safeco, Travelers, Hartford, Farmers and many more. All of these have different kinds of types of people they will insure. With all these options for my clients there is no more referring business to other people, I have an option for everyone. If rates with one company increase, we can quote it with our other companies.
Renewals… If you know, you know. It can be a headache for both the insured and the agent. Due to the recent state of our economy, it has left insurance companies no choice but to increase rates, leaving insureds with yet another increase in their personal budgets. One thing I love about McDaniel Insurance is that they try to get ahead of the renewals to see the increases lying ahead, if there are any. Captive agencies don’t require their agents to look for other options because they are the only option. If the premium goes up, they have no choice but to change coverage. Leaving insureds potentially underinsured. I love that our agency catches the increase before they decided to look somewhere else. Long before policyholders need to worry about it.
In closing, my advice to you is find a local agency that will customize your coverage and search for the best value. Find an insurance agency (preferably ours!) where you can meet all your family’s needs and find somewhere you are not just a number to your agent. When you allow an independent agency to protect your home, auto and life you are supporting much more than their small business. You are funding a child’s education, you’re giving back to your own community and lastly you’re receiving the best customer service available to you!
Please reach out if I can help you with your auto, homeowners, life, or business insurance. I can be reached at 502.242.8289 or Lauren@McDanielins.com or stop by the office at 617 Main Street Shelbyville, Kentucky.