by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
An independent insurance agent and broker has the ability to provide the best product to fit a client’s unique needs since he or she is not contractually bound to sell only a primary company’s products. While captive agents do go "off the reservation", they often do so "on the QT", or only after the primary company has declined the risk.
Consumers may see a value in an agent who has a brand name on a business card, but they should be aware of the independent broker/consultant/planner model which enables someone with smarts, experience and confidence, to access and provide a wider universe of products and solutions to meet the consumer's needs than a captive agent.
A captive agent for life, disability , annuity or long term care insurance is associated with the capitive company by joining a general agency for the captive company. An independent agent and broker is affiliated with a master general agency (MGA or BGA) which pools production from a wide universe of producers This not only convenient for the agent, but it serves to work around minimum production standards, which could possibly have an effect on agent objectivity towards the end of the year.