The Marketing and Selling of Insurance CAPTIVE AGENTS

Captive agents represent only a single insurer. In some instances, they may even be employees of the insurer. Examples of captive agents are agents who sell State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, and Farmers policies. A State Farm agent, for example, is limited to offering the policies offered by the State Farm companies. If a given customer seeks a type of insurance not offered by a captive agent insurer, the customer will end up having to go to another agent or broker to obtain a quote or a policy. Nonetheless, the captive agent manner of marketing of insurance, particularly personal lines policies, obviously has been successful. State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers control a substantial portion of the United States personal lines insurance market. However, if you really want to comparison shop for competing quotes involving considerations other than price from several companies, including from one or more captive agent companies, you will have to contact an agent from each company separately and compare the results on your own. The most important thing the consumer needs to do is locate a competent agent. While there is no single yardstick by which to gauge an agent’s competence, things to inquire about include: ◆ education level (i.e., is the agent in question a college graduate?— sometimes the ability to spot issues is crucial); ◆ how many years of experience does the person have as a licensed agent?; ◆ whether the agent is a member of any of the professional insurance associations. While not a perfect measure, such memberships can indicate a level of knowledge and commitment to a business and career; and, ◆ whether the agent has a chartered property casualty underwriter (CPCU) designation. NOTE: A CPCU designation is earned by completion of a series of college-level courses in various aspects of the business of insurance and by passing a nationally administered examination for each of the required courses. CPCU designations are sought and earned by many insurance industry personnel, such as underwriters and claims representatives, in addition to agents and brokers. Holding a CPCU designation is considered within the business of insurance a mark of commitment to an insurance career and a significant professional achievement within the business. There are competent and professional agents who are independent agents, and who are captive agents. You just need to understand enough about the various marketing channels to make a decision which form makes the best sense for you.

Aucun commentaire