Insurance agents are typically an agent for a particular insurance company. If you imagine a Geico representative, who sells insurance through their own agents, who work directly for that company. Or a State Farm office, who also sells through their own agents, who may have their own office but are only allowed to sell a State farm product (by contract). Same thing with the contracted agents of Allstate – they are an AGENT for that insurance company.
An Insurance broker is typically an independent broker, who represents as little as 4 companies to as many as 19 or 20 insurance companies. They work independent from any of the insurance companies but follow guidelines set forth by each company.
Independent insurance broker’s represent so many companies because one might write churches, another pizzeria’s and yet another landlord insurance polices. Some might write home owners insurance but not auto insurance. Some will write auto insurance but not homeowners insurance. And then several will write auto insurance, home owners insurance and a personal umbrella insurance policy.
So us, as independent insurance broker’s can and do write a wide variety of insurance products. So we write restaurant insurance, apartment building insurance, church insurance, vacant buildings, auto and home insurance. Your typical insurance agent cannot write this, as they often represent only 1 or 2 “lines” of insurance.
So you know the difference in who you are dealing with when you buy insurance. Be a smart insurance consumer.
By Tom Larsen