Glossary - Letter - A

Who is insurance agent (or agent or captive agent)? An insurance agent is a person who works for an insurance company and sells the insurance products of this company. An important aspect of working with an agent is that he / she sells insurance products of one company only, and thus is typically not able and not interested to compare prices and features of other products on the market. Agents should not be confused with brokers (or insurance brokers) who are typically able to compare products from several insurance providers.

Typically, an insurance agent receives a salary paid by an insurance company, and he/she can also receive a sales-based commission or bonus. Often, an agent will be interested in selling additional products from the same company (e.g. sell you a small term life insurance policy in the beginning and later offer you disability insurance and / or critical illness protection). Some companies, such as  State Farm work exclusively with agents and, therefore, their products will not appear among the products offered by brokers.

There is an additional category of agents called independent agents who may work with different companies similarly to insurance brokers.

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