Independent Agents Face Steeper Competition as Carriers Release Captive Agents

In case you haven’t heard, many carriers have been releasing captive agents, and allowing them to become fully independent agents. Insurers have realized that customers want to work with independent agents who can offer them many different kinds of plans from different carriers, not just plans that are tied to one specific carrier. Because of this, many captive agents have made the transition to becoming independent, which has created more competition than ever for independent agents looking for more leads and customers. This might feel a bit alarming to you, but there are still ways you can stand out from the crowd.

Why Carriers Are Making The Switch

change with orange arrows around it forming a circle
Insurance carriers are switching to independent agents so they can increase profits.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it made sense for carriers to re-examine their business models, and look for ways to grow while also saving money. Low-interest rates have laid waste to the industry’s ability to grow its accrued revenues over the past few years and captive agents, while well versed in the carrier’s offerings, have a high overhead cost. So to increase their profits, many carriers are switching to working with independent agents, allowing the agents that they work with to sell other carriers’ products.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Because many carriers are now choosing to work with independent agents, you will have to work hard to stand out, and to have a competitive edge over others in your field. If you have built a large clientele base, you’re already ahead of the game. But that doesn’t mean you can get complacent!

You still have to continue to grow, so you will need to focus heavily on marketing and customer service. Make sure that you take the time to build relationships with all of your customers, and work on making your marketing funnel more efficient by:

  • Offering personalized service– To give customers a better experience in the digital world, you need to personalize your customers’ journey with every interaction.
  • Staying on top of interactions– Anticipate your interactions with your customers by using email automation to help inform your customers about renewal dates and plans that might be right for them.
  • Being straightforward– It’s important to make your website and social media accounts as streamlined as possible.
paper with a stamp of certification on the bottom
When you are first starting out, make sure to get a license and insurance for your business.

And if you’re just starting out as an independent agent, the first things you’ll need to focus on will be the practical aspects of building your business, like:

  • Getting business licensing and insurance
  • Designing a logo and other brand-related elements
  • Creating a professional website
  • Developing a plan to automate your marketing
  • Building your client list

Then you’ll need to focus on acquiring leads, nurturing leads, and converting leads into customers, by:

  • Assessing your client acquisition method
  • Defining your unique value
  • Focusing on building relationships with your customers and being timely when responding to them
  • Creating a website with informational content that relates to your customer’s needs and answers the questions they are asking
  • Building your social media presence to get your business known and trusted – take the time to post engaging content there, and stay on top of interactions with potential customers. The more accessible you are, the more you will build your customer base.

Looking For Leads?

When dealing with a growing competitive field, the most important step will be building your customer list. And what better way to do this than getting hand-delivered, ready-to-buy leads from Benepath? When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part.

We provide you with real-time leads through a secured process and give you a customized thank-you page so your leads will be ready for your call. This thank-you page assures leads that they won’t be bounced around between agents and gives them a feeling of connection with you right from the start.

We offer the leads, and while it is up to you to properly nurture your leads, we’ll be behind you every step of the way. You’ll find, though, that our leads don’t need much nurturing because they are ready to speak with you and buy your product! But if they do need some nurturing, follow the effective ways mentioned above to seal the deal. To get more information, fill out the form below or call 866-368-0377.

Transitioning from a Captive Agent to an Independent Insurance Agent

When you first decide to become an insurance agent, you have the option to either become a captive agent or an independent agent. Being a captive agent means you will work for one insurance carrier and be paid commissions from the one specific insurance company that you work for. On the other hand, if you become an independent agent, you will be able to work with multiple carriers and be your own boss.

If you have started your career as a captive agent, and have decided you want to make the transition to being an independent agent, you are probably wondering where you should start. It’s not that hard to make the transition, but there are a few things you should know.

Captive Agent

phone, book and laptop chained together
Captive agents are limited to working with only one insurance carrier and their products.

When working for a specific carrier, you will only be able to sell that company’s products. The downside to being this type of agent is that you will not be able to offer as many options to your customers, so you might end up losing commissions. You will also have less flexibility in your job: being a captive agent usually means having a more traditional, 9-to-5 office job.

Independent Agent

An independent insurance agent doesn’t work for a specific insurance carrier, and works on commission only. They differ from captive agents because they can sell policies from many carriers, which allows them to work with all sorts of leads, and find the best plans available for them. In fact, studies show that independent insurance agents have a 50% higher commission percentage compared to captive agents! Not only that, but being an independent agent means more flexibility in your job, because you will essentially be working for yourself.

Making the Transition

certificate
When you transition into an independent agent, you will first need to get business licensing and insurance.

If you have decided that you want to transition from being a captive agent to being an independent agent, and break free from only working with one insurance company, there are a few steps you will have to take. The first thing you should do is carefully read your contract with the carrier that you currently work for to avoid any non-compete violations.

Next, to begin the process of building your business, you will need to:

  • Get business licensing and insurance
  • Design a logo and other brand-related elements
  • Create a professional website
  • Develop a plan to automate your marketing
  • Build your client list

Looking For Leads?

When making this big leap from working for a carrier to starting your own agency, the most important step will be building your customer list. And what better way to do this than getting hand-delivered, ready-to-buy leads from Benepath? When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part.

We provide you with real-time leads through a secured process and give you a customized thank-you page so your leads will be ready for your call. This thank-you page assures leads that they won’t be bounced around between agents and gives them a feeling of connection with you right from the start. We offer the leads, and, while it is up to you to properly nurture the leads, we’ll be behind you every step of the way. You’ll find, though, that our leads don’t need much nurturing because they are ready to speak with you and buy your product! But if they do need some nurturing, follow the effective ways mentioned above to seal the deal. To get more information, fill out the form below or call 866-368-0377.

The Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Insurance Agents

Trying to figure out if becoming an insurance agent is right for you? Or maybe you’ve passed your insurance agent exam and are now licensed in your state to start selling insurance, but are wondering what your new job is going to be like? If you’re new to the insurance industry or want to start a career in this industry, you’re probably wondering what your day-to-day responsibilities are going to be. Knowing what an agent is responsible for can help you better prepare for your work, and help you become more successful at selling insurance.

Captive Vs Independent Agents

man in a suit
Captive agents and independent agents vary in who they work for and what they can sell.

First of all, you should know that your responsibilities might differ based on whether you are a captive agent working for an insurance company, or an independent agent. Captive agents are employed by a single insurance company and can only sell policies from that insurer. On the other hand, independent insurance agents don’t work for one specific insurance company, rather they can work with and sell policies from many insurers.

This means that, for captive agents, their duties will be dictated by the needs of the insurance company that they work for. On the other hand, independent agents work for their own agency, so they can often set their own schedules.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

So what does the typical workday look like for insurance agents? An agent’s daily routine will most likely be similar regardless of the type of insurance they sell, whether Medicare Supplement Plans, health insurance plans, or business insurance. The list of responsibilities that insurance agents have might include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling potential new clients and leads to pitch them one or more types of coverage.
  • Explaining the ins and outs of many different policies to potential new leads and customers, as well as existing customers.
  • Speaking with potential leads to assess their interest in buying insurance, and to collect as much relevant information as possible so they can search for plans.
  • Analyzing policies held by current customers to see if any changes need to be made to their coverage, or if any additions should be suggested to them.
  • person in a suit holding a tablet with options over itPutting together a list of options available to potential leads, along with quotes, rates, and coverage options each plan offers.
  • Renewing plans for existing customers.
  • Maintaining and updating customer records.
  • Helping answer questions, concerns, and any other issues for existing customers and policyholders, including helping with claims.

Finding New Leads/Customers

If you’re looking for more ready-to-buy leads, you can rely on Benepath. We offer you real-time exclusive leads who are warmed up and ready to purchase an insurance plan – all you have to do is tell us the days and times that you are available so that we can connect you to live transfer calls during your specific hours. In short, we do all the work for you, finding you pre-qualified leads and simply passing them off to you to make the sale. Benepath will provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry, not to mention the best leads available!

To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

How Much Money Do Insurance Agents Make?

We get it: when you’re looking into a career, one of the first things you want to know is how much money you can expect to make. After all, you want to make a good living, even if the profession is your passion. So if how much money you make is a top priority for you, and you have chosen to become an insurance agent, we have good news. Not only can you make a good living as an insurance agent, but right now insurance agents are in high demand, and the need for them continues to grow, so you’ll always have work and shouldn’t have any problems earning your commissions. But just how much do insurance agents make? Well, you can make six figures, but you need to know what factors come into play when determining how much you will earn.

How Much Can You Make?

illustration of a person in a chair with money over his head
It is possible to make 6 figures working as an insurance agent,

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an insurance agent makes an average of $50,600 per year as of 2018. The position’s pay can vary drastically, with the lowest 10% earning less than $27,500, and the highest 10% earning more than $125,610.

What Determines How Much You Make?

The figures above show that how much money you’ll make as an agent can vary wildly. So what factors go into determining the actual amount you’ll make? How much you earn will depend on what type of agent you are: independent agents and captive agents will often earn different salaries. In addition, the products you sell come into play: for example, do you sell just health insurance, or do you sell Medicare Supplement Plans as well?

The factors that come into play when figuring out what you might earn include:

  • What type of agent you are- Captive agents work for an insurance company and have leads generated for them, but they can only sell that insurer’s plans and nothing more. Independent agents, on the other hand, have the freedom to work with whatever companies they want to, but have to find ways to generate their own leads.
  • Type of insurance you sell– If you sell life and health insurance, you can expect to make a percentage of each policy’s premium, as well as a percentage of the policy renewal. In addition, if you sell Medicare products, you’ll find that those leads are the leads that keep on giving, because you get a guaranteed 7-year renewal with them.
  • Location– Where you live can play a big role in how much you make. The amount an agent makes in a small town is different from the amount an agent makes in a big city filled with more people and with a higher cost of living.

How Can You Maximize Your Earnings?

money growing on vines coming out of the ground
The best way to make a good salary is to put a lot of effort into growing your business and customer base.

If you’re an independent agent, the best way to make a good salary is to put a lot of effort into growing your business and customer base. You will have to focus your efforts on marketing yourself, and generating as many leads as possible through your marketing, customer service, and referrals. And if you are having problems finding leads, or would like to generate more ready-to-buy leads, working with Benepath will help you reach your commission goals, even if you’re hoping for six figures!

We offer exclusive leads who are ready to buy – all you have to do is tell us when you are available to work with them. Benepath will provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry, not to mention the best leads available. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

Advantages of Being An Independent Agent

When you enter the world of insurance sales, you have a big decision to make: should you become an independent agent or a captive agent? While both types of agent are fully licensed to sell insurance, there is a major difference between the two: captive agents are employed by insurance companies and represent only that company, while independent agents have more freedom to work with different insurance companies, instead of working for them. Going the independent agent route will guarantee you more opportunities for success, because you will be able to offer more to your clients. But that is not the only advantage of being an independent agent.

More Optionsmany white doors lined up next to each other

As an independent agent, you can represent multiple insurance companies; doing so allows you to not only become extremely knowledgeable about different plans, but also to provide clients with more options. Captive agents can only compare insurance plans offered by the insurance company they work for, but independent agents have access to many markets, meaning you will be able to compare plans and find what is truly the best option for your customers, so you’ll end up with happier clients – and more referrals!

Freedom & Flexibility

If you become an independent agent, you will own your agency, so you will essentially be your own boss. You will not only have the freedom to decide which carriers you want to work with, but you will also have the flexibility to set your own hours and choose where and when you want to meet with or speak to clients. All of this means that you won’t have to operate around the traditional 9-5 work day; you can even meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends, so you’ll be able to attract people with tighter schedules.

Unbiased Advicewoman with a suit on smiling and holding her laptop

Clients will want to work with you if you are an independent agent because they’ll know that you’ll give them unbiased advice. Captive agents will always try to sell clients a plan from the carrier they work with, even if it is not the best option for them, but because you work with multiple carriers, you can actually find the best plan for them.

It is your choice whether you become an independent agent or a captive agent, but ultimately there are more advantages to being an independent one. Not only will you be your own boss, but you could end up as a much more successful seller: customers will choose to come to you because they know you can offer more, and save them more money.

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