There are a number of different types of health insurance agents in the state of Florida. Independent health insurance agents and captive health insurance agents comprise the two main categories of health insurance agents in Florida. Learning some of the differences between the two types of health insurance agents can greatly help you in choosing what type of Florida health insurance agent can best meet your health insurance needs.
First of all, there are many outstanding Florida insurance agents that are captive agents just as there are many outstanding Florida insurance agents that are independent agents. It should go without saying that you want to work with a health insurance agent that actually lives in Florida, handles himself/herself in a professional and ethical manner, and looks out for your best interests. Contrasting the pros and cons of both Florida independent insurance agents and Florida captive insurance agents should not be misconstrued as a positive or negative outlook on a specific individual agent or his/her character and business practices.
That being said, there are many advantages to working with an independent health insurance agent as opposed to working with a captive health insurance agent. Why is that? First of all, let’s define both a captive insurance agent and an independent insurance agent so that we have a clear understanding of what each term means.
A captive health insurance agent is an agent that is held “captive” by one specific health insurance company. That captive agent can only work with that one health insurance company and can only sell health insurance products from that particular health insurance company. All of this is specified in the agents contract and to attempt to sell a product from another health insurance company is not possible.
An independent health insurance agent is an agent that is not tied to working with only one particular health insurance company. An independent health insurance agent typically has a contract with 3-5 of the top health insurance companies that offer coverage in the agents state (some independent agent’s have contracts with even more than 5 insurance companies – although the level of quality of the health insurance companies begin to drop off quite significantly after the top 3-5). Independent health insurance agents have many more options available to them that they are able to offer to their clients than does the typical captive health insurance agent.
What does all of this mean to you; the Florida health insurance shopper? Be cautious when an agent tries to push a particular company or product on you without allowing you to compare other options against his/her recommendation. Maybe you are dealing with an agent that is captive and can only work with one company. Or maybe you are dealing with an agent that can work with other companies but chooses to only represent one particular company. Also, keep in mind that you and your families health insurance needs will change over time and you will profit from establishing a relationship with an independent health insurance agent that will be able to help you compare multiple Florida health insurance quotes from multiple health insurance companies both now and down the road.