What Is the Difference Between an Insurance Agent and a Broker?

Feb. 5, 2021

While researching a career in the insurance industry, you most likely have come across the terms “insurance broker” and “insurance agent” which leads to the question, what is the difference?

Brokers and agents are both professionals in the insurance industry who share similarities, but these two titles have some distinct differences. Both act as intermediaries between insurance buyers and carriers and must have the correct licenses to distribute the insurance they are selling. The main difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent is who they represent. A broker represents the insurance buyer, while an agent represents one or more insurance companies.

What does an insurance broker do?

Insurance brokers work for buyers rather than insurance companies. All Symmetry Financial Group agents are insurance brokers, and they use their knowledge to assess their client's unique insurance needs to find coverage that is customized to them, at the best value. Additionally, they can assist their clients when making a claim. Clients can rest assured that a Symmetry expert is available to answer any insurance questions they have with their best interest in mind.

Insurance brokers perform many duties in search of the right insurance for their clients. When a potential client contacts a Symmetry agent for a quote, they will be asked for some information to assess their individual insurance needs. The broker will then compare coverage and rates of our various carriers to get the best price for their client. Also, they will search for opportunities to combine different types of insurance to tailor the policy and possibly reduce premiums. As brokers do not work for insurance companies, their recommendations are unbiased and in favor of the insurance buyer.

At Symmetry, we want to make sure our clients have all the information they need to confidently make the best decisions for their families. We partner with over 30 insurance carriers so we can provide our clients with a completely customized insurance plan. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the best value in insurance coverage.

What does a captive insurance agent do?

Insurance agents on the other hand are often referred to as “captive” agents. They typically represent one insurance company and are limited to their parent company’s policies due to contractual agreements that specify the policies they can sell and their compensation. Due to this limited selection, they may or may not have the expertise required to customize a policy for an insurance buyer’s particular situation. This should be kept in mind when choosing between an insurance broker and insurance agent.

Benefits of working with a Symmetry Financial Group agent

There are many factors that insurance buyers look at when shopping around for insurance, including cost, obtainability, ease and speed of process, and peace of mind that all essentials are covered. Working with a Symmetry agent can help obtain the insurance the client needs at the best price. Symmetry agents deal with a wide range of products and services and have the qualifications needed to recommend the policies that best suit your situation. When working with a Symmetry agent, you can rest easy knowing you are receiving honest, reliable service.

How do insurance brokers and agents make money?

While some captive agents are salaried, most agents and brokers earn their money by commission via a percentage of the premiums of the life insurance policies they sell, rather than a salary. According to ZipRecruiter , insurance agents/brokers earn on average $79,000 per year. The U.S. Department of Labor states that these positions are growing at a 5% rate, faster than the average for all occupations, leaving ample room for opportunity.

Due to this being a commission position, there is a vast amount of flexibility. Instead of having to stick to a set workweek, like a 9-5, insurance brokers get to set their own schedule. This work-life balance is a big perk for many.

Interested in starting a career as a life insurance agent?

If you want to join a team that is making a difference in the lives of clients nationwide, join us at Symmetry Financial Group.

We have been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for five years in a row and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Company Culture list for two years running. We offer our agents competitive perks and industry-leading technology. Learn more and experience the Symmetry difference today!


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