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difference between an independent insurance agent and a captive insurance agent

The Difference Between an Independent Insurance Agent and a Captive Insurance Agent

Today, let’s talk about the difference between an independent insurance agent and a captive insurance agent. Dave Ramsey only endorses independent insurance agencies—why? Understanding the difference can save you thousands of dollars on your insurance.


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Captive vs. Independent Insurance Agents

There are two kinds of insurance agents: Captive and Independent. And, there’s a BIG difference.

Captive Agents

Captive agents work for insurance companies like State Farm, USAA, Farmers, American Family, or Country. They are restricted to selling only that one company’s product line. They cannot shop for other opportunities that may better suit your needs. For a captive agent, their insurance company is more important than customer service.

Independent Insurance Agents

On the other hand, Independent Insurance Agents like Trailstone Insurance Group can offer their customers multiple “A” rated insurance carriers. In fact, we work with more than 40 insurance companies to find you the best coverage and price available. We do all the shopping for you and provide you the best options for you and your family. Best of all, it’s absolutely free to use our service.

Why Dave Ramsey Endorses Independent Insurance Agents

So, why does Dave Ramsey only endorse independent insurance agents like Trailstone Insurance Group? Simply put, Dave cares about his fans and wants you to receive the best coverage and pricing available for your insurance needs.

Dave says:

The Flexibility of Independent Agents

“The flexibility independent agents have to work with multiple companies is the number-one reason we’re big fans of working with independent agents for your insurance needs. It’s just a fact of life that the more options you have, the more likely you’ll be able to save money while getting the best coverage.”

Unbiased Recommendations

“And you can be confident knowing your independent agent at Trailstone doesn’t have a stake in the game when it comes to which provider or policy you choose. They don’t get paid extra for helping you choose a specific one—so at the end of the day, you’ve got all the facts, and you can make a better decision by working with an independent agent!”

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?

More Options, Better Coverage

The primary advantage of working with an independent insurance agent is the variety of options available to you. Independent agents aren’t tied to a single insurance company, which means they can shop around and compare policies from multiple providers. This flexibility ensures that you receive the best coverage at the most competitive price.

Personalized Service

Independent agents prioritize customer service because they work for you, not the insurance companies. They take the time to understand your unique needs and circumstances, tailoring their recommendations to find the best fit for you. This personalized approach can make a significant difference in the level of coverage you receive and the amount you pay.

Expertise and Advocacy

Independent agents are knowledgeable about the insurance market and can provide expert advice on the best policies and coverage options. They can also advocate on your behalf in the event of a claim, ensuring that you receive fair and prompt service from your insurance provider.

Cost Savings

By comparing policies from multiple providers, independent agents can help you find the most cost-effective insurance solutions. This competitive approach often results in significant savings, especially when combined with the various discounts and bundling options that independent agents can access.

Long-Term Relationships

Independent agents aim to build long-term relationships with their clients. They are committed to reviewing your insurance needs regularly and making adjustments as your circumstances change. This ongoing support helps ensure that you always have the best coverage for your needs at the best possible price.

When to Choose an Independent Insurance Agent

Rising Insurance Rates

If your insurance rates keep going up and your insurance agent doesn’t have a solution, it might be time to switch to an independent agent. Independent agents have access to multiple providers and can find alternative policies that offer better rates and coverage.

Complex Insurance Needs

If you have complex insurance needs, such as multiple properties, high-value assets, or specialized coverage requirements, an independent agent can help you navigate the market and find the best policies to meet your needs.

Desire for Personalized Service

If you value personalized service and want an agent who works for you, an independent insurance agent is the best choice. They will take the time to understand your needs and provide tailored recommendations.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the difference between an independent insurance agent and a captive insurance agent can save you thousands of dollars and provide you with better coverage. Independent agents like Trailstone Insurance Group offer flexibility, personalized service, and expert advice to help you find the best insurance solutions. If you’re not happy with your current insurance rates or service, reach out to one of our Ramsey Trusted Insurance Pros here at Trailstone Insurance Group. We understand the issues the DOI outlined and will shop your insurance with more than 40 insurance companies to find YOU the best price and coverage available.


Why should I choose an independent insurance agent over a captive agent? Independent insurance agents offer more flexibility and a wider range of options because they work with multiple insurance providers. This allows them to find the best coverage and pricing tailored to your needs.

How do independent insurance agents get paid? Independent insurance agents earn commissions from the insurance companies they represent. However, they do not get paid extra for recommending a specific provider, ensuring unbiased recommendations.

Can an independent insurance agent help me save money? Yes, independent insurance agents can help you save money by comparing policies from multiple providers and finding the most cost-effective solutions for your insurance needs.

What types of insurance can independent agents help with? Independent agents can assist with various types of insurance, including auto, home, renters, life, health, and business insurance. They can tailor coverage to meet your specific needs.

How do I find a trusted independent insurance agent? Look for agents who are endorsed by reputable sources, such as Dave Ramsey. Check reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Independent agents like Trailstone Insurance Group are trusted and endorsed by industry experts.

Is it free to use an independent insurance agent? Yes, it is free to use the services of an independent insurance agent. They earn commissions from the insurance providers, so you don’t have to pay extra for their services.