How Does Your Role Differ as an Independent Agent vs. a Captive Agent?

How Does Your Role Differ as an Independent Agent vs. a Captive Agent?

A career in the insurance industry can provide you with security and longevity and is one of few careers that have proven to be both recession and pandemic-resistant. Most people start in a position as a captive agent, learning the ins and outs of the industry. Becoming an independent agent will require some experience, but there are other differences between being an independent agent vs. a captive agent. Before you make any major career moves, let's make sure you understand what to expect from each role.

Independent Agent vs. a Captive Agent

As a captive agent, you're already aware of the limitations when it comes to serving your clients and providing quality insurance options. The inability to stray outside of the insurance provider’s products and pushing products that don't cater to a client’s best interests is frustrating. These limitations tend to be the gateway to consider transitioning or an independent agency.  

While there are frustrations and limitations to a captive job, there are also some perks that you won't have as an independent agent.

An Independent Agent vs. a Captive Agent

As a captive agent, you don’t have to go out and find clients. Leads are provided by the insurance company. However, it is up to you to convert those leads. Many will tell you the conversion rate for captive agents is low, stemming from the limitations of a captive job.

Being a captive agent will give you the experience and industry insights you need before you consider moving to an independent agency or starting your own agency. Don't underestimate the experience and knowledge you can gain from a captive position. Sometimes, knowing what you don't like as a captive agent will provide the skeleton for building a business and brand as an independent agent.

As a captive agent, you won’t have to worry about the day-to-day responsibilities of running an office. Effectively, you’re a salesperson. An account manager, at best. 

Running an independent insurance agency


Independent agents have the freedom to focus on serving the best interest of the clients. If you have a connection to a specific niche, industry, or demographic, you can focus on this area and brand yourself as an expert.  Being able to play to your strengths as an agent is liberating. 

While you have to build your client list from the ground up, you can be proactive in finding the best client solutions because you’re in control. You are not being held captive to an insurance provider's policies and coverage or their methods of operation and client relations. Running an independent agency opens up unlimited possibilities for how to market your agency, the services you provide, and how you deal with clients.  

Gaining carrier access

Independent agents are free to sell policies from multiple carriers, unlike captive agents. However, everyone will need to qualify to gain carrier access. However, with professional networks like Affordable American Insurance, you will have a much easier time qualifying for carrier access and start signing clients and selling insurance. 

How Can AAI Help?

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With freedom comes immense responsibility, but you don't have to shoulder all the pressure alone.

AAI can make it easier for you to go from captive to independent agency within the insurance industry. Our agents get access to top-rated carriers to hit the ground running and start selling immediately. Additionally, you will get access to training and technology from industry experts to help you thrive and grow.  

Let’s set you on the road to becoming a top-quality independent agency when you join AAI.

Contact us for more information.