Free Agent or Captive Agent?

Yesterday was Opening Day in Major League Baseball and all captive agents were on deck to kick off the season. Captive. That’s the key term here: being a captive agent in the American League or National League, playing ball for a specific franchise for a set number of years with a compensation package all spelled out.

What does this have to do with insurance? Captive agents in the insurance industry have a similar contract with a specific carrier: a document outlining which products they can sell, compensation, bonus structure, etc.

That’s where the similarities end.

Most free agents playing major league baseball want to get picked up by a club so they can advance their career and enjoy lucrative income for years to come.

For free agents in the insurance industry, it’s a slightly different story. They are actually limiting themselves by signing with one insurance carrier. Why? Because they have to play by that carrier’s rules and guidelines. Is that so bad? No, but truth be told, if you’re a captive agent you are bound to that carrier’s product lines, you’re limited in your choices and options for your clients, and you’re limited by whatever the pricing structure is for those products. Ultimately? You’re bound. That’s not a very freeing concept now is it?

As a free agent, you can work with a BGA who will assist you with contracting with numerous carriers. BGA’s don’t cost you anything. You contract with them, but all of your compensation comes directly from the carrier. The benefits of being a free agent are endless. Let’s take a look at the most compelling:

Freedom to choose when, where and how you work. You’re the boss. You report to no one. You make your hours, you decide where your office is, you decide on every aspect of your workday.
Freedom to work with whatever insurance carriers you choose. Let’s face it, there are a lot of options out there. You can choose from the best, and that will open doors and possibilities for your agency.
Freedom to quote your clients from an array of products and options. And what does that mean? You’re doing your due diligence, and you’re researching all options for your clients. So what does that mean? You’re a good insurance agent. Pat yourself on the back.
Compensation, bonuses, trips and renewal commissions from every carrier you choose to work with. Insurance carriers offer leaders trips to some pretty fabulous destinations every year, and they foot the bill while you have fun with your companion. Renewal commissions are exactly that. You continue to get paid for your work long after you’ve submitted your policy applications. That’s right. It’s the gift that keeps on giving…
Freedom to market any products you choose. The sky’s the limit. You want to offer life insurance, auto insurance, Medicare Supplements, dental insurance, annuities? You can do it all. The world is your oyster.

So, yesterday was opening day and all the captive agents in the country went to work for the club (or carrier) they signed with. Were you one of them? You can change that. It’s up to you though. If the idea of being a free agent sounds somewhat appealing, we’re here to help. We can’t assist you with an MLB contract if you play ball, but we can assist you with adding an arsenal of products, carriers, choices and possibilities to your portfolio that will lead you down a path of success….and hopefully fulfillment.