Where to Buy Life Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Insurance Agency or Broker: Your Gateway to Protection

When purchasing life insurance, understanding where to buy is as important as knowing what to buy. Let’s explore the two primary channels: insurance agencies and brokers.

Insurance Agency: A Direct Path

1. What is an Insurance Agency?
An insurance agency sells policies from specific insurance companies. They act as representatives of these companies and offer their products exclusively.

2. Benefits of Choosing an Agency

  • Direct Relationship: You have a direct line to the insurance provider.
  • Brand Consistency: If you’re loyal to a particular insurance brand, agencies give you direct access to their products.
  • Focused Expertise: Agents typically have in-depth knowledge of their company’s products.

Insurance Broker: A World of Options

1. What is an Insurance Broker?
Brokers are independent professionals who can sell policies from multiple insurance companies. They are not tied to a specific provider.

2. Advantages of Opting for a Broker

  • Wide Selection: Brokers provide a variety of options from different companies.
  • Personalized Solutions: They can tailor insurance plans to fit your unique needs.
  • Unbiased Advice: Since brokers are not tied to one company, they can offer impartial guidance.

Captive vs. Independent Insurance Agency: Know the Difference

Captive Insurance Agency
  • Definition: Represents a single insurance company.
  • Pros: Deep knowledge of specific products; strong brand loyalty.
  • Cons: Limited options, as they can only offer products from one insurer.
Independent Insurance Agency
  • Definition: Offers products from several insurance companies.
  • Pros: A broader range of policies; more flexibility in finding competitive rates.
  • Cons: They might not have as deep a knowledge of each product as a captive agent.

Captive vs. Independent Agencies

FeatureCaptive AgencyIndependent Agency
Range of ProductsLimited (one company)Wide (multiple firms)
ExpertiseIn-depth (single brand)Diverse (various brands)
Brand LoyaltyHighVaried
Personalized SolutionsSpecific to one brandTailored to individual


When buying life insurance, deciding where to purchase it can significantly impact your experience and satisfaction. Whether you prefer the focused expertise of a captive agency or the broad selection and unbiased advice from an independent agency or broker, understanding these options empowers you to make an informed, confident choice. Remember, the right place to buy life insurance is where you feel your needs are best understood and met.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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