Insurance Brokers Versus Agents – What’s the Difference?

Aug 29, 2017

If you’re in the market for home or car insurance, should you buy coverage from an insurance company agent or an independent broker?  To make an informed decision, let’s first understand the differences between them.

One commonality that both agents and insurance brokers have is that they must be licensed to sell insurance products. However, an insurance agent is limited to the number of markets they have access to, namely from the insurance company they are attached to.

An insurance broker provides consumers with a much wider variety of innovative products and services because they represent multiple insurers. Given that you have more choices with a broker, it means you benefit from expanded coverage and competitive pricing when shopping for home and car insurance.   

Quick Comparison of Insurance Brokers and Agents

The following summarizes the primary differences between a broker and agent as it relates to price, coverage, impartiality, customer service, and claims handling: 


Insurance Agent

Insurance Broker


Offers a competitive price, but only if you meet their specific underwriting criteria.

Offers the best available price from a variety of companies, even if you have prior claims.


Offers standard and enhanced packages, with some availability on standalone coverage.

Has the ability to respond to nearly all your coverage needs through an expanded network of insurance markets.


Limited in offering you only the products they sell for the insurance company they work under.

Will help you select the best insurer that fits your coverage needs and budget.

Customer Service

Often handled by a number of different service agents, company representatives, and call centers.

Typically handled by the exact same broker who manages all your insurance.

Claims Handling

Handles claims in-house or through the company’s claim center.

Claims are handled by the broker or the insurer, in which the broker serves as the liaison to help facilitate claims and provide personalized service.

It’s Not Always About Price

Today’s innovative technology has made it easy to comparison shop for nearly everything online – including home and car insurance. However, settling for the lowest rate isn’t always in your best interest.

Sure, shopping online for quotes is quick and easy, but it’s also important to develop as a relationship with a professional who has a vested interest in serving your coverage needs today, as well as for years to come. Plus, if you’ve experienced claims, run a home-based business, drive a classic car, or have any other unique needs, brokers have the expertise and specialty markets to help you get the right coverage.

Contact us today. We’ll review your current home and car coverage and help you find the best protection at an affordable rate.

If you are interested in joining the BTI Direct team as an insurance broker, check out our Careers Page for more information. 

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