Types of Insurance Agents

May 29, 2024 in

Having a career in the insurance sector is rewarding on many levels. As an insurance agent, you get to assist people with their insurance needs while earning competitive pay. But, to be successful, you should choose wisely between the different types of insurance agents.

Whether you are considering a career change or are already part of the insurance sector, it is beneficial to know the roles of all insurance agents. By being familiar with the common positions in the insurance industry and their responsibilities, you will understand how the sector works and potentially pick the position you will be most successful in.

Types of Insurance Agents
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Types of Insurance Agents

The insurance sector is complex, which is one of the reasons there are different types of insurance agents. They all have different insurance industry job titles, unique responsibilities, and positions in the hierarchy.

Understanding the insurance industry positions is important for everyone thinking about applying for a job in the industry, but also for everyone already working there.

The two main types of insurance agents are independent and captive insurance agents. In addition to these two, some categorizations include insurance brokers and specialized agents as equally important job titles in the sector.

In addition, most of the companies have an insurance job title hierarchy classifying all types of insurance agents according to their experience. There are junior and senior job positions.

Independent insurance agents

The categorization of independent insurance agents and captive agents is done according to the policies they can provide. The job of an independent insurance agent is to sell policies from different insurance carriers.

As their name suggests, they are independent and typically have their own business. Their job is to find the most suitable insurance policy according to the needs of the customer and connect it to the insurance company.

Independent insurance agents don’t get salaries from the insurance company. Instead, they receive a commission for each policy they sell. Typically, independent insurance agents collaborate with smaller insurance companies.

Captive insurance agents

In contrast to independent insurance agents, the captives are directly employed by the insurance carrier. In fact, it is one of the insurance industry jobs with high demand currently.

They only offer insurance policies from the insurance company they are representing. In the insurance industry, captive insurance agents also go under the name of direct writers, exclusive agents, and career agents.

Because of the nature of their work, captive insurance agents must have extensive knowledge of the insurance policies they offer. By analyzing the client’s needs, a captive insurance agent should be able to find the best insurance policy package and sell it to them.

Because they are directly employed by the insurance company, captive agents earn a salary. Depending on the company, they can also receive a commission or bonuses for their work on top of their regular salary. Yet, the commission a captive agent earns is typically lower than the one the independent insurance agent makes.

Captive Insurance Agents
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Insurance brokers

Insurance brokers have similar job responsibilities as independent insurance agents. Both sell policies from different insurance companies.

However, the insurance broker vs agent difference slightly differs. While the independent insurance agents represent the insurance companies they are partners with, a broker represents their client.

Insurance brokers have a legal responsibility to work in the best interest of their clients. This is called fiduciary duty. In contrast, insurance agents don’t have such a responsibility towards their clients.

Specialized agents

Typically, an insurance agent hires a specialized agent to do extensive research on the market and look for potential clients.

Specialized agents should have a license to work. Their job duties are only limited to looking for potential customers, but they are not allowed to sell policies.

Other important job titles in the insurance sector

Insurance agents are responsible for assessing the client's needs and selling them insurance policies. While they are always the representing face of the insurance agency, there are other positions you must know about to get the whole picture of the sector.

  • Insurance claims specialist or claims examiner is responsible for managing claims and investigating them.
  • Insurance verification specialist checks the status of the medical insurance and ensures it covers the medical procedure or treatment they require.
  • Insurance clerk is responsible for processing insurance requests, reinstatements, changes, and policy cancellations.
  • Actuary analyzes the risks, especially financial risks, for the insurance agency.

Other Important Job Titles in the Insurance Sector
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: fizkes


As the demand for insurance policies increases by the day, so do the insurance companies and the number of their employees. In such a competitive industry, it might be hard to pick an employer if you want to pursue a career in insurance.

Afni is one of the best employers in the insurance sector. They are constantly growing their team with different types of insurance agents. Afni offers full-time positions with paid time off and competitive pay and bonuses.

If you are interested in working with the best insurance agents, you can check the currently open positions and apply from the comfort of your home. You can choose the role according to your qualifications and also decide whether you like to apply for an onsite or work-from-home position.

At Afni, you have the possibility to grow, both on a professional and personal level. The company really cares about its employees and even offers tuition reimbursement.

About the Author

Samantha is the Recruitment Marketing Manager for Afni and brings a wealth of knowledge and tips for job seekers. She holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and marketing from Mount Saint Vincent University as well as a masters degree in digital marketing and advertising from Liberty University.