When purchasing an individual health policy, which type of insurance agent (exclusive or independent agents) is the best pick?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 10, 2010

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Insurance Question from Jacksonville, FL

Asked on 05/10/2010

When purchasing an individual health policy, which type of insurance agent (exclusive or independent agents) is the best pick? NULL

Answer given on June 03, 2010

Personally, I would be more concerned with the policy, not what type of agent you decide to go through for your insurance.

Typically, agents for individual policies do little more than marketing.  When you really need assistance, or a claim is questioned, or there is a problem, you’ll end up dealing with the insurance company, not the agent.

That said, an exclusive agent may be a little more helpful, but I honestly doubt it.  I’ve worked with both, and in the end, IF there is ever an issue, you’ll have to end up dealing with the carrier yourself. 

If you need assiatance filling out an application, you can usually get the same answer from the carrier that you would get from the agent. 

 

Most importantly, if you decide to shop around, keep in mind that any broker that offers you rates for any given plan from any given carrier, the rates will be the same.  If you shop for Anthem’s HSA Plan 1 with 5 difference agents, you’ll get the same price across the board.  Insurance agents have no say in underwriting or rating you.  Now, different carriers may rate you slightly differently, so it’s always good to compare similar plans between different carriers, in terms of their rates.


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