Insurance agent

A representative of an insurance company who helps you buy insurance.


What is an insurance agent?

An insurance agent is an intermediary between insurance companies and insurance buyers. Agents can explain which insurance you need to buy for yourself or your business and which policy provisions are most important — in plain English.

Insurance agents can either be employees or independent contractors. They can work in-house at an insurance company, in an agency or for an agent-owned small business. Insurance agents are usually paid by commission after your initial purchase and when you renew your policy over time.

What does an insurance agent do?

Insurance agents adhere to high ethical standards and add value to your small business by:

When do you need an insurance agent?

Most small business owners need an insurance agent at every stage of their business.

Agents are crucial during the launch of your business. That’s a time of heightened risks due to operating in a new industry or learning new procedures. An agent is a huge help to assess risks and recommend coverage.

As a company matures, it might launch new product lines, enter additional market segments or begin using new technologies. All of these steps might pose new risks. A skilled insurance agent can help you assess these vulnerabilities and help protect your business with insurance.

What are the two types of insurance agents?

Captive agents are employees of — or independent contractors for — one insurance company. They usually have a deep relationship with the insurer, including financing to help them enter the business, company-paid training and funds to set up an office. Captive agents can be a great resource for small business owners because they’re extremely knowledgeable about one insurer’s products and procedures.

Independent agents are similar to captive agents except they represent more than one insurer. This gives their clients access to more insurance solutions and potentially lower premiums.

Though captive and independent insurance agents are company representatives, they still must adhere to state insurance laws prohibiting misrepresentation, fraud or other anti-consumer practices.

How are insurance agents regulated?

Insurance agents hold licenses from their state insurance department. To earn their credential, they must:

  • Complete prelicensing education.
  • Pass a licensing test.
  • Take continuing education courses to maintain their licenses.

When shopping for business insurance from either an insurance agent or an insurance broker, contact your insurance department to confirm that the license number is valid and that the agent has a clean disciplinary record.

Does NEXT work with insurance agents?

NEXT wants your insurance purchase to be quick, easy and convenient. That’s why we give you two ways to get a quote and get the coverage your small business needs:

No matter how you buy insurance from NEXT, we’ll be there when you need us.

NEXT makes small business insurance simple and fast. Start a quote, customize your options and access your proof of insurance 24/7 in about 10 minutes.

Get a free instant quote with NEXT.

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Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer seven types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.
General Liability insurance
General Liability
Protect yourself from accidents that cause physical injury or damaged property.
Professional Liability or Error and Omissions Insurance
Professional Liability/E&O
Shield yourself from lawsuits that claim your work errors caused financial losses.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation
Cover medical bills and lost wages if your employees have an accident at work.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto
Stay on the road with coverage for dents, tows and damage to someone else’s vehicle.
Tools & Equipment Insurance
Tools & Equipment
Upgrade your general liability coverage to protect any gear that’s stolen, damaged or lost.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property
Keep your building, inventory and equipment protected from fire or water damage.
Business Owner’s Policy Insurance
Business Owner’s Policy
Combine general liability and commercial property into one policy to protect your business.
* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
What we cover
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© 2024 Next Insurance, Inc. 975 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States
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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.