Why You Want Your Insurance Agent to Be a Broker, Not Captive

Why You Want Your Insurance Agent to Be a Broker, Not Captive

Terms like “captive” and “broker” can get pretty confusing, so we came up with a quick metaphor to help.


Let’s say you need a new pair of running shoes. One option is to go to a Nike store and get help from a Nike sales associate. That store only sells Nike shoes, and they can be more expensive than other shoe brands out there like Adidas or Asics.

Doesn’t it make more sense to go to a department store that has all the popular brands with a variety of models and price ranges? The staff at a department store isn’t forced to only sell Nike shoes – they can offer lots of options. 

They’ll probably ask you questions about what kinds of shoes you need and how often you’ll wear them. Then, they’ll make some recommendations based on what’s best for you. And there’s a good chance their recommendation is going to be cheaper than those Nikes.

It’s the same with Medicare products. A captive agent is like the Nike store. They can only sell you Nike shoes whether they’re the right fit or the best price. A broker, on the other hand, is like the department store. Brokers can sell from multiple companies and can almost always save you money by shopping the market.

Our agents here at Sams/Hockaday are brokers, which means they’re contracted with dozens of companies. We specialize in finding you quality coverage at the best possible price.

I hope that helps simplify the difference between a captive agent and the agents here at Sams/Hockaday. If you’re interested in shopping around and getting a better look at all the available options, please give us a call at 217-423-8000.

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Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 4 organizations which offer 41 products in your area. Please contact, 1‑800‑MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options. Not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program.