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Independent Insurance Agent vs Direct Writer: Whats the Difference?

What is the difference between an independent insurance agent vs direct writer

Welcome to today’s episode of The Murray Group Mailbag, where we answer your questions about insurance. Today’s question comes from Deb from Albany, NY and Deb asks:

What is the difference between Independent Insurance Agent vs Direct Writer?

Watch the video below or read the video’s transcript if you don’t have the capability of watching the video. If you’d like to submit your own question about auto insurance, business insurance or home insurance, you can do so in the comment section below this post, on our Facebook page or you can email us at

What is the difference between an independent insurance agent vs direct writer?

Watch this short video to get the whole answer.

Video Transcript:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Murray Group Mailbag. My name is Ryan Hanley. I am the director of marketing and sales for the Murray Group, and this is a show where I answer one question submitted directly by insurance consumers who just have an issue, have a problem, and what I do is I answer here on video, share it on YouTube and on our website, because if one person has that question then I’m sure many more do and I want to make that information readily available and completely free.

So today’s question comes from Deb, who lives in Albany, and Deb asks, “What is the difference between an independent insurance agent vs direct writer?”

So when you think of… I’ll start with direct writer. A direct writer is like a Geico. That would probably be the kind of banner direct writer is Geico. When you deal with Geico, you deal directly with Geico employees, you’re dealing directly with the insurance company. There are pros and cons to this. Often, the process can feel a little cleaner. You’re going online or whatever, and in the case of Geico, they have a nice setup. If you’re into technology, it makes it very easy to work with and you kind of have cut out the person in the middle. So there are some pros to direct writers.
The cons to direct writers is that you don’t necessarily have an advisor. So at a certain point, your best interests for coverage, for product, for price, your best interest may conflict with the insurance, with the direct writing, insurance company’s best interest. And at that point, you might not always be getting the advice that you need to properly protect yourself and your family. And to some people, that may not matter at all. They may believe that you know enough to make the writ decisions and it is very possible that a direct writer is the best situation for you and in your
particular insurance it is.

But for most people that have questions, that are looking for someone to kind of advocate for them and guide them, there is the independent insurance agent, who does not work for any insurance company. They are their own independent business, separate from all insurance companies, and you are their client and it is their job, as an independent insurance agent, to guide you, to help you understand how to translate insurance policies for you and really be your representative in the transaction. And most people say then “Well, Jesus. If I’m adding a middle man then it must be more expensive.” Often, this is not the case.

So I’ll tell you that there is absolutely no truth to the fact. The common sense would be, “If I go to a direct writer, I’ve cut out this person in the middle, so I’m obviously getting a less expensive product,” and what I’ll tell you is that pound for pound, being in the business for almost eight years now, that is not necessarily always the case.

So I would check out both methods if you feel that you have the wherewithal
 and the knowledge, or just simply don’t care, to go with the direct writer. But if you do have questions, then you are looking for more guidance, someone who is going to sit down with you, who is going to get on the phone with you and spend time with you, then that would be a major difference in using an independent insurance agent for all your insurance needs.

I’m obviously biased. I work for an independent insurance agency. I don’t have many problems saying that, but there are many different options and you want to make sure that you find the one that fits for you.

This has been another episode of the Murray Group Mailbag. If you have your own question that you’d like to submit, please leave it in the comments below or you can go to our Facebook page, search the Murray Group and you’ll find us. Lastly, you can send us an email at That’s, and you can ask us your question directly through email and we’ll make sure that your question gets answered in a future episode of the Murray Group Mailbag. Thank you.

This video is part of an ongoing series dedicated to helping consumers get answers to their insurance questions.

If you’d like to follow along on YouTube, connect below:

If you have questions about your insurance program or if you would like to receive a proposal for auto or home insurance coverage, please give us a call at 518-777-7777 or email us at You can also click here to contact us through our website.

We’re here to help you find peace of mind.

Thank you and good luck,

Ryan Hanley, CIC

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