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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Independent Insurance Agency or Captive?

By | Business Insurance, FAQ | 8 Comments

Independent Insurance Agency

Independent insurance agency or captive agency? Find out which route would provide you and your loved ones the best possible insurance policy.

The modern day customer looking for insurance has many options when shopping for insurance. An individual can choose to go with a well known captive agency, an independent insurance agency, or much more. There are unending options for you as the customer and it is very easy to fall in love with a brand and the lowest price versus the actual service or product. Check out America’s Most Loved Brands in 2015. That is why it is important to understand the difference between captive and independent agencies so you can make the best possible decision when it comes to insuring the people and property that you love the most.


The captive agencies are usually the well known insurance companies you see advertising on television.  They are considered captive, because their agents can only offer products of their company for which they work for. These include State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, and etc.


On the other hand, an independent insurance agency is able to provide insurance products from a wide array of insurance companies. The Brooks and Stafford Company is an independent insurance agency which has the opportunity to shop from several companies to find the best price and coverage that fits the clients’ needs.  Brooks & Stafford runs a quote through all these companies compared to a “State Farm” that is only allowed to sell insurance products that they have to offer. It is a numbers game. A company that sells products from several companies is more likely to find a better deal for the customer. Ultimately, independent agencies raise the probability of the customer finding the best deal with the best coverage suitable for them.


The Brooks and Stafford Company form relationships with their clients by getting to know them on a personal level beyond insurance. We are a Cleveland Insurance Agency that takes pride in having a live person answer every call, because we know how annoying it can be to call somewhere and hear an automated voice message system. Customer service and properly paying claims are why Brooks & Stafford has been around since 1849 (check out what was going on that year).

Brooks & Stafford has employees that work hard every day to service their clients and help them understand coverage. This is done when we educate and teach clients about the services and products we provide which is one way we try to differentiate ourself as an independent insurance agency. In other words, Brooks & Stafford have agents that serve as advocates of helping people find the best possible insurance plan for them to insure the things that mean the most. We focus on educating our clients to make the best possible decision in terms of buying insurance. That is why people choose Brooks & Stafford to insure all their needs.

Brooks & Stafford makes it possible to form relationships with all of their clients. This separates us apart from captive agencies that are nationwide. Either way, Brooks & Stafford has become a popular Cleveland Independent Insurance Agency because our clients enjoy when they have agents that are willing to understand their situation and find the best policy for them.


An independent insurance agency can offer a multitude of coverages along with a wide range of prices based on the amount of companies they are affiliated with. A captive agency has limited amount of options for the client since the company can only offer that company’s product.

Finally, even though captive agencies have more capital to spend on advertisement does not mean that they offer a better or more trustworthy product than Brooks & Stafford or any other independent insurance agency.

If you like our article and want to learn more visit our website, Facebook, or Twitter for more original content. Also, check out our Google+ and write a review as we love to see feedback from our readers.

Insurance Quote

Learn how to Navigate your Insurance Policy

By | FAQ | No Comments


Whether you have a 6 month policy or a full year auto policy, you are receiving paperwork discussing the details of your policy. The Declarations page, “dec pages”, goes into detail about what your policy entails. This includes: name insured, covered auto(s), policy limits, deductibles (if applicable), premium, and policy period.

Name Insured

The name insured encompasses all individuals covered on this specific auto policy. Name insured is the individual the policy is filed under. Any family member related to the name insured is usually covered depending on the policy whether it’s through blood, marriage, or adoption. Call your agent today to see if this rule applies to your policy. In addition, the policy “dec pages” defines name insured and there are some policies that cover all these drivers no matter what car they drive.

Covered Autos

The covered autos in a policy are the specific year, make, and models listed on the policy. The cars must be listed on your auto insurance policy.  Cars can be added and removed by simply calling your insurance agent. Any vehicle that is used for business purposes such as livery (taxi) services would not be covered unless there is a specific endorsement added onto the policy. Please contact your insurance agent to assess your situation.

Policy Limits

It is very common for any vehicle being driven by a named insured in any U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, and Canada will be covered. However, this is not always the case so double check with you agent when you drive a vehicle outside your home state or country.

The state law of Ohio requires every driver to have liability coverage on their vehicle. This will cover any bodily injury or property damage a name insured causes. Optional coverages include medical payments coverage which covers the “insured” and any other passengers in their car. Uninsured motorists’ coverage is also optional in Ohio as this coverage comes into effect when a driver causes bodily injury or property damage in an uninsured vehicle. Finally, comprehensive (comp) and collision are optional coverages that contribute to having “full coverage”. Collision insurance is self-explanatory as insures the drives for anything that the vehicle comes into contact with. Comprehensive is anything other Collison such as fire, theft, hail, etc. “Comp” and collision are made to cover your property damage.

Lets look at an example,


The policy will define property damage and bodily injured as the definition may vary.


Deductibles are located on the “dec pages” to notify the named insured how much he or she must pay out-of-pocket when a claim is filed. A policy with a high deductible will result in a lower premium. The premium is a directly affected by the deductible and fluctuates based off of the name insured’s claim history. An individual that files several claims a year and have the insurance company pay out cash to cover the damages then the insurance company will charge more money during the periodic payments.

Policy Period

The Declaration Pages will include the policy period which is the span of time of when the insurance policy is in effect. The expiration date is also important to keep in mind when it comes to financial budgeting.

The terms used throughout this blog are common insurance lingo that professionals use daily as these are relevant terms in the “dec pages” of a typical auto policy. Instead of throwing out your “dec pages” because you do not completely understand all the terms, confidently contact your insurance agent with probing questions that analyzes them.

Cleveland Insurance Agency

Brooks & Stafford is a Cleveland Insurance Agency that takes pride in providing advice for people regarding insurance. If any of this information has helped you out and has been relevant. Feel free to reach out 216-696-3000.

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