In short, a captive agent contracts with only one company, and is bound by that contract to solicit or sell only the products of that one insurance company. Agents of captive companies are limited to that one company as to what they can offer to their clients. Examples of companies that use captive agents are State Farm, Farmers, All-State, American Family, etc. In contrast, independent agents contract with multiple carriers and are able to offer their clients the products from any one of these carriers. In our opinion, the client benefits from having one agent who can shop the market for him or her. This is why independent agents are often referred to as brokers. As a caveat, independent agents cannot offer the products of captive agent insurance companies.