Where your insurance leads come from can affect your overall sales. Learn the pros and cons of web-based, exclusive, and shared leads.

Insurance sale lead generation is a numbers game. The higher the number of qualified leads, the higher the sales conversion rate. Cold-calling is a traditional method for generating sales leads, but it’s likely the least favorite activity. If cold-calling is not your thing, you can still achieve good lead generation through web-based, exclusive, and shared leads. Each type comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The key is to find the right combination of lead generation methods to work for you. Here are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to web-based, exclusive, and shared leads.

Web-based (Inbound) Leads

Leads that come to you from someone filling out a form on your website are considered web-based or inbound leads.


  • It’s free.
    Once you set up your web form or other online feature, you don’t have to pay anything extra to start collecting leads
  • It’s relatively easy.
    Depending on how your system works, you’ll likely get an email or other notification when a lead comes in and you just respond to it.


  • They’re not consistent.
    You might have a busy day and get four or five inbound leads but then a week will go by and you might not get any. If you are solely dependent on customers finding you and your agency, you’ll have no control over the volume of leads you will get.
  • They’re sometimes spammy.
    Many times, spambots will take advantage of web forms and fill out your form with invalid or irrelevant information. While these won’t typically do any damage to your website, they can clog up your email and make it difficult to decipher the real lead from the spam lead.

Exclusive Leads

Exclusive leads are purchased through a company like HBW Leads, who will go out and find you insurance sales leads and bring them to you.


  • They’re just for you.
    Exclusive leads are gathered just for you and your business.
  • They’re verified.
    With exclusive leads, you know that the contact information you receive is legitimate and accurate (i.e. not spam and not unsolicited).
  • It’s consistent.
    When outsourcing exclusive leads, you’ll come to depend on a regular stream of leads
  • It’s easy.
    There’s no data clean-up to do with exclusive leads since each lead has been verified already. All that’s left to do is the follow-up.


  • It costs money.
    Unlike inbound web-based leads, exclusive leads come with a cost. Many agents view the cost as insignificant or worthwhile considering the time saved from not having to cold-call for leads or compete with other agents.

Shared Leads

Like Exclusive leads, shared leads are outsourced insurance sales leads from a third-party company.


  • They’re less expensive than exclusive leads.
    Because the same sales leads are being sold to multiple insurance agencies, they are often less expensive than exclusive leads.
  • They’re typically verified.
    Depending on the company, most shared sales leads are verified in some fashion.
  • They’re somewhat consistent.
    Outsourcing shared sales leads can be a consistent sales lead stream if you are willing to put in the extra effort of winning the lead.


  • They still cost money.
    Both exclusive and shared leads come with a price tag
  • There’s competition.
    With shared leads, agents compete with each other for each lead. Usually, a consumer will fill out an inquiry form or talk to a third-party agent and that information gets shopped out to multiple agents and agencies. Then, each agent/agency has to try to win the lead by offering competing quotes.
  • Higher volume of negative call experiences.
    Oftentimes, shared leads will be sent up to five separate agents/agencies (sometimes more). If you are caller #5 there’s a good chance your potential customer will be sick of getting phone calls and not be agreeable to your pitch.

The Bottom Line

The great news is that you don’t have to pick just one way of generating leads. In fact, having a passive web-based form providing you with inbound leads is a great supplement to other methods. When it comes to exclusive and shared leads, you need to think about the best use of your time and money. If you want to save a little money upfront but put in long hours of competing with other agents, shared leads may be a good option. But for consistent, verified leads just for you and your business, exclusive leads are definitely the way to go.

Looking to reduce the amount of time spent on cold-calling? Consider exclusive leads from HBW Leads. Their technology and insurance experts will get you (and only you) double-verified leads to help your business grow.