Broker, Agent or just do it yourself?
In today's world, there are many different ways to access insurance products. However, there are key differences within the process of determining appropriate coverage that change your experience as a client. While both agents and brokers require the same licensing and education, you may find that there are many benefits to you as an individual consumer when you work with an experienced broker.
What’s the Difference?
An agent (known as a captive agent) works directly for and represents the insurance company or a group of related companies. They are only authorized to sell policies to their clients on behalf of the company (or companies) that they work for. (Think companies like Allstate or State Farm).
On the other hand, a broker works with multiple carriers to compare and help the client select insurance products based on their specific needs. The broker tends to have a broader understanding of various companies’ offerings and key benefits, not just one company.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Broker?
⦁ It’s more personal.
Your broker works for YOU, not the insurance company. They provide expert advice, peace of mind, and flexibility when it comes to your insurance.
⦁ They have access to multiple carriers and a wide variety of products.
This allows brokers to craft the most competitive and comprehensive insurance package to suit your needs.
⦁ They service your account for you.
Brokers are able to make changes, answer your questions, and handle almost any requests you have directly with the carriers so you don’t have to.
⦁ They typically have more leverage than YOU.
It’s all about relationships. Brokers tend to maintain strong relationships with the carriers they work with, so there’s a higher chance of resolution and negotiation should a problem arise.
⦁ They review and shop your policies.
Insurance isn’t always on your mind. With access to many markets, brokers generally will conduct annual reviews of your policies to guarantee you are still receiving the most appropriate coverage and low rates.
⦁ They have access to niche industries.
Working directly with independent agents means you are limited in product. Working with the right broker could give you access to almost any product you are looking for.
Choosing the Right Broker
There are plenty of insurance brokerages offering coverage in your area. So, how do you choose the right one?
The first thing to consider is experience. How long has the brokerage been around? Do they specialize in certain products? Who are the companies they represent? These are questions you should be asking when deciding who to work with.
If you are looking for a broker you can trust to handle your insurance needs, let’s talk.
Opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s opinion, not intended to provide the reader with legal or any other professional advice. Should you need advice or opinion, consult with a qualified professional to address your specific needs.