Insurance can be a difficult purchase. It’s not as simple as buying something off the shelf; it’s all about buying a promise of protection that has the potential to make or break your financial well-being. How would you know you are making the best coverage decisions? Are you confident you’re getting the most bang for your buck? With so many options, it is difficult to know what’s right. Fortunately, using an independent insurance broker will help you to find the best insurance coverage.
Let’s deep dive into some terminology, then we will take a look at the benefits.
What is an insurance broker?
An insurance broker is a specialist who helps customers find the right insurance policy for their needs. They work closely with their customers to look for coverage, terms, prices and then suggest the policy which best suits the bill.
A broker’s primary responsibility is to the customer, not the insurance company. Brokers cannot bind coverage on behalf of insurers since they do not represent them. To complete a policy, the insurance broker must engage with the insurance company through their agents.
An insurance broker works with many insurance companies and has a fiduciary responsibility to get the best policy for your needs, no matter which insurance company is providing the policy. In many cases, a retail broker will be your first line of contact, while a wholesale broker might be working behind the scenes to find the best product for you.
What is an insurance agent?
The term “insurance agent” can be confusing, because there are two types of insurance agents. A “captive agent” is someone who represents a single insurance company, called an “insurance carrier.” These insurance agents are selling one company’s policies, and those policies might not be the best policies for you.
If you call an insurance company directly, you will be talking to a captive agent – who can only sell that company’s policies.
An “independent insurance agent” can sell policies from any insurance company. An independent insurance agent is sometimes also called an insurance broker.
What is an insurance agency?
An insurance agency is just a business that has insurance agents. The business is typically a corporation, partnership, or LLC, and there are agents (licensed people) who work for the agency selling insurance.
6 Best Reasons To Hire Independent Insurance Agents
Working with independent insurance brokers provides many benefits to the client. Typically an independent agency agent has a wealth of resources at their disposal and works solely for the benefit of their clients.
Consider the following six reasons why working with an independent agent can be beneficial to you.
Independent brokers give you choices
Independent insurance brokers represent a wide range of insurance providers, each with its own set of policy options and price points. Most brokers sell for five to eight separate insurance companies. There is no need for you to accept a single quote from a single company, and there is no need for you to spend time filling out several online applications to obtain your own quote comparisons.
Through their contacts and business experience, agents will often find a better deal for your insurance dollar than you would find looking on your own. They find you the best combination of price, coverage, and service.
Independent agents give you unbiased advice
Insurance agents who are “captive” for insurance companies have a skewed perception of the market. They can only sell the products offered by their insurance companies. On the other hand, independent brokers deal with many different insurance companies that offer many different insurance plans. Furthermore, independent insurance brokers work directly with consumers and may provide advice based on past positive or negative client experiences.
Since independent insurance brokers do not represent a single insurance company, they will assist you in locating the best deals without favoring one company over another. This independence also encourages individual insurance brokers to find the best-tailored policies to their customers’ needs.
Better Customer Service
A successful independent agent walks with their clients as their lives change. They are there as their clients switch from one home to another, when their children begin to drive, and when their company embarks on a new venture.
Since your independent insurance company works with so many insurance companies, they will assist you in moving smoothly when you need to switch insurers in the middle of life’s changes and challenges. Your agent is also there at some of the most challenging times of their customers’ lives, such as when they are involved in an accident or disaster or when they have lost a loved one. It is good to collaborate with someone with whom you have a pre-existing relationship in times like these.
To meet the changing demands of your business, you will need a variety of insurance policies. An independent insurance agent will provide you with one-stop shopping for all of your needs. Independent insurance agents typically have a wide range of insurance policies, such as homeowners, car, commercial, umbrella policies, as well as specialty lines such as intellectual property insurance, product liability, and other policies. They can also include plans that cover specific issues such as pets, antique vehicles, and special event insurance.
Rather than visiting several insurance companies to compare premiums and benefits, you talk with your independent insurance broker and let them do the heavy lifting to find the best choices for you. When you have no experience in the industry, shopping online can take a long time and result in disappointing results. An independent agent will save you lots of time and provide you with more choices than you could find on your own.
Independent Agents Save You Money
Since independent insurance brokers are not tied to a single company, they can shop around for the best prices. An independent agent has no brand preference, which means you will have more options to compare rates for the same policy. This comparison will often result in considerable savings. These benefits can be increased by taking advantage of multi-policy discounts and the option to purchase insurance plans that work together to provide complete coverage.
In BlueIron’s case, we have relationships with a dozen or more different specialty carriers for intellectual property insurance. Because we know the market, we can find the best product for your needs.
They are licensed experts
Independents will simplify the nuances of insurance, allowing you to make informed decisions. But why would you seek the advice of a licensed insurance broker? There are several reasons. Firstly they give you a suggestion by evaluating their customers’ insurance needs and matching them with the insurance carrier ideally suited to meet those needs at an affordable price. Having and licensed experts for your insurance can ensure you get the accurate and best insurance coverage.
Does it cost you more to use an independent insurance agent?
No. Your policy costs the same, no matter if you use an independent insurance broker or if you buy directly from the insurance company. Insurance policy commissions are structured so that the insurance companies pay independent agents. You do not get a discount if you skip the independent agent.