Difference Between Insurance Broker and Agent
Introduction to Insurance
Insurance is a part of almost all of our lives. Insurance represents peace of mind. In spite of this, many people view getting insurance as one of the more challenging aspects of routine business.
To help you understand the world of insurance a little better, we’re going to take you through the roles of insurance agents, and insurance advisors. We’re going to explain what they do, as well as some of the key ways they differ.
After we’ve explained this to you, we’ll offer some advice on how best to choose the person who helps you meet your insurance needs. Stay tuned for concise, actionable information that will help you find the professional, and ultimately the policy you need.
*At Surex, customer satisfaction is our key focus. Because of that, we call our insurance brokers ‘Advisors’ to emphasize their primary function, advising you on your insurance decisions. In fact, all of our insurance advisors are licensed brokers. For the rest of this article, any time we mention insurance advisors, you can assume we’re also talking about insurance brokers.
What does an Insurance Agent Do?
Insurance agents, also called captive agents, work for a specific insurance company. They represent only the policies and services that are available from that specific company. They could specialize in individual policies, company policies, or any other type of policy. There can also be an independent insurance agent, who represents multiple insurers. They operate much in the same way as captive agents, so we’ll put them into the same category here.
Insurance agents share a lot of their work responsibilities with salespeople. They operate within the structure of their employer and sell policies for them. Insurance agents will interview and research clients to find out which policies make the most sense for them. Often they’ll inspect assets when a property or car insurance is being sold. At the very least they’ll contact health evaluators and property evaluators.
They also have to be specialists in their field. If they’re selling insurance that relies upon medical information, they have to know how to check medical records and make sure they’re consistent with the type of insurance policy that is being sold.
Also, as the main point of contact for insurance clients, they become the liaison for underwriters. They aim to facilitate this relationship as much as possible so that their clients get the contract they need for the policy they want.
One way they might work is through insurance advisors. The way that works is that the insurance agent will promote and sell the policies to an insurance advisor who in turn sells these policies to their clients.
How are Insurance Advisors (Brokers) Different?
Insurance advisors are different because they solely represent the customer. Their goal is to meet clients and connect them with the best possible policy for them, whomever the insurer ends up being.
They have to be experts on all the different available policies from all the insurers they connect with. They’ll research the coverage, as well as the terms and conditions of every policy.
They also have the ability to work within basically any budget. They can find the right policy at the right price by connecting with many insurers and shopping around. They do all the legwork for the client and end up bringing them the best coverage based on their requirements and parameters.
Technically, insurance advisors can’t bind coverage. This means they cannot complete the final step of the contract, because they don’t control what the insurer does. They bring the policy to you and end up handing off the policy to the insurer to complete. This means they’re not beholden to anyone's insurer, but instead, work to represent their clients with whatever insurer offers them the policies and plans they need.
More and more, customers seeking insurance head to online insurance advisors to find the policy they need. They have all the advantages of other insurance advisors. They also have the added benefit of personal service from the comfort of your computer. If you’re looking for a world-class insurance advisor service that operates online, head to Surex. They’re an online insurance marketplace with more than 10 of Canada’s top insurance providers. They offer personalized service and the benefit of bringing the best insurance policies in the country to you. Whatever type of insurance you’re looking for, they can help you find it. If you are looking for a career as an insurance broker, check out this page.
Which is Right for You?
The big takeaway from these two examples is that insurance agents represent the insurer they work for, and insurance advisors represent the customer they’re working for.
Is this a big difference? It can be. It depends on what you’re looking for. Many people who have been with one insurance company for a long time feel comfortable staying with their current agent. Those who are just getting started in the world of insurance are increasingly turning to insurance advisors for guidance and help to find the right policy for them.
How to Find the Right Insurance Advocate
Whether an insurance agent or an insurance advisor is right for you, you still need to find the right one. Your insurance advocate should represent you in a way that makes you feel comfortable. They need to be working with you. They need to hear from you so that they can understand your budget and requirements. You need to hear from them so that you understand the available options, and what the coverage associated with them is.
Firstly, we always recommend doing a bit of research. You should compare several insurance professionals and organizations. After all, they all want your business and should work to make sure you feel that way. Online reviews and recommendations are great and can help you find an insurance practitioner that meets your needs.
Once you’ve done that, start communicating with them. Make sure they know who you are as a person, and what you’re looking for. You should never feel rushed or upset while undertaking to get insurance.
At the end of the day, getting insurance can be challenging. You want to make sure you do your research and due diligence so that you can get the best policy for the right price. We hope that now you understand the difference between two of the major insurance roles, and feel able to make a determination on which one is right for you.