What Is an Insurance Broker?

When you hear the term “broker”, what’s your initial reaction? Some people have a negative association. But once you’re looking to buy a home insurance or auto insurance policy, an insurance broker can help you decide where to start. And a reputable insurance broker also can simplify the entire process of purchasing an insurance policy.

Consider the following. You want to make sure you’re purchasing a policy that’s within your budget. Check. But as a smart consumer, you also don’t want to be short on coverage as a result. Check again. The whole thing can feel stressful as you seek to find the right balance of price and protection for you and your family.

And while it’s possible to take charge of the insurance purchase process on your own, many people find it more convenient and comfortable to enlist the help of an experienced agent. By using an insurance agent or broker, you’ll have someone working alongside you every step of the way.

They’ll be there to answer all your questions, no matter how big or small. And they can provide a variety of policy options, taking into account your budget and insurance needs, quicker and more easily than you could on your own.

What Does an Insurance Broker Do?

An insurance broker, first and foremost, does not work for any particular insurance company. Instead, they work for their clients. “Captive” agents*, on the other hand, represent their own insurance companies. They cannot shop around and only sell policies from their own company.

But insurance brokers are different. The goal of the broker is to provide advice to their clients and, ultimately, help their clients find the perfect policy to meet all their insurance coverage needs. That means shopping around and comparing quotes from different providers.

Just like insurance companies, brokers are regulated by the state where they work. Insurance brokers have passed examinations to become licensed. And in most states, they must continually prove their knowledge to maintain their licenses. As a result of their education and experience, brokers are great resources for their clients when it comes to the policy purchase process.

Not only do brokers help their clients buy insurance based on their needs, but they also can help explain some of the harder-to-understand aspects of insurance policies. For example, home insurance policies often designate a set of exclusions.

Just as they sound, exclusions are situations in which the insurance policy does not cover damages and a claim would be rejected. An example of a common exclusion is a severe weather event. In this case, the insurance broker might advise their client to purchase additional flood insurance if they live in a region likely to be affected.

Insurance brokers understand risk and liability, and how these are translated into insurance policies. Their knowledge can be indispensable to their clients. Many people may feel more comfortable working with a professional rather than going it alone.

Why Use an Insurance Broker?

When you decide to work with an insurance broker, you can feel confident that you’re getting the individualized attention you need. Rather than worrying about being shortchanged on some part of your policy, you’re working with an agent who will keep all your budget and coverage needs in mind as they search for the best insurance plan for you. Whether that’s home or auto insurance, or both.

Because brokers are independent, they won’t try to push you toward a specific insurance company or a policy that isn’t right for you. They can collect a variety of policies and quotes from multiple insurance providers. This gives you a wider selection of policies to choose from, rather than just policies from one company.

Working with an insurance broker can even save you money on your insurance policy in a few different ways. First of all, brokers are sometimes able to negotiate lower rates from the insurance carriers than an individual customer could. This is because customers who work with brokers are less likely to be underinsured**, which makes them less of a risk in the insurance provider’s eyes.

Second, insurance brokers can help their clients search for additional discounts within insurance policies. Home and car insurance policies in particular are full of potential discounts. From bundling home and auto together, to preventative safety measures, to loyalty discounts and more, an insurance broker can help you uncover discounts applicable to your situation.

By working with a licensed agent, you can be assured that you’re exploring all the available policies to find one that meets your needs and budget.

What Can SelectQuote Do for You?

At SelectQuote, our fully independent agents work only with over 20 trusted insurance companies to provide you with multiple policy options from different carriers. And they specialize in providing the personalized attention you not only need, but should expect to receive.

Our agents represent our valued clients and are committed to providing top-notch customer service. Your personal SelectQuote agent is dedicated to:

  • Answering all your questions
  • Offering all the information you need to be an informed buyer
  • Diligently shopping for your best prices from the trusted companies SelectQuote represents

SelectQuote strives to be more than a “middle man” in the eyes of our clients. Rather, we’re your trusted partner in the insurance purchase process.

Our SelectQuote licensed agents are ready to assist and answer any questions you have. Call us at 1-855-334-7127 or contact us to get your free, no obligation quote today. 

Sources:
*https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/captive-agent.asp
**https://www.iii.org/press-release/dont-risk-being-underinsured-five-insurance-mistakes-to-avoid-030311

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