IS YOUR INSURANCE BROKER FOR REAL?
When purchasing an insurance cover, you have the option of either going directly through an insurance agent or getting a cover through an insurance broker. An insurance broker is someone who represents various insurance companies, whereas an insurance agent acts on behalf of a single insurance company.
One of the advantages of purchasing an insurance cover from a broker is that they tend to have a larger understanding of insurance covers from different insurance companies. They are therefore at a much a better position to take your unique needs into consideration, compare the covers of various insurance companies and get you a cover that is just suitable for your needs. But how does one secure a good broker?
How to find a good insurance broker.
Just as each insurance customer is unique so are insurance brokers. You can’t brand all insurance brokers generically as either bad or good based on your experience; instead you have to vet each one you come across. Bear in mind the following when sourcing for an insurance broker:-
1. Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful tool that can save you from unnecessary headache. Ask from your circle of friends for a referral to a good insurance broker whom they have worked with and can vouch for. This should help you gain a pool of potential brokers whom you can then begin to sieve through.
2. Vet your broker. No matter how great your referral brands an insurance broker, make sure you do your due diligence. Begin with a background check on the broker and conduct a personal interview before signing up the broker. Next check out if they are licensed, how long they have been in the practice and whether or not they have had previous complaints lodged against them. If they are a legit broker, their track record should be able to speak for itself.
3. Go for a broker who is an expert. Your insurance broker will be the person you trust to offer you diverse experience pertaining to insurance policies and products available from different insurance companies that are suitable for your needs. He therefore ought to be a person who is competent and an expert in the insurance field able to not just source a great cover for you but also tell you of the differences in terms of inclusions and exclusions from the same covers belonging to different insurance companies. Not only should he be aware that insurance needs may change from time to time but he should also be flexible to an annual review of your insurance needs and even alert you about the open enrollment time when you can change your insurance cover.
4. Your broker should be versatile. Go for a broker who is accessible in the eventuality that the risk insured for has occurred and you need to make a claim from an insurance company. It is worth noting that in the eventuality that a mishap happens, claiming through a broker can be a much smoother process as they are able to move through the red tape, fight for you and get you the money you need even if you have multiple covers from different insurance companies
One of the things you need to take note of is that there is no cost to using a broker to purchase an insurance cover. Once you purchase a cover from an insurance company, it is their responsibility to pay the broker his fees. However remember that brokers are paid on commission and therefore they may try to sell you a fancy looking policy that does not necessarily address your needs since that is likely to pay a higher commission. To avoid this always read through the small print before signing off that cover.
Have a happy insured week!