You might have several insurance policies protecting your home, car, life, and even business, but do you know whether your policies were purchased from an insurance broker or an insurance agent? And why does this distinction even matter?
As a long-established insurance brokerage in the greater Hamilton area, we want to give our clients the tools they need to make informed decisions regarding their insurance. We believe that educating our clients, and our community, will allow us to not only serve you better, but also empower you to get the coverage you deserve! Although the terms insurance broker and insurance agent are often used interchangeably, there are many key differences between agents and brokers that everyone should know. Understanding the differences between insurance brokers and agents, and insurance brokerages vs. companies will help you familiarize yourself with the insurance industry and, most importantly, the coverage options that are best suited to your needs.
Insurance Brokers vs. Insurance Agents: What’s the Difference?
If you think all insurance is the same, think again! Purchasing insurance from an insurance broker versus an insurance agent are two different things. While brokers and agents certainly share many similarities between them, they each provide unique services that can benefit you.
One key difference between an agent and a broker is who they represent. While insurance agents are tasked with representing one insurance company, an insurance broker represents you, the buyer. And, while this distinction may seem small or insignificant, the varying roles of insurance brokers and agents can benefit you in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances.
Here are some of the different ways that insurance brokers and agents can help you:
- Insurance Brokers Work for You: Since brokers do not work for individual insurance companies, they have access to an expansive network of suppliers and insurance products.
- Insurance Brokers Possess In-Depth Knowledge About Insurance: Brokers will conduct research on your behalf and have comprehensive knowledge of various rates and carriers to find the product that works for you. An insurance broker will also know where to find specialized coverage for niche industries.
- Your Insurance Broker Can Offer Special Discounts: Most brokers are licensed to sell different types of products and can therefore offer bundles and packages that will help you save on great coverage.
- Insurance Brokers Provide Claims Advisory and Client Advocacy: Your insurance broker can advise you on the claims process by providing recommendations on how to file the claim, or if you should file one at all. Because your insurance broker is not directly affiliated with one specific company, they are willing to advocate on your behalf to ensure that, as a policy holder, you get the compensation that you’re entitled to.
- Work for One Company: An insurance agent only represents a single insurance company and will provide rates based on their available offers.
- Provide Quotes: Agents typically function as salespeople who can quickly and easily provide quotes to you online or over the phone.
- Provide Low Premiums: Even though an insurance agent cannot shop around, their quick processes save their company time and money, which means you can get lower rates, too.
- Provide Claims Assistance: If you’re thinking of filing a claim, your insurance agent can help you start the process and give you the information from your provider directly.
Although some insurance agents can offer specialized services to customers, agents can’t provide the same level of flexibility as brokers can, since they have limited access to products. If you have unique concerns or operate within a niche industry, a single insurance company may be unable to provide comprehensive coverage packages that meet your needs. And, because they work for the insurance company, not for you, your agent may not be able to provide claims guidance or advice that caters to your needs.
Insurance brokers, on the other hand, can provide not only flexible coverage, but also a diverse range of rates and products. Insurance brokers are in an optimal position to offer you guidance, education, and advice on which policies are best for you. Since they are not tied to one specific company, an insurance broker is able to fully represent you and can use their expertise to protect your assets and interests.
Discover How an Acumen Insurance Broker Can Help
Acumen’s insurance brokers specialize in a wide range of industries and are eager to share their knowledge with clients across the greater Hamilton area. In addition to providing you with great insurance policies, our brokerage is proud to offer exceptional customer service. Whether you need a custom insurance quote, emergency claims guidance, or want to find out how to protect your business, you can discover the broker advantage by connecting with us today.