Insurance Brokers - Are They Your Best Ally?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So many insurance options out there for auto, home, life, health... you name it. How do you know where to go or who to talk to about everyday insurance? Well, before you call "1-800-FACELESS" or log on and visit "," you may want to consider contacting an insurance broker.

Just like mortgage brokers shop various lenders to find the best rates for your home mortgage, an insurance broker shops various insurance carriers (companies) to find not only the best rates, but the best value for the protection you need. In fact, many carriers will differ in the area of discounts, and an insurance broker can sift through all of that for you at no charge.

Interesting facts about insurance brokers vs. insurance agents:

Insurance Company Agent:

-In the event of a claim, the agent of the insurance company REPRESENTS THE COMPANY.

-Insurance company agents can only offer THEIR COMPANY'S PRODUCTS in most cases.

-If you are ever dissatisfied with a particular carrier, YOU HAVE TO START SHOPPING ALL OVER AGAIN to find another one.

Insurance Broker:


-Insurance brokers do the shopping for you to find the products that match your needs at the best rates. And, BROKERS KEEP YOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND, notifying you of new products that may best suit your needs as they become available. Even if you have to change carriers, your broker can handle that for you WITH VERY LITTLE EFFORT ON YOUR PART.

-An insurance broker has the resources to SHOP FOR YOU - without you having to provide all of your information again. Simply make your broker aware of any changes needed.

If you're looking at on-line companies that show you rates of other carriers compared to their rates, be sure to ask how they obtain those rates of other carriers. In some cases you may discover that the "rates" of the other companies is simply an average for customers in your classification. If you want to compare other carrier's rates to match your exact needs, you'll need to get separate quotes from each carrier yourself.

The good news is, you don't have to. That's what an insurance broker can do for you. The only down side may be that a broker won't be able to get quotes from every carrier out there. But if the broker does his/her job well, he/she will be able to compare a number of reliable carriers and present you with the best value according to your needs.

So in the end you need to decide how many insurance agents you want to talk to, and how much time you have to spend answering the same questions over and over and then comparing quotes to obtain the best value for your money. Or, do you want to talk to one insurance broker, answer all those questions once, and have the broker do the shopping and comparing for you. If your time is valuable - and whose isn't! - you may want to consider the latter. Just make sure your broker understands your needs and the ability to represent interests. As you develop a trusting relationship with your broker, you can rest assured that your broker has you covered... literally.


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