What is an insurance broker?
An insurance broker (individual or entity) solicits, sells, or negotiates insurance contracts to individuals or businesses. Insurance brokers typically help individuals or businesses find and purchase car insurance, home insurance, business insurance, and certain investment products.
Insurance brokers are regulated by the states in which they do business, and must obtain the licenses required by individual states. Insurance brokers represent buyers in insurance transactions. Their job is to survey the market, get quotes, and share options for customers to choose from.
What is the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker?
Insurance agents represent insurance companies. They act as sales representatives for insurers and are typically paid commissions for sales. Insurance brokers represent buyers. Brokers study the market, get quotes, and share options for clients to choose from.
Insurance agents work with the insurance companies they represent. This means that agents can initiate insurance contracts, or secure coverage, on behalf of insurance companies, and the companies must honor those contracts. Insurance brokers submit applications to insurance companies on behalf of their clients, but do not have the authority to inforce or write coverage.
Both agents and brokers are paid commissions or fees by insurance companies. Insurance brokers must disclose their fees to their customers, and the customers must give permission for brokers to collect those fees.
Why should I use an insurance broker?
Your personal preferences and unique needs will help you decide whether you need to use an agent or broker to purchase insurance. Some reasons you might use a broker include:
- Brokers do all the reseach for you, finding insurance companies and policies that fit your needs and budget.
- Brokers can provide access to policies from numerous insurance companies, and can offer you multiple options with different price points.
- By comparing multiple quotes, you may be able to find the same or better coverage at a lower cost.
- Brokers are licensed and educated professionals who provide the advice you need to make the best choice.
- An insurance broker can most likely provide for all of your insurance needs—from home and car insurance, to life insurance, health insurance, and more.
Is it more expensive to use an insurance broker?
Both agents and brokers are paid commissions on the policies they sell. Sometimes brokers charge an additional administrative fee, but this will be disclosed to you.
Insurance agents might be able to provide less expensive policies, but not always. Brokers can research the market to find a variety of options at different price points from which you can choose.
Who do insurance brokers work for?
Insurance brokers work for their customers, whether they are individuals or businesses. They research the market for suitable options, share those options with their clients, and help them apply for and purchase coverage from insurance companies.
Brokers often provide additional services, such as helping clients assess risks, providing general insurance consultation, providing regulatory and legislative information, providing claims assistance, and even helping employees enroll in health plans and resolve employee benefits issues.
Brokers often do not have contractual obligations to insurance carriers and therefore have greater ability than agents to negotiate individual contracts.
Who regulates insurance brokers?
State insurance departments regulate the activities of insurance brokers. Each state has its own set of insurance regulations that brokers must follow.
How can I find top insurance brokers in my area?
Finding an insurance broker is important and should not be taken lightly. You don’t want to entrust the protection of your family or business to just anyone. So how do you find a broker you can trust? Here are some tips for finding a top broker in your area:
- Recommendations from friends and family
- Online reviews and testimonials (Yelp, LinkedIn, other social media)
- Your state insurance department
- Insurance or business publications
- Through a broker group or association such as Trusted Choice®
What is a wholesale insurance broker?
Insurance brokers can be retail brokers or wholesale brokers. Retail brokers are those who interact directly with businesses or individual clients. Sometimes, certain types of coverage are not available to retail brokers. If you need certain types of specialized coverage that your broker cannot obtain, they can work with a wholesale broker who has access to additional markets and products.
Wholesale agents typically have additional expertise and access to markets that retail brokers do not. They work directly with retail brokers and insurance companies to write policies for unusual or hard-to-place risks, while retail brokers typically retain contact with customers.
If you need a wholesale insurance broker for your high-risk or unique insurance needs, a retail insurance broker can find one for you.
How can I find a professional liability insurance broker?
Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, provides coverage for professionals, their partners, their employees, and the partnership or corporation for damages caused by providing or failing to provide professional services. It covers costs associated with your legal defense if you are sued (even if the lawsuit is unfounded), as well as any judgments or settlements that you must pay. Most errors and omissions policies can be customized for your particular area of expertise and the risks you face.
It is best to work with a knowledgeable agent who can advise you on whether you need professional liability coverage, and who can help you customize your policy to make sure you have appropriate coverage. Trusted Choice is your online resource for finding top professional liability brokers in your area. You can find multiple brokers in your area, and choose the one who best serves your needs.
How can I find a transportation insurance broker?
Transportation insurance involves protecting your vehicle fleet from damage and protecting your business from liability risks. An insurance broker can help you find transportation liability insurance, physical damage insurance, and inland marine insurance—in addition to other types of coverage you may need.
You can find a knowledgeable broker in your area by searching the Trusted Choice database. We are your online resource for finding top local brokers for your transportation insurance needs.
How can I find a marine insurance broker?
Marine insurance refers to coverage of loss or damage to a ship or other vessel. It also refers to the type of insurance coverage required to protect cargo in transit over water, land, or air.
You can find a top local broker by searching in the Trusted Choice database. We have access to multiple brokers in your area, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Where can I find a construction insurance broker?
Contractors and construction companies have unique business insurance needs. You need commercial general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and other types of coverage tailored to the risks you face. By working with an independent insurance broker who has experience finding insurance for construction companies, you can be sure to get the right mix of coverage to protect your business and meet your budget.
If you are looking for a construction insurance broker, a Trusted Choice broker in your area is just a few clicks away. We are your online resource for multiple brokers in your area, so you can find the perfect match. Start your broker search today.
Where can I find a public liability insurance broker?
Public liability insurance is another term for general liability insurance. Commercial general liability insurance protects your business from third-party claims of property damage and bodily injury—essentially if your business physically harms someone or someone’s property.
A local insurance broker can help you find the coverage you need to protect your business from liability claims. Trusted Choice is your online resource for top brokers in your area. We can help you find multiple brokers who can work with you.
Where can I find a boat insurance broker?
Boat insurance protects you from the costs of physical damage to your boat. It also provides liability coverage if you are sued for third-party bodily injury or property damage. Your boat insurance should be tailored to the type of boat you have, where you use and store it, and a variety of other factors. An insurance broker who has experienced working with boat owners is best-suited to finding the coverage you need at an affordable price.
Trusted Choice—the ultimate online resource for finding insurance brokers—can help you can learn about multiple brokers in your area.
Where can I find an insurance broker for all of my business and personal insurance needs?
A local Trusted Choice® broker can help you analyze your risks and recommend the coverage you need to protect your family and your business. A Trusted Choice broker will survey the market, find suitable options, and help you make an educated choice. Get started by learning about top brokers in your area now.