An Insurance Broker is a firm or person whom acts as an agent to sign contracts with insurance companies on behalf of their customers. By hiring an Insurance Broker, you will be able to save time, money and worries by receiving professional advice based on many years of experience and training. The Broker will be able to explain the fine print and any questions you may have on an insurance policy in every day terminology – not “insurance speak” so you will have no unpleasant surprises or denials if and when it comes time to file a claim. The broker can even submit claims on your behalf and help you through the claim process and paperwork.
In Australia, every insurance broker is obligated to be licensed by the Federal Government’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Trustworthy and skilled insurance brokers within Australia will commonly also have earned additional qualifications such as a certificate or diploma in Financial Services.
There are also a few industry bodies that give out professional accreditations to associates that submit services with top principles of professional practice and honesty, as well as upholding the latest skills and knowledge. The two main accreditations are the ANZIIF’s CIP (Certified Insurance Professional) and the NIBA’s QPIB (Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker).
Doing business with an insurance broker as opposed to directly with an insurance company is a process many customers and business firms prefer. An Insurance Broker can save money, time and frustration. No matter what line of insurance you need assistance with – Home, Car, Life, Business or Commercial – an Insurance Broker can provide advice and insight to make sure you are adequately covered. Contrary to what many think, using an Insurance Broker doesn’t necessarily cost you a lot of money. In fact, they can save you money by having the ability to negotiate and work with a number of insurance companies to find you the best cover for your premium dollar. Unlike an agent who works for the insurance company, the broker is typically nonbiased and works for you.
It’s a good idea to do some research before choosing a broker. You’ll want to find one who can cater to your needs, whether you have a few personal policies, or are running a business with the need for an extensive number of policies. You’ll want to make sure they are experienced with what you need, and that your broker is someone who understands your goals. Treat it as you are hiring an employee, because in essence, that’s what you’re doing. Will you get along with the person? Do you see eye to eye on the big picture? Don’t be afraid to talk to several brokers, pass on the ones who just don’t feel right, and ask for a schedule of fees upfront. The longer you work with an Insurance Broker, the better they can understand your needs. All of this can set you up for a rewarding, long lasting business relationship for years to come.