When most people have the Internet at their fingertips, and there are so many options for purchasing insurance, is it worth working with an insurance broker?
The short answer is, yes. An insurance broker is someone who represents you, not the insurance company. A broker will be able to provide you with quotes from various companies. They will also have the expertise to assist you in comparing complex quotes – something that can be extremely difficult for the layperson.
Compare the advice and service that you would get from an insurance broker to someone who represents a bank or agency. While a broker can access a wide-range of insurance policies to fit your needs, a banker or insurance agent will be limited to selling you products that their own company offers. People often take certain insurance polices – such as home insurance from the bank they have a mortgage with – as they believe this is the only option available. As with any product, it is important to shop around and an insurance broker can help.
While some people prefer to get online quotes and do their own insurance shopping, a broker does more than provide quotes on premiums. A broker acts as a mediator when it comes to claims. A broker knows the system and has knowledge of your coverage. They will act as an advocate on your behalf. Some consider the claims component more important than the premium. When it comes to collecting insurance payouts, the process can quickly intimidate a layperson. The claims process can be especially difficult if the insurance was purchased through an online-only provider. If you find yourself needing to process a claim, you will already be under a great deal of stress from the accident or situation that lead to the claim in the first place. Having a broker speak on your behalf greatly reduces your stress levels and leaves you free to recuperated and move on.
It’s important to know that brokers need to meet licensing requirements in Canada. They must pass rigorous exams laid out by the Canadian Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). These exams and licenses are managed at a provincial level. Brokers are also required to do regular professional development courses so their knowledge remains current.
Even though all insurance brokers require a license, not all brokers are alike. They come from a variety of backgrounds and have different degrees of experience. It’s important to talk to a few brokers before you make a decision about who will represent you. Your relationship with your insurance broker is very important as this is an individual you will be trusting with important financial decisions. There are many, wonderful, qualified insurance brokers to choose from, ensuring you will find one that you are comfortable and happy with.
Online insurance quotes and advice from your banker or insurance agency may give you insight into appropriate insurance coverage, but ultimately, an insurance broker will see the bigger picture. Their expertise and experience will likely get you the best coverage for your needs.