When buying insurance, you can choose to buy direct from an insurance company, from a tied agent or a bank that represents one company or you can choose to purchase your insurance through an insurance broker. Most brokers can save you money on your insurance not to mention the time you would otherwise spend shopping around yourself but there are other reasons why using an insurance broker can be of major benefit to you.
Here are just some of the advantages of purchasing your insurance through an insurance broker:
An insurance broker works for you – not the insurance company. Your insurance broker is not tied to a specific company or a specific company’s products. They can search a number of companies and their products to find the best deal for you. A broker can take a thorough look at your personal needs and recommend the best and most suitable product for you based on your situation. Insurance brokers can get you the best deal available from their large portfolio of products and provider, while banks or insurance companies can only offer you the products from one company, and are therefore more limited in the number of products they can offer.
Insurance Brokers are experienced and professional. Brokers deal with a wide range of products and services and are qualified to recommend the policies that best suit your needs from the wide range of companies that they deal with. They will know for example what companies are best suited for younger drivers for example or who is best for providing public liability for your industry. They typically have experience with claims and can guide you through the often confusing and stressful claims process, answering any questions that you may have. What’s more most brokerages in Ireland are generally smaller and can often offer a faster and more personalized support. Brokers are also committed to continual professional development and lifelong learning, ensuring that they are informed on the latest changes and adjustments to insurance policies and legislation to give you the best options available when you purchase your next policy.
Insurance Brokers are regulated: Brokers are required to meet certain standards and financial obligations. In addition to the requirement to hold professional indemnity insurance, they are required to carry out a process with each client to ensure that they are recommending the correct product to suit your needs. A ‘fact find’ should be used to discover your exact needs and requirements and on this information the broker should make their informed recommendations. A ‘reasons why’ letter or ‘statement of suitability’ should also be presented to the client outlining why the product and the provider is being recommended and how they meet the clients specific needs.
You can get access to insurance companies that you cannot access on your own: In recent years there are more and more insurance companies popping up that only deal directly with brokers. In transacting business in this way they can save costs and do not have the same requirement for large call centres or large administration teams to deal with the public. They can then pass on these savings to you, the consumer. Many of these companies only deal directly through brokers so you will not be able to get a quote directly. Certainly over the past couple of years we have found ourselves recommending these companies more and more as they are able to consistently deliver on price, product and service.
Insurance Brokers are required to give full disclosure on commission and fees and the effect on your insurance premium: Of course brokers need to be paid too and they get generally get paid a percentage commission from the insurance companies. In addition to this they may also charge a small fee for their services. As part of the regulation they must provide you with a copy of their terms of business which outlines the companies they deal with, how they are paid and details of any fees they may charge. This allows you to make an informed choice when buying insurance.
Choosing an insurance broker means that you have a professional on your side when choosing the best policy for yourself, your business and your family. Insurance brokers offer professional and unbiased advice, ethical conduct, and full disclosure of all the information you need to make an informed decision. They can talk you through each stage while giving you personalised advice and excellent customer service. So next time you are looking for insurance or renewing your current product why not contact your local broker first and see what a great service they can offer you.
Pol O Murchu is a leading Irish Financial Advisor, Insurance Broker and Mortgage Broker. His company Heritage Insurance Brokers [http://www.heritageinsurancebrokers.ie] provides clients with a range of Insurance and Financial Products to suit their every need. He specialises in Life Insurance [http://www.heritageinsurancebrokers.ie/insurance/life_insurance_term_assurance.html], Mortgage Protection, Pensions, Investments, Mortgages, Health Insurance and a range of both personal and business insurance products. To get more information on any of our products contact us today.
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