We all know insurance is important for protecting businesses against risks, especially in these uncertain times. But the notion of researching and comparing insurance options can seem like a lot. That’s why many business owners turn to brokers to help with their insurance needs. But, how to find an insurance broker for a business? That is the question.
But it’s about more than just finding any insurance broker — it’s crucial to find the right insurance broker for your business. Contrary to popular belief, not all insurance brokers are the same.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of quality insurance brokers to choose from. As of 2021, there were 881,500 insurance brokers and agencies in the United States.
So while it’s good news that there’s ample selection when it comes to commercial insurance brokers, sifting through so many options can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. And, really, who has time for that? Also, who has even had to do that?
We’ve put together this guide with insights and tips to help show you how to find an insurance broker for your business.
Let’s get to it.
How to Find an Insurance Broker: Broker vs. Agent
First things first, we need to clear the air on the difference between insurance brokers and agents.
In the insurance industry, an agent represents one or more insurance companies and distributes an insurer’s products. Agents act as intermediaries and provide potential buyers with information from the insurance company (or companies) they represent.
A broker is an insurance expert representing people and businesses looking to purchase insurance. Brokers work with clients to create the best insurance plan for their needs. And since a broker isn’t obligated to sell policies from any particular insurance company, they can shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. What’s more, in some states, insurance brokers have a fiduciary duty to customers, meaning they are legally required to act only in the best interest of their clients.
The main takeaway? Insurance agents represent insurance companies, while insurance brokers represent insurance customers (aka you).
What Insurance Brokers Offer Business Owners
As a business owner, you already have enough on your plate without worrying if you have the right insurance to protect your business. That’s where the benefit of having a commercial insurance broker comes in.
With an insurance broker, you get an expert advisor who understands the nuances of your business and associated risks, ensuring there are no gaps in your coverage. In essence, a broker becomes a strategic partner with your business.
Here’s a look at what the best insurance brokers offer business owners:
Remember, an insurance broker works for you, not an insurance company. They focus on finding the best coverage that suits your business’s needs and, most importantly, provide unbiased advice. Working with someone who has your best interests in mind rather than thoseof an insurance company means you can feel confident about your broker’s intentions and direction.
Dealing with sudden losses, damages, or injuries is stressful. Add in gathering the necessary details for a claim, knowing who to contact, and understanding the claims process, and it can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, an insurance broker can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with filing a claim. Along with helping you file a claim, a broker should also communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and work to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently.
Variety of Options
You know the saying, “variety is the spice of life?” It can even apply to insurance. Because brokers aren’t required to push a specific insurer’s products, they can shop around to different insurance companies on your behalf. They’re also often able to approach insurance companies that you, as a consumer, wouldn’t be able to contact directly.
With insurance brokers, you’re more than just a policy number. That’s because brokers focus on establishing relationships and getting to know the needs and preferences of their clients. That, in turn, means that brokers can match you with policies that are the right fit for you and your business. That personalized service can also mean getting policies customized for your business. Best of all, having a relationship with a trusted insurance broker who understands your business can give you peace of mind that your business is protected.
Researching insurance options can be confusing and tedious. What do all the legal terms mean? What insurance does your business need to have? With a broker, you don’t have to figure it out alone. A broker should be able to help you to understand insurance requirements, legal terms, policy conditions, and exclusions. A broker’s expert knowledge is especially helpful when it comes to the fine print — they’ll ensure no details are overlooked and no surprises will pop up down the road. And since a broker works in your best interest, they should be available to answer questions and provide advice when needed.
Risk Management Support
Every business faces risk. Having support to manage those risks is a vital asset for business owners. A good broker can help enhance your risk management policies and procedures to ensure your business is protected.
Working with Insurtechs
You might be wondering, “What in the world are insurtechs?”
Following in the footsteps of fintech, insurtech is a mashup of the words “insurance” and “technology.” Insurtechs are companies using technology to innovate and enhance the traditional insurance model. By using innovative tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, insurtechs like Embroker are improving business processes, efficiencies, and the customer experience in the insurance industry.
Customers have expectations for speedy and effective service in today’s fast-paced world. And while it may initially seem that insurtechs are a threat to insurance brokers, the reality is quite different. Because the crux of insurtech isn’t about replacing brokers but creating a more efficient way of delivering insurance products to the businesses that need them most.
What insurtechs offer brokers is the ability to find more dynamic solutions for clients. Thanks to improved efficiencies, brokers can use insurtechs to get quotes faster and to find more cost savings for clients. In turn, the innovations of insurtechs free up brokers to do what they do best: build relationships.
When brokers don’t have to spend countless hours filling out forms to gather quotes, they have more time to advise clients on their risks, provide personalized support, and grow their clientele. Basically, it’s a win-win all around.
Questions to Ask Potential Insurance Brokers
Once you’ve found a potential insurance broker that ticks all the boxes of what you’re looking for, you’ll want to ask questions to ensure you find a reliable and trustworthy partner to work with. Here are some examples of questions to ask potential brokers:
1. What Types of Businesses Do You Work With?
This is the most important question to ask any potential broker. You want to find out about their experience helping businesses like yours. For example, a broker who has mainly worked with large manufacturing companies likely won’t be a good fit if you’re an IT consultant (and vice versa).
2. What Are Your Qualifications?
Don’t hesitate to ask a broker about their professional qualifications and ongoing training. Just keep in mind that a broker’s resume alone won’t give a full picture of what it will be like to work with them.
3. What Is Your Communication Policy?
Everyone has their personal preference for how to communicate. Whether you prefer in-person meetings or managing things online, finding a broker with a communication policy that matches your preference is essential. You’ll also want to know how quickly they respond to messages. After all, you want to ensure you’re dealing with someone who will be available when you need them. Also, verify whether there is an after-hours point of contact.
4. How Do You Help Clients With Claims?
Nobody wants to file a claim, but if you have to, you want to know that your broker will have your back. Have any potential broker clearly explain their claims process so that you won’t encounter any surprises if you ever have to make a claim.
5. How Can You Assist With Risk Management?
While a broker most likely won’t walk through your business and do a detailed assessment of all the areas of risk, they should help identify potential problem areas and provide insight into steps you can take to reduce risk and liability.
6. Do You Offer Personalized Policies?
Not every business fits a specific mold. If your business has unique traits that set it apart from traditional business practices, you may benefit from customized policies. A good broker will be willing to work with you to create an insurance plan that fits your needs and ensure that you don’t pay for any unnecessary coverage.
The right insurance broker can be the key to ensuring your business is adequately protected from everyday risks. That professional support can be a huge competitive advantage in today’s volatile market.
While we’d be kidding ourselves if we said price doesn’t matter when purchasing insurance, brokers are more than just price shoppers — they’re strategic partners who look out for your business’s best interest. Think of it this way: Good insurance brokers know that they succeed when you succeed.
When it comes to how to find an insurance broker for your business, you’re not looking for just a good salesperson. Instead, you want someone you can forge a relationship with, and trust to support and advise your business.
At Embroker, we have expert brokers available to help with any questions you have about insurance for your business. Whether you’re a startup or an established company, looking for commercial insurance for the first time or exploring new options, our insurance professionals have got you covered. To learn more about protecting your business, you can browse coverage options on our digital platform or reach out to one of our experienced brokers at any time.
Now that you know how to find an insurance broker for your business, is your current insurance solution enough? If not, switching insurance providers has never been easier. To learn how, simply upload your policy to Embroker here. We’ll get you a free quote, connect you with an insurance expert, and show you what business insurance can really be.