When buying insurance, you can choose to buy from an insurance agent who represents a specific insurance company, or you can choose to purchase your insurance through an independent insurance broker. Often, an independent broker can prove to be the better choice, and it’s easy to find the cheapest insurance premiums from a broker in your area online. Here are some of the advantages of purchasing your insurance through an independent insurance broker:
1. 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 offerings to find the best deal for you. A broker can take a thorough look at your personal needs and recommend the best coverage for you based on your situation. Brokers who are registered with the Insurance Broker’s Association of Ontario (IBAO) are bound by the organization’s Code of Ethics to find the best coverage available for their clients. Brokers can get you the best deal available from their portfolio of offerings, while agents are bound to represent a specific company, and are therefore more limited in the number of products they can offer. They can only recommend and only have access to their own company’s products, which may or may not be the right fit for your specific insurance requirements.
2. 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 a broader portfolio of options than a direct insurance agent. They typically have experience with clients dealing with losses and can guide you through the often confusing and stressful claims process, answering any questions that you may have. Brokers usually work for smaller companies representing big insurance companies and can often offer faster and more personalized support. In addition, every insurance broker must be bonded, meaning that you are protected in the event of any dishonest conduct.
3. Brokers (in Ontario) are licensed through the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). RIBO was established in 1981 and is a self regulated organization that authorizes the licensing of brokers for all general insurance in Ontario. Brokers are required to meet RIBO requirements in ethical conduct, professional competence and insurance related financial obligations. RIBO provides brokers with the opportunity for life-long learning and a chance to continually improve their knowledge and skill. Brokers are required to earn additional education credits each year to ensure that they stay up to date on the latest developments in the insurance industry and offer comprehensive advice and knowledge.
4. Your privacy is protected. Brokers are required by their Code of Ethics to maintain your privacy and keep all client discussions and information completely confidential.
5. Brokers give full disclosure on commission rates and their effect on your insurance premiums. Brokers are required to disclose their commission rate and the effect this has on your insurance premiums. Broker compensation is included in your premium payments and your broker will provide you with a statement at the point of sale that tells you how much of your premium goes toward the broker’s commission. This allows you to make an informed choice when buying insurance.
Brokers in Ontario are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that could be considered a conflict of interest. For example, your broker must disclose any ownership position they may have in a specific insurance company, or any loans or financial relationship they may have with a specific company. It all comes down to providing you with all the information you need to make an informed choice when you decide which policy is right for you.
Choosing an insurance broker means that you have a professional on your side when choosing the best policy for yourself and your family. Brokers offer professional and unbiased advice, ethical conduct, and full disclosure of all the information you need to make an informed decision. Insurance brokers are also experienced and skilled in dealing with the claims process from many different insurance companies – giving them a unique perspective. They can talk you through each stage while giving you personalized advice and excellent customer service. Brokers will help protect your privacy and advocate to the insurance companies on your behalf. They’re committed to 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 home, auto or life insurance policy. It’s easy to find a local broker online when you get an car insurance quote to find the best rate.