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Is a commercial insurance broker worth it?

Tailor coverage to suit your company's needs while weighing several options at once.

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A commercial insurance broker helps your business find the best coverage based on your industry and coverage needs. Because brokers aren’t tied to one company, they can research a variety of options and serve as your expert for insurance advice. On the other hand, you won’t have control over the companies compared. In other words, you’ll need to know you can trust your broker’s opinion.

How does using a commercial insurance broker work?

When you meet with a broker, they may ask questions to understand your business and the risks involved. You’ll also tell them the different types of insurance you’re interested in. From there, your broker can tailor an insurance package to suit your needs and negotiate with insurers to get you the best deal.

If you have questions, your broker can help you understand the policy’s features, like what coverage you have and how to file claims. Although brokers partner with insurance companies, they work as an independent business with a responsibility to you.

Why should I use a commercial insurance broker?

Using insurance brokers come with many benefits since their job is to find the best coverage for your business. But before you hire a broker, you may want to consider reasons to do some insurance shopping yourself.

Benefits

  • They serve as insurance experts. Your insurance broker knows the different types of insurance you may need and can help you understand your options.
  • They customize your insurance. Nearly all policies are customizable to a degree. But a broker can identify the best way to cover your needs without overlapping coverage.
  • They work for you. As an independent business, a broker aims to find the right insurance for clients rather than working for a specific insurance company.
  • They compare a variety of options. A broker may know about companies you don’t, pulling from a wide variety of choices.
  • You save time and reduce stress. You can spend less time researching insurance and more time focusing on your business.
  • You could save money. Because your broker compares several companies, you can choose the option with the best coverage and premium.

Drawbacks

  • You have less control. You may not know which options your broker compares, and you won’t have control if your broker passes on a company.
  • Brokers get paid a commission. Most brokers get paid by the insurance company a client chooses and sometimes based on the policy amount, creating a possible motivation to steer clients toward higher-paying partners and coverage they might not need.
  • Large companies may not partner with brokers. Not all insurance companies work with independent brokers, so you could miss highly rated options for your business.

What business insurance can I buy through a broker?

You can likely cover all your insurance needs through a broker, unless you face specialized risks they’re not familiar with. Types of insurance you can buy include:

  • General liability. Protects your business against a variety of injuries or property damage like falls, damaging customer’s property or misleading advertising.
  • Public liability. Covers physical property damage or injuries to customers or visitors to your business property, like someone slipping on a wet floor.
  • Professional liability. Defends against industry risks that involve damage from your company’s services or advice.
  • Property damage. Safeguards your building and other physical property from weather damage or theft.
  • Business interruption. Offers protection against lost income if you can’t trade due to an unforeseen event, like a fire.
  • Workers’ compensation. Covers employee medical bills and lost income if they’re injured at work.

Which industries can brokers help?

Insurance brokers can help businesses from many industries, including:

  • Architects
  • Consulting services
  • Engineering and construction
  • Financial planning companies
  • Hair and beauty salon owners
  • Human resources companies
  • IT services
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Restaurant owners
  • Retailers
  • Shipping companies
  • Travel agencies

How do I compare commercial insurance brokers?

The main areas you should look at with business insurance brokers are their credentials and customer satisfaction. When talking with several brokers, you can ask for their certifications and licenses as well as any questions about the coverage you might need.

Consider how knowledgeable the broker seems or whether they specialize in your specific industry. And while you’re researching brokers you can check to make sure they’re licensed in your area with your state insurance department or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Last, you might look at the broker’s customer and business ratings, using reputable sources like the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot and AM Best. You may also want to ask around and see if any of your peers have worked with them before.

Compare business insurance

Name Product Workers' comp General liability Product liability Available states
CoverWallet
CoverWallet
All states except RI & VT
Compare multiple quotes for business insurance to find the cheapest rates from this online commercial insurance broker.
The Hartford
The Hartford
All 50 states & DC
Compare wide coverage for almost any business and industry, though you can't complete your quote online.
Insurance321
Insurance321
All 50 states & DC
Insurance321 matches you with an agent who can find the best commercial coverage for your business.
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Bottom line

Because a broker compares many options for you, using one can save your business time and money if you choose a reputable business insurance broker. However, you might consider doing some research on your own too since not all insurance companies work with brokers.

Common questions about commercial insurance brokers

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