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Life insurance brokers explained
Get expert advice to help you find the right policy once you're sure life insurance is right for you.
You can potentially save money and time by working with someone to sort out the complex details that come with taking out an insurance policy. A life insurance broker can guide you in the right direction to save you time, and make sure you’re getting a policy that fits your needs to save you money.
What is the role of a life insurance broker?
An insurance broker is often confused with an insurance agent; however, they’re very different.
- An insurance agent works for one or more insurance companies with the purpose of selling policies to those who need them. The agent represents the company, not the buyer.
- An insurance broker represents you. They gather different quotes from various companies and present them to you, then help you gather the necessary information you need to submit each application to insurance providers.
Should you find a life insurance policy by yourself or through a broker?
Finding the right coverage requires researching and familiarizing yourself with available plans on the market, which takes time. A broker can help ease the process.
Brokers often have a wealth of knowledge on available products that can meet your needs. Consider three main factors when deciding whether to access the help of a life insurance broker.
Finding a policy on your own can save you the the professional fee brokers charge for their services. You can save money by going online and using the services of a comparison site to see potential policies side by side.
Looking around for different policies on the market can be a significant investment of your time, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. The help of an insurance broker can get you easy access to information and recommendations that are tailored to your situation.
Finding a policy by yourself gives you the advantage of making a decision at your own pace. On the other hand, getting some assistance from an expert can save you from being overwhelmed by a sea of information from multiple sources, some of which might be unfamiliar.Expert help can be very valuable in terms of time and quality. A good insurance broker will never insist on a specific policy with a certain provider to get the best commission. Instead, they have a wide portfolio and can help find various solutions to put you at an advantage.
Life insurance broker’s duties and responsibilities
Since a reputable and licensed insurance broker should be acting in your best interests, these professionals have a number of duties and responsibilities to follow.
Some of the key duties and responsibilities of an insurance broker include:
- Source the most suitable policy available for your needs based on the information that you provide
- Find competitively priced policies on your behalf
- Act in your best interests throughout the process
- Advise you whether they’re acting as an agent for an insurer or for you
- Act with integrity and honesty at all times when it comes to dealing with clients and insurers
- Avoid conflicts of interest or disclose conflicts if and when they do arise
- Ensure any fees, commissions or other benefits received are disclosed to the customer
- Adhere to client confidentiality regulations and data protection
- Ensure all records required by law are maintained
- Provide information about the insurance coverage to the customer promptly
- Provide necessary documentation for the insurance to the client promptly
- Provide details of charges and fees from the insurer in writing and detail any fees charged for the broker service separately
- Ensure the accuracy of the insurance documentation is checked
- Make sure that no non-disclosure or misrepresentation takes place
How to find an experienced life insurance broker
Check online review sites.
An easy way to find an insurance broker is by browsing different review sites dedicated to insurance brokers. Exercise caution and be critical in order to find honest reviews. It’ll take a little legwork, but you can find which are legitimate by checking credentials and setting up appointments at local offices.
Chat up friends and family.
One of the advantages of finding an insurance broker through your circle of friends is the first-hand information and an honest review. It’s still usually a good idea to look up the broker’s credentials and do a bit of homework on them.
Read up on which certifications are standard.
You can then ask life insurance brokers about the certifications they hold. Many hours of professional training won’t guarantee you the best experience, but it definitely ups the likelihood.
Explore NAIFA and MDRT.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) are professional associations that require members to uphold a level of quality and follow a strict code of ethics.
Compare alternatives to brokers
Life insurance brokers can typically save you time and money when you’re seeking a policy. By doing a little bit of research to find a reputable broker who will work with your needs, you’ll have a professional by your side working in your best interest.
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