- Insurance Providers

Insurance Brokers

Insurance brokers are a great help to the consumer in finding all types of insurance – casualty, life, and health among others – and they often play an important role in resolving benefits issues. In the US, insurance brokers belong to an industry that is regulated. To practice as a broker you must obtain a state license. Most US states have agreements so that brokers who are licensed in one state can easily get a license in another. Most licensed brokers belong to the umbrella organization of the American Insurance Association (AIA) which has ethical guidelines that must be followed to maintain membership in good standing. Because the brokerage industry is regulated, smaller firms can compete with large ones.

An insurance agent is different from an insurance broker. An insurance agent represents a specific insurance company in comparison to an insurance broker who generally has no contractual agreements with insurance carriers. Working with an insurance broker can bring you significant benefits in negotiating with an insurance company since the broker represents you, the customer, and not the insurance company. Even if you are not making a claim, but have a question or would like to make a change to your policy, an insurance broker will help you get what you need.

Insurance brokers may specialize in specific areas, such as health. Some of these brokers are actually middlemen who are authorized by a number of insurance companies to help the customer make an appropriate choice within the offerings of these companies. The insurance broker receives a commission on the sale. Because health policy and laws change constantly, a state may require brokers to take regular training, even after they have been licensed.