Yes, there totally is!
The main difference between an insurance agency and a broker is that an agent represents the insurance company, while the broker represents the insurance buyer. An insurance buyer could be an individual or a business.
So How are Insurance Brokers Unique?
Insurance Brokers don’t carry enforced loyalty to any one insurance company, so they can ask any number of insurance companies for quotes to find the best fit and cheapest policy for your unique situation.
The advantages of dealing with an Insurance Broker can include: a third party to contact in the event of a claim, a larger group of companies to contact if your insurance needs change, your broker will also get you the best price and coverage at renewal, even if it means switching insurers.
All staff must complete yearly training to enable Brokers to keep their licenses. This means the broker you deal with will have the most up-to-date knowledge of the insurance marketplace; this constant upgrading and diversity of markets ensure their insurance knowledge is broad.
Most brokers can quickly get you up and running with your new insurance policy and documentation. This can vary based on the insurance company that provided the best quote and your buying type.
How does a Broker differ from an Insurance Agency?
As we mentioned, an insurance agency has a contractual obligation to a specific insurance company. Their loyalties lie with the insuring company first and the insurance buyer (you) second. Agencies generally align with a single company and have excellent product knowledge of the policy they sell based on their close ties and policy focus.
Agencies have the luxury of much support from the parent company. Sometimes this comes as financial assistance for office space, overhead expenses, employee benefits, etc. The extensive product training includes marketing materials, promos, campaign assistance, and detailed seminars. However, they are still bound to a single group of policies that might not best fit your unique situation. Sometimes a parent company may discontinue specific policies or raise rates, and you may need to look elsewhere without comparable companies to move laterally.
If you live in Alberta or British Columbia and are looking for Home Insurance, we are here to answer any questions you may have about our range of home insurance products and services. Contact our team at 1.844.544.4663 and see what makes us Harbord – The Home Insurance People™!