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Both insurance agents and brokers are licensed professionals who help small businesses obtain insurance. But while the agent represents a small number of insurance providers, the broker works with several carriers. Understanding the differences can help your business find the right partner.
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Insurance agents and brokers are professionals who sell insurance. They may choose to specialize in a particular area, such as property and casualty (P&C) insurance, which protects businesses from lawsuits and property losses.
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Both agents and brokers are licensed in the state in which they operate and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. And like any small business, insurance agents and brokers both need business insurance themselves to operate in multiple locations.
Whichever option you choose, agents and salespeople are obligated to work in good faith to help you find the best policy for your needs. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between the two, and which option can help you get the best coverage for small business insurance.
An insurance agent represents one or more insurance companies and sells their policies for a commission. They can work full-time in insurance sales at an agency, or as an independent contractor.
Their job is to represent the insurance company at work and help customers get the right coverage. An agent has an agency agreement, or contract, with an insurer that specifies the different types of insurance the agent can sell and the commission rates for each policy.
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Both captive and independent agents work on commission and can handle insurance work from start to finish, for a variety of insurance plans.
An insurance broker represents consumers in their claims and can sell policies to different insurance companies for a commission. Unlike captives and independent agents who represent one or more insurance companies, a salesperson’s primary duty is to the client.
The salesperson assesses the client’s needs and searches through different providers to find the client the right policy at the right price. They make their money from dealer fees, which are a percentage of the commission on policies sold.
Since brokers do not represent insurance companies, they cannot bind the policyholder when they purchase insurance. They must provide the account to the insurer or insurance agent to complete the transaction.
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KARI ALLEN, VP SALE, : You know, we’re pioneers in the market, we’re the first digital agency, we have our own web content and the experience we provide to small business owners is amazing.
90% of customers don’t understand the coverage they need, so they go online for help, and that’s where we come in to say “not only can we answer your questions, but we can provide you with a solution compare coverage and get quick quotes.”
Once you’ve gone through that process, you’ll now be introduced to a top-notch sales team that will help you with any questions you have, help you find the best coverage for your needs and protect your business.
Our manufacturers are experts in the small commercial market. They pride themselves on understanding all the government details, they understand the insurance company details, all the paperwork, they understand the real needs of small commercial enterprises.
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Whether it’s contracting, whether it’s lawn care, whether it’s technical and business services, they pride themselves on understanding every aspect of the industry. Our digital agency has access to insurance companies that not all traditional agencies have, or digital agencies across the market.
[Video: showing a series of animated logos for various insurance companies, including Hartford, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, AmTrust Insurance, Travelers Insurance, Acuity Insurance, Chubb Insurance, The Hanover Insurance Group, Hiscox Insurance, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.]
We have partnered with our top carriers across the country to ensure that we can provide support for almost every situation that small businesses face. Customers, the way they want to communicate, are changing. And it’s getting more and more involved every day, they want to be more involved in their decisions, but they also need to understand what the product is that they’re buying.
Everything we do is done with the customer in mind. We were pioneers in the field of technology. We started our technology development back in 1997. This was a first in the industry, we are still number one in the industry in the agency sector. We have professional producers that this is all they do all day.
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They understand the contracts, they understand the coverage, the specific needs of the IT technology sector; They understand exactly what things are needed under all circumstances. Cybersecurity, obviously, and cyber losses make big headlines.
Of course, it’s something that won’t go away, and if anything, internet security will become even more important as we move forward. I predict that this combination will explode in the next five years, it will become second nature to everyone. If you have any kind of digital presence, you need online security.
The insurance certificate is really proof that you have the job you need. It shows you have the liability insurance or workers’ compensation insurance you need to protect the contract.
Otherwise, your ability to secure those contracts could be at risk. Think of it as a contractor: So, you’re asking for a contract job, and you want to secure that bid. If you don’t have the right general liability insurance, you can lose this contract. People want to make sure you are adequately covered if you lose.
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As a small business customer of our agency, you can go to your dedicated customer portal and download your insurance certificate every day, and you can have it easily available, print it, and it will be exactly what you need to provide proof. of insurance coverage.
Although both agents and brokers act as intermediaries between insurance buyers and the insurance market, and provide insurance quotes for various policies, there are two main differences between the two:
While salespeople look for policies from a variety of different carriers, an agent must sell policies from one or more insurance providers that they represent. Agents explain the different insurance options and leave the decision up to the customer, at which point they can help get the job done and commit the coverage to the customer.
Brokers often play a greater advisory role in obtaining coverage than agents because brokers are responsible for representing the interests of the customer. Salespeople research different policies and recommend specific coverages from different companies, but then they must turn to an agent or insurance provider to have the selected policy tied to the customer.
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Businesses that have a good idea of their integration needs may find that an agent can better serve their needs. A business that faces unique risks and challenges in obtaining coverage may be better served by an insurance broker.
When looking for small business insurance, most people start by getting recommendations and referrals from their friends and business associates. They can also seek advice from any trade or professional associations they belong to and search the Internet for options.
It is important to find an agent or salesperson who is licensed and knowledgeable about the types of insurance your business needs, who has experience working with your type of business, and who can sell or connect you with policies from reputable providers.
Is both a commercial insurance agency and brokerage, with insurance agents licensed in every state. Our agents help small business owners with coverage options from the top carriers in the insurance industry to find the right policy for their needs.
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Our insurance brokers help customers find coverage outside of standard insurance products, such as excess and excess lines, from a variety of insurance underwriters. We can help put together an insurance plan that fits the risk management needs of your business and are available for questions after helping you find coverage.
A pioneer in insurance technology, it operates the largest online marketplace for small business insurance in the United States. Our technology platform allows business owners to easily compare quotes and purchase the insurance policies they need. Start an application today to protect your business.
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