Initially Insurance brokers were a very scarce breed of people who only wealth individuals or insurance companies could afford to hire. These individuals and companies used to hire insurance brokers to manage their select and manage their insurance portfolios to get the most out of them. Today however essentially every single insurance company employs these insurance brokers on an insured clients behalf. In fact they employ masses of insurance brokers so that they are able to cater to the individual needs of every single insured customer.
What does all this translate into for the individual or business entity that receives insurance though, what does the insurance broker mean to them, and how does he/she add value to their insurance portfolio? From a overall perspective the insurance broker manages the portfolio’s of clients to take the load off of them as well as helps them understand certain procedures in everyday terms and acting as a communication catalyst to the insurance company.
In order for this general role which an insurance broker plays to actually make more sense and be better understood it actually has to be broken up into its various components. When a n individual initially seeks insurance for example, the broker plays a role. The brokers look at the needs of the individual and the nature of insurance which they are seeking, and according to that he/she can provide advice on which insurance policies would best suit the individual, the value for which the individual will have to be covered and what costs will be involved in obtaining that cover. The broker informs the potentially insured individual of the premiums they pay, the excess they may need to pay in the event of a claim and the extent to which the individual will be insured.
If an individual has taken out insurance they will usually remain in contact with that same broker exclusively, since the broker is specifically designated to that client to manage their portfolio. The insurance broker then plays the role of providing a client with any additional information should they need it, but mostly they will deal with insurance claim, therefore, communicating the clients claim to the business and ensuring that the clients is accurately compensated. It may be up to the broker to decide whether the client is financially compensated or should have their loss compensated with goods of equal quality to those lost or damaged. Depending on company policy, the broker may also have authority to investigate the validity of the claim by requesting the broken components if damage is the nature of the claim, or by getting the advice of an assessor.
Occasionally it may also be necessary for an insured client to update their portfolio and make changes to it. whether these changes are merely small personal changes such as a new address or phone number or big changes made to the portfolio, they too fall under the duties of an insurance broker. Some of the bigger changes that brokers need to make to the portfolios of clients are when the clients insured value increases or decreases. Insured individuals purchase new items for example and those items need to be specified on the insurance policies. All this is communicated to the broker. Very seldom it may even be preferable or necessary for a broker to move and insured party to a whole new policy with more appropriate coverage and terms.