According to the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA), 85% of all general insurance policies are sold by insurance brokers in this country and commercial insurance business accounts for some 81% of policies written.
BIBA's Find a Broker facility claims to help more than 400,000 people to find a broker each year. Broker's services are clearly sought-after, therefore, so what are some of the benefits of using one?
Taking the strain
- perhaps one of the key advantages a broker may offer is simply taking a lot of the strain out of your insurance decisions;
- these days of course there are plenty of online insurance comparison websites, but if you use one there is still a fair amount of work for you to do;
- comparison websites may give you a price range of the products available, but how do you know which policies are likely to meet your precise needs, for example;
- you may also find that when you are transferred to a third party site from the comparison site, you will need to fill in another application again, so this method may be time-consuming.
- a broker is effectively providing you with free advice;
- of course, the broker receives a commission from the insurer whenever you choose to buy a policy, but then so too does any comparison website once you have clicked through and bought the policy;
- because brokers tend to specialise in certain areas of cover, they forge relationships with their insurers that often mean they are able to offer more attractive rates or the option for tailor-made cover;
- with the free advice of a broker, you also receive independent advice that is the result of shopping around for the particular cover that most suits your needs and circumstances;
- the comparisons you might find on the relevant websites, of course, include no such shopping around;
Extend your horizons
- however good the comparison website you find, there is no way of knowing whether you have considered all your options;
- comparison websites rarely make a truly exhaustive search of all potential insurers, whereas a broker is more likely to comb the entire market;
- by the same token, no comparison website is likely to be able to recommend elements of cover that you may have overlooked but which might nevertheless prove useful;
- this might be especially useful if you are looking for landlord insurance with a view to getting the specialist cover you are likely to need;
- a broker, on the other hand, is likely to spend time getting to know your precise circumstances and exact needs, so be able to make recommendations about elements of cover you may have overlooked;
- indeed, a large part of the broker's role might lie in identifying not only the most appropriate type of policy for your particular needs, but the elements of cover and any additional options that may suit your requirements;
- what all of this means is that a broker is likely to provide the kind of expertise and experience that allows an exhaustive search of the market for a policy that provides what you need - at a competitive rate;
- this is the kind of expertise on which a broker is likely to base his or her very business - something you might find especially reassuring when considering the expert advice that is given;
The list is by no means exhaustive and some of the advantages of using a broker may be difficult to quantify - such as how much value you attach to the personal touch, against the anonymity of dealing entirely online.