Broking 101

What does an insurance broker do?

Insurance brokers work with their clients — who may be individuals or businesses — to help them manage risk. Insurance brokers will help their clients identify any risks that they have and how to cover them. One of the ways to deal with risk is by letting someone else cover it – such as with insurance.

Brokers learn as much as they can about the needs of their clients, and also have an extensive understanding of the various insurance policies offered by different companies. A broker’s job is to help match a client’s needs with insurance policies that will help them the most. Brokers then help the client put those insurance policies in place, and if the client needs to make a claim, brokers will typically help with that, too.

Essentially, clients deal directly with brokers, and then brokers deal directly with insurance companies on behalf of their clients.

Do insurance brokers work for insurance companies or themselves?

While there is a bit of detail behind the answer to this question, most brokers are independent and work for their own or a bigger brokerage. There are other kinds of jobs similar to brokers, like authorised representatives and agents, but we won’t bore you with the detail now!

Why do people use brokers instead of buying direct from an insurance company?

A good insurance broker will ask a lot of questions — questions insurers don’t always have time to ask — so they’ll know everything there is to know about a client’s needs and situation, and they’ll also know all the ins and outs of the different insurance policies offered by different insurers. So, a broker can help their client choose insurance policies that perfectly match that client’s needs and situation, and they’ll help them get the best deal possible.

Brokers also help their clients understand the details of their cover, and customers like knowing that if they have any questions or need to make a stressful claim, their broker is there to help them.

What does a day in the life of a broker look like?

A typical day for a broker involves interacting with people, acquiring information, analysing information, negotiating and solving problems.

Brokers spend a lot of time talking to people — clients, insurers and other people who are involved in risk assessment. Being able to interact effectively with people is an important part of a broker’s job because it enables them to get the right information, find the best solutions and negotiate and buy contracts with insurers on behalf of their clients.

A lot of the time brokers spend talking to people involves asking a lot of questions — questions about a client’s circumstances and questions about an insurer’s policies. Brokers also have to do their research and learn as much about as many insurance policies as possible.