Insurance Brokers, Insurance Purchasing Process

Questions to ask an Insurance Broker

Insurance Broker QuestionsPurchasing insurance can be a very complex process. There are so many providers and policies to choose from it’s not just a simple decision anymore and it can be difficult to choose the perfect one. When you are going through a broker it can be a lot simpler since they can help you navigate through to match your insurance needs with appropriate solutions. A broker acts as a liaison between insurance companies and customers. It’s important that you fully find a top insurance broker that you can trust. If you are not sure what types of questions you should be asking you can be clueless. Here are some key questions you should ask your insurance broker.

Question 1 – Can you provide references?

By providing references you will begin to understand the broker’s reputation and it can be the start of building trust. You will want to see if he has a state license first and then after asking for references, there are ways to check his reputation. Just because he has a license doesn’t mean they are reputable. You can check records at the state insurance commissioner’s office and the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed against the broker.

Question 2 – What is your experience in the insurance industry?

By asking how long the broker has worked in the insurance industry you will find out a little about how well he knows the industry and products. They need to have a solid knowledge of what their clients need and be up to date on the latest in the industry including policy changes. The broker needs to know how to look at numerous policies and help you choose the best one to fit your needs.

Question 3 – Can you offer a variety of plans and designs?

A good broker will be equipped to offer you a variety of insurance plans designed to meet your needs and fall within your budget. They should be able to describe the different plans that are available and how each can benefit you. The broker should give you all the pros and cons associated with each of the plans and assist you in making the decision, without coercing or forcing you toward one particular solution. Pay attention to the methods they use as they recommend policies; they should be professional at all times.

Question 4 – How often are you in contact with clients?

It’s important to know the level of communication a broker has with his clients. A good broker is going to contact you three times each year minimally. This can be in writing, in person or by phone. They should be easily reached if you have any questions that come up. They should also review your policy every year and communicate any new developments occur in the industry. They may also inform you about these changes and suggest ways you can take advantage of them.

Question 5 – Can I meet the staff?

An insurance broker will rely on staff members who will be assisting them in their day to day tasks. The staff is going to help the broker maintain your portfolio, do any required research and file claims if you need them. Because they are very involved in the process it is important to meet them and to know how well the broker and staff work together. You should see a mutual respect between the broker and the staff he works with on a daily basis.

Question 6 – What days and hours are you available?

You want to choose a broker that is available and open for discussing any questions you may have at any given time. Their hours should be suitable for your own schedule and lifestyle.

Think of your first meeting with your broker like a job interview. You should not be afraid to ask tons of questions and the answers they provide will continue to offer more insight into the broker’s knowledge, integrity as well as how concerned they are about your needs. The impression you get of them is far more important than how their credentials look on paper. It’s very important for you to be comfortable with contacting the broker and with their overall performance.

Additional resources on what to ask insurance broker

NYTimes – questions to ask a prospective financial adviser
CNBC- ask your financial advisor about this now

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