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19 Mar, 2019|

What is an Insurance Broker & What Do They Do?

With a large range of insurance products available and insurance needs ranging from the relatively simple, such as a single car insurance policy, through to the complex such as a fleet business operating over 100 vehicles, the world of insurance can be a complex one.

What is an insurance broker?

Matching your needs with an insurer

An insurance broker’s role is to find their customers the right insurance policy for their needs, at the best possible price. An insurance broker works for their customer, not an insurer. They represent the customers’ needs so should be impartial when it comes to matching a customer with the right insurer.

Once a broker has a handle on your requirements, they will go out to a panel of insurers and provide you with a range of quotes for cover that meets your needs. The broker will then take the lead on arranging the cover once you have decided which is the best for you.

Regulated companies

Insurance brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the body responsible for ensuring the integrity of financial services companies. Brokers therefore need to work to and follow a strict set of rules, keeping the best interests of their customers as their focus.

Just to note, an insurance broker will often be paid a commission by an insurer for arranging an insurance policy with them, but this shouldn’t impact their impartiality.

Easing the claims process

If you need to make a claim, brokers can and will work with your insurer and represent you to make the claims process as straightforward as possible.

Insurance experts

At Anthony Jones we like to think of ourselves as your insurance experts for your needs – we are here to help by listening and understanding your needs and ensuring these are met by the right insurance.

How do insurance brokers differ from an insurer?

Unlike an insurer, insurance brokers do not underwrite the insurance risk of their clients. Insurance brokers are experts in insurance, determining which insurance solutions an individual or business requires and matching those needs with an insurer who can provide sufficient cover at the best possible cost.

When a claim is made, whilst an insurance broker can and will help with making the claims process as simple as possible and representing the interests of their customer, they won’t be the ones who ultimately pay out on the claim. This responsibility falls to the insurer as they have taken on and underwritten the risk.

Why use an insurance broker?

Most insurance brokers will specialise in certain fields of insurance and have a range of experts working for them who have a great depth of knowledge in the insurance sectors that they focus on.

Some of the benefits of working with an insurance broker include:

Depth of knowledge

Working in certain sectors means an insurance broker should have a great depth of knowledge in their specialist areas and be well versed in the risks and emerging risks that a business or industry may face. By understanding your business and the work you carry out, a broker can then add value by applying their specialist knowledge to get a handle on your insurance needs.

They may identify areas that as an individual you would not think of. Take vaping insurance for example – such a new industry with such unique risks. The risks presented by running a vape shop are so different to someone running a normal retail unit – as a business owner you may not be aware of this and likewise a broker with no expertise in this area may overlook this too. Working with a broker who specialises in vaping insurance, such as Anthony Jones, means you have the right information at your finger tips to make the right decisions about your insurance needs.

A thorough understanding of Insurance

We all know that insurance can be complicated to understand. In particular, this can be the case for businesses who may have specialist, niche or varied needs. A broker and their staff have undergone significant amounts of training in insurance and the products that they deal with and will understand the related jargon, technicalities and limitations. This means they should be able to translate their understanding of your business into your insurance needs and work with insurers on your behalf to achieve the right solution for you.

In a recent chat with our Managing Director, Mark Stevenson, an expert in Intellectual Property Insurance he told us that in his experience, Intellectual property insurance can be an underestimated product with many thinking only of the legal costs of bringing or defending an IP infringement claim as well as any court awards made as a result of a claim against your business. When in fact, the product is far wider ranging, something which an experienced broker would be able to advise you on.

A good relationship with insurers

If you are unsure of a clause in an insurance document, a broker can go back to the insurer and have these discussions with them on your behalf. Equally if an insurer has questions or doubts over a certain element of your risk profile, a broker should be able to work with you to provide the information need to allay any concerns or if this is not possible find you an alternative insurance solution.

Anthony Jones has been a trusted insurance broker by many for over 30 years. We are also a truly independent broker which means we can focus fully on our customer’s needs. If you have any questions about your insurance cover or think using an insurance broker could be right for you or your business don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are always happy to help.