For many people, just the thought of finding an insurance broker is overwhelming. We all need insurance, but since learning about it is not part of most curriculums, navigating the field can be tricky.
No matter your experience level with insurers, finding a good one will take some work.
Thoughtfully researching all the different options can be time-consuming. It’s even more time-consuming when you don’t know what questions to ask.
Here are eight questions that insurance brokers in Kleinburg always hear, to help you find the best broker.
Do you have any references?
When looking for a reputable insurance broker, references make all the difference. A reputable insurance company should have no issue providing references from satisfied customers.
You can use their references to understand how they conduct business with different clients.
Try looking for references from clients in your area with a business size comparable to yours. You can also ask the broker if they’ve previously represented clients in your field.
That way, you’ll know what experience they have in providing insurance to businesses within your industry.
If you get the chance to speak with past clients, ask how satisfied they were with the services of your potential broker. If a brokerage has been around for a while, check their website for references and testimonials from happy clients.
How quickly do you respond?
Will you have to wait for days to get a response to your insurance inquiries, or will they be answered in a few hours?
People can be a little impatient regarding their financial concerns, so this question is essential. Ask a broker about their average response time so you know what to expect should you have to file a claim.
What professional designations or accreditations do you have?
You’d probably think twice about visiting a doctor that didn’t finish medical school. And who would hire a lawyer that didn’t pass the bar?
Nobody wants to pay big money for professionals unless they have the experience and credentials to prove they’re worth the expense.
There’s no exception for insurance brokers. Familiarize yourself with some of the most common designations for brokers below.
CIP: A Chartered Insurance Professional designation means your broker has demonstrated a thorough understanding of personal and commercial insurance.
To receive this designation, brokers must complete ten courses, pass a standardized exam at the end of each course, and have one year of relevant professional experience.
FCIP: A Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional designation is for brokers in a leadership role. This is the highest designation in Canada’s personal and commercial insurance industry.
CAIB: A Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation lets clients know that this broker has exceeded their licensing requirements to upgrade their skills.
The Insurance Brokers of Canada created this designation to maintain professional standards, and as such, the CAIB is one of the most common designations for brokers.
CRM: A Canadian Risk Management designation is one of the most widely recognized certifications.
This can be a valuable certification because it shows the broker can successfully measure and analyze risk while implementing risk management procedures in an organization.
There may be a specific designation beneficial to your industry or business, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Do you offer multiple quotes or coverage options?
Insurance brokers can’t be beaten when offering you a range of coverage options. Unlike insurance agents locked in with one insurance company, brokers can sell policies from various insurance companies.
Since insurance brokers don’t work for the companies they sell for, they can give you an unbiased opinion on your coverage options.
It can also be a good idea to ask about bundling coverage options for potential discounts.
How do I file a claim?
Fingers crossed that you never have to file a claim, but if you do, how complicated is the process?
A clear understanding of the claims process will make receiving your compensation after an incident quick and efficient.
Find out what information you need to make a claim, who to contact to file, and their best contact method. Some insurance companies will have you call them directly, while others prefer you contact your broker to file a claim.
Who is my insurance carrier?
An insurance broker will provide various insurers and policies to find your ideal coverage. Brokers can suggest many good insurance companies, but you must have confidence in the insurer before purchasing their policies.
To gain this confidence, ask your broker about the fiscal rating, credentials, and track record of the insurers they present.
Your broker can help you find information on your carrier’s fiscal rating by using online credit and financial services raters like AM Best.
How much coverage do I need?
Insurance brokers assess your specific financial situation to determine your coverage needs.
They will look at your outstanding financial commitments (such as debts) and the amount of money needed to provide for your dependents on an ongoing basis.
Tell your broker if you receive coverage elsewhere, such as at work or from a credit card company, so they don’t overlap with your coverage.
What’s covered and what’s not?
Understanding everything in your policy can be a bit confusing whether or not you’ve purchased insurance before.
Gaps in coverage are quite common, so you need to take the time to ensure you’re well informed on what you’re purchasing.
Sit with your broker and go over your policy in detail. A thoughtful broker will ensure you fully understand your policy before making your first payment.
Also, be sure to ask what actions or activities render your policy null and void. For example, some life insurance policies are nullified if the policyholder dies in a restricted or high-risk country.