In the modern-day insurance field, commercial insurance brokers can be said to play both one of the most important, and one of the most under-appreciated role. In a highly technical and specialised industry, which continues to befuddle most uninitiated men and women, these professionals offer crucial help to customers, not only where buying insurance is concerned, but most importantly, in understanding and navigating the field.
As such, it does come across as somewhat surprising that so many prospective insurance buyers continue to be almost entirely unaware of what commercial insurance brokers are, what they do, and what their importance to the field is. Unless they have, at some point, resorted to the services of these types of professionals, chances are most laymen and women entering the field of insurance for the first time will not be aware of what they do, or how they can help customers find their way across the often tricky process of buying commercial insurance.
As dedicated and proudly independent commercial insurance brokers, Watson-Laurie are one of the companies fighting to change this status quo, and improve awareness of the role professionals like the ones we employ play within the field of insurance. In general, we choose to do this by focusing on a specific aspect of our profession and explaining how and why it can positively affect a customer’s insurance purchasing experience; this time around, however, we chose to do things a little differently, and take a somewhat more general approach to the task of educating consumers about the importance of commercial insurance brokers.
That is why, instead of approaching the matter from any specific angle, this blog post will be attempting to give a global overview of the profession, its significance to the modern-day insurance market, and the ways in which it can effectively improve a layman or woman’s experience within it. In short, it will be attempting to answer that most common of questions: what are commercial insurance brokers? As such, customers who have ever asked themselves or their insurance company this question would do well to read the lines below, and find out the answer.
Commercial Insurance Brokers: A Definition
When attempting to answer the question ‘what are commercial insurance brokers?’, it is important to start at the beginning – namely, with a definition of the term ‘insurance broker’ itself.
Simply put, an insurance broker is any agent which sells, solicits or negotiates insurance, but is not affiliated or under contract to any specific insurance provider or company. This distinction is essential, as it is the main factor distinguishing insurance brokers from similarly-titled professionals such as insurance agents – who do tend to be associated to a specific insurance company.
Evidently, commercial insurance brokers are nothing but a subsection of this professional group which specialises on selling insurance to businesses, rather than private customers. Other than that, most of the specificities and duties applicable to insurance brokers in general also apply to these professionals. As such, while the lines below will approach these duties and particularities from the point of view of commercial brokers, the statements made can just as easily be extrapolated to other sub-sections of the insurance field.
Main Duties of Commercial Insurance Brokers
Having defined what the term ‘commercial insurance brokers’ stands for, it is equally as important to clarify exactly what the main duties and responsibilities of these professionals are, with regards to their clients and customers.
As mentioned in the section above, commercial insurance brokers deal in commercial insurance. However, as also mentioned above, the main aspect separating them from traditional insurance providers or agents is the negotiation aspect. Whilst insurers or insurance agents will limit a customer’s choice to their available selection of plans, and generally enforce a fixed-price standard, commercial insurance brokers commit themselves to searching for, and negotiating, the best possible insurance policy on behalf of the customer.
In short, contrary to insurance agencies, these professionals tend to put the client’s best interests ahead of profit goals, and provide the most appropriate plan to fit any given client’s needs, rather than simply the one which would earn them the biggest commission. Along with the one detailed further down this article, this is one of the main aspects setting the role of commercial insurance brokers apart from that of other providers across the insurance field, and one of the reasons knowledgeable customers enlist them as intermediaries in the insurance buying process.
How Commercial Insurance Brokers Can Help
Having assessed the job description and role of commercial insurance brokers, it is now time to detail exactly how these professionals can be a considerable help for insurance buyers less versed in the specificities of the field.
As detailed above, commercial insurance brokers are not, on principle, affiliated with any one insurer or insurance company; rather, they tend to have partnerships with several providers, making for a vast and varied portfolio from which to draw when necessary. Most importantly, however, this lack of exclusivity allows these professionals to assess customers’ needs and demands in an entirely unbiased manner, which tends to result in happier clients.
Similarly, being totally impartial and independent, commercial insurance brokers are at liberty to inform their clients about the insurance business, as well as alert them to any potentially undesirable situations brought about by ignorance. This aspect of insurance brokerage often tends to get overlooked, but its importance should not be underestimated or underplayed; by informing their customers against unfavourable situations, these professionals are directly contributing to a better outcome to said customers’ insurance purchasing experience, and thus directly influencing customer satisfaction.
What are commercial insurance brokers, then? As the paragraphs above have hopefully made clear, they are an integral part of the insurance market, both because they can help interested parties pinpoint and negotiate the best possible insurance plan to fit their needs, but also because they stand as impartial observers who have customers’ best interests in mind, rather than their own. As specialists in the field, Watson-Laurie are proud to be part of this professional class, and will continue to fight to highlight its importance within the field of insurance!