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What is the role of an insurance broker?


Last update : 2023-03-09 08:52:28

It's not always easy to find the right insurance policy for your needs. As such, using an insurance broker is always a good idea, especially when you don't know where to start.

An insurance broker, regulated in Quebec by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Regulator), is the best resource when it comes to finding a product that suits your situation. In addition, using their services saves you both time and the headache of trying to understand everything involved in your insurance contract.

Let's take a look at their different roles.

The role of an insurance broker

Insurance agent vs. broker: what is the difference?

First of all, it's important to note that an insurance broker and an insurance agent do not have quite the same role, although both offer insurance products. An agent is an employee. They therefore present clients with products offered by the insurance company for which they work. This means that agents do not need to look for new clients, since the company provides them.

An insurance broker, on the other hand, is self-employed. They have no financial ties to any particular insurer, making them an impartial expert. However, they may choose to partner with other independent brokers or join a brokerage firm.

They may, for example, join the RCCAQ (Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec - Quebec Insurance Brokers Association), a professional association whose purpose is to promote and defend the interests of insurance brokers.

There are also several federal and provincial associations mandated to defend the interests of brokers and their clients, and to oversee their practice, such as the IBAC (Insurance Brokers Association of Canada) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Regulator).

In all cases, the broker acts as an intermediary between their clients and the various insurance companies. They have access to many products, offered by various companies. A broker should also be able to obtain quotes from at least three insurers in order to offer diversified contracts to their clients.

What can an insurance broker do for you?

The different roles of insurance brokers

The profession of insurance broker essentially consists in advising companies, establishments or individuals on insurance products. They work with clients, offering them a variety of insurance products to fit their needs, completely free of charge.

An insurance broker is paid by insurers when they find them new clients. They do not represent an additional intermediary that you have to pay. You can therefore benefit from their expertise at no extra cost.

Here are some advantages of using an insurance broker.

The broker compares different insurance products and companies

One of their main tasks is to compare the different products offered by the companies to which they have access. Their expertise allows them to rigorously select the insurers that form part of their network. They evaluate their solvency, the speed with which they settle claims, their contract management and the quality of their insurance products.

The broker's neutrality and privileged position then allow them to select from among the many existing insurance products that offer the best conditions for their clients.

They help you choose the insurance that best suits you

With access to a variety of insurance products, an insurance broker can help you find the policy that best suits your needs and budget. They will first analyze your situation and then, after careful comparison, select several contracts. This means that you won't have to search and study everything by yourself. Your broker will take care of it!

In addition to selecting insurance products specifically for you, a broker will take the time to break them down and help you understand what they entail. They will inform you, in simple and understandable language, of the specifics of each contract (term, clauses, terms of payment, premiums, etc.).

Negotiation: a big part of the insurance broker's work

They negotiate the contract for you

A broker facilitates the management of your insurance contract by acting as the intermediary between you and your insurer. They are therefore your main contact for advice or to negotiate your contract.

Brokers have a greater margin of negotiation with insurance companies than a regular client. They usually represent several tens or hundreds of contracts, which gives them more weight when the time comes to renegotiate rates or to manage an incident that has occurred. The insurance company has every interest in coming to an agreement with the broker if it wishes to continue its partnership.

They defend the rights of their clients

Brokers have all the necessary knowledge about the rights, protections and coverage included in the insurance contracts of their clients. They are therefore able to defend them in full transparency and knowledge of the facts, if necessary.

In the event that a dispute arises, your insurance broker will take over the negotiations with your insurance company. They will also follow and monitor the complaints process so that it is carried out as soon as possible.

A broker is therefore a major ally in all facets of an insurance contract, from the negotiations to the claims.

What training do insurance brokers undergo?

To be able to practice in Quebec, insurance brokers must complete training recognized by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Regulator). Depending on the area of specialization chosen, their training will be slightly different.

They can work in damage insurance for individuals or companies. Alternatively, they can specialize in personal insurance to gain access to accident and health insurance, group insurance, etc.

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