Agent vs Broker?
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Agent vs Broker: An agent and broker are two professions that do business by being a middle-man between companies, such as an insurance company to the customer. Agents and brokers facilitate the transaction and information between the companies and the consumers.
What is an Agent? An agent can be a person working as an insurance agent. The agent is representing the insurance company he is working for. They process all the paperwork relating to insurance policies and claims and usually end their relationship with the client once the transaction is done. It is not the work of an agent to give you different options of which plan is better; their job is to sell you usually the highest premium plan.
Who is a Broker? A broker is a person that is usually representing the customer and not the company. Brokers should have certifications and must be duly licensed to perform this profession. It is their role to lay down all the cards on the table, so to speak so that customers will be better informed. Most brokers are not working for a certain company but are working on a commission basis, which allows them to carry multiple services which will benefit potential customers.
To summarize, an agent works and sells for one company only, and sells that companies plans only. Their relationship stops with the client once the policy/plan is bought. A broker is appointed by many companies and researches plans/policies from the many companies they represent and find options for them that meet the client’s needs. A true “portfolio” may be comprised of numerous companies thus being able to meet all the client’s needs.
I interview each client to obtain what their goal is. Is their request for themselves, family, children, and employees? What do they have budgeted for health coverage? Do they want hospitalization? Wellness/preventive? Dental/vision? critical illness? What medications have you taken in the past 12 months? Do you have any pre-existing conditions such as cancer, heart, lung, hypertension, etc.? These questions help to guide me to certain health coverage companies, and what type of policies this client needs in their portfolio. I explain to each client I am available to them Monday through Sunday from 8 AM- 8 PM EST and that they will be calling me, not the insurance company with any questions or concerns. I purposely do weekends to accommodate those clients on the west coast where there is a 3 hour time difference to meet their needs and those who work, need evening hours. I am currently licensed in 18 states, appointed with 50 insurance companies and have over 3,000 policies in my repertoire to choose from to help those who need my assistance.