Choice. Advice. Advocacy.
How consumers buy every-day products is changing rapidly, but there's one thing that you can still count on: There's an insurance broker in your community who's there for you providing the right insurance coverage, trustworthy advice and service in the event of a claim or change that affects your policy.
A broker's services don't end with the sale of the policy; they start there. These services include:
- Pre-sale due diligence that includes assessing needs, obtaining quotes. Depending on the property being insured, this might include performing an insurance valuation, taking photographs or obtaining an inspection report
- Explaining terms, conditions and premium changes; this might include comparing the coverage offered by two or more insurers
- Making recommendations on the best coverage in an unbiased manner, and providing decision time and space
- Providing information on how to manage or reduce risks
- Providing administrative follow-up, such as mortgagee changes, certificates of insurance
- Providing advice and revisions at policy renewal or mid-term if required; this could involve amending policies as a result of material changes, such as a move or the sale of an asset
- Being available to answer questions. The vast majority of brokerages are well established in the community and insurance is their primary business
- Ensuring claims are fairly handled; brokers make a positive difference to the insured's payout from the insurer in a substantial number of claims
- Heading off potential claims or coverage problems by being hands-on with the customer
Your insurance broker is one of your key advisors, along with your accountant, lawyer and banker. Your insurance broker is licensed and meets ongoing educational requirements to maintain that licence, assuring you of expert, unbiased advice. Whether it's finding the best coverage at the best price or negotiating your next claim, your local insurance broker helps you protect your family, your possessions and your business.
Brokers assess the needs of the community and forge relationships with the insurance companies whose products are best suited, enabling them to match their customers' needs to available coverage options.
Just as with your other key advisors, you'll get the best advice and service if you develop a relationship with your insurance broker. By getting to know you, your broker can help adapt your coverage as your family grows or your business evolves.
Most people prefer to have a face-to-face conversation with a broker to discuss coverage, at least at the outset. For most of your dealings with a broker, you can communicate in the ways you are most comfortable or that fit into your busy life, such as email or telephone.
Insurance brokers work to a principle of utmost good faith. Your insurance broker puts your interests first, before those of the insurance company. Buying from a broker means you can buy with confidence knowing that the recommended coverage is right for your needs.
Your insurance broker is your advocate if you make a claim to ensure the insurance company acts promptly and fairly. When you have to make a claim that's when you learn the true value of having a local insurance broker who is nearby. The disappointment of a refused claim lasts much longer than the satisfaction of initially "saving" a few dollars.
Being local and committed to your community, your insurance broker can help you reduce your risk and exposure by providing information about local road safety, home security, emergency preparedness, and other issues specific to where you live and work. Brokers act as a local resource centre for safety information and crime prevention. Brokers are part of your community's emergency response team. They will be among the first to respond to your needs in the event of a catastrophe in our community. By getting the best insurance - you're investing in your own community.
Consumers have to trust that the insurance they purchase will be there when they need it, whether the loss is a relatively minor claim or a major, multi-billion-dollar catastrophe. A safe, stable and well-resourced insurance sector is vital to our economic prosperity. Insurance regulators in Canada and the provinces maintain stringent regulations so that consumers can continue to trust the insurance products they purchase. And insurance brokers provide expertise and coverage in every community. Learn more about how you’re protected.
This information is brought to you by the members of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. To find an IBABC-member broker near you, click here.