Business Insurance: Shop for a broker before you shop price!

So you haven’t seen you broker in a while. Tired of speaking to a new person every time you call the office? Has your broker retired and sold his business to some person you don’t know? You are not alone. There is allot of change going on in the insurance industry. Business insurance rates are continuing to be low and competition is fierce. So you are shopping for a broker – what should you look for?

Many people today shop around for the cheapest price for their business insurance (home and auto too – but this article is all about business). The insurance market is broken up into 2 factions: the insurance companies that sell their own product and those that go through brokers (there are some companies that do both – but we will keep it simple here)

Here are a few of tips for your shopping pleasure:

  1. Comfort: Look for a broker with whom you feel comfortable – listen to your gut – it is usually right
  2. Broker vs Agent – a broker will be able to shop various markets for you and will find the right fit for you whereas an agent will sell the product from the company that they represent (meaning you have to do the shopping).
  3. Expert Advice – It is very easy for a broker to tell you that they can write home, auto, business, life etc. because they can write all those forms of business. You have to dig a little deeper – Take me for instance. Before becoming and insurance broker, I sold products to the manufacturing and distribution industries – I have knowledge about sales cycles, importing/exporting woes, production cycles etc. This experience is key to facilitating how a broker can sell your risk to an insurance company by speaking in your industry language and translating it to insurance lingo!
  4. Price: If you are going to focus on price, make sure your focus on the correct numbers. You have to include the biggest cost to you: your time. There is no point going with a broker who will be a hassle to get a hold of, who quotes you the cheapest product (which may or may not include vital coverage for your business)

Your business insurance policy is your silent partner, a security blanket that should be there to call into action should the need arise. While price is a factor, don’t make it the only one. Good Luck!

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