The insurance broker: your best ally for the defence of your interests
Insurance is essential and even obligatory to avoid finding oneself face to face with serious financial problems following unforeseen events.
But how can one be sure of having coverage that is best adapted and at the lowest cost?
Having recourse to an insurance broker may be the answer.
What is the insurance broker’s job?
The insurance broker is an intermediary between the person or company insured and the insurance company. On this basis, the broker undertakes the risk analyses and an audit of the client’s situation. Depending on the results, the broker then proposes the most appropriate solutions. According to the needs and requests of their client, the broker may make use of several insurance companies. In the event of an insured loss, the broker assists the client.
Some companies, such as the healthcare insurances Assura or Helsana, do not have salespeople. They call upon brokers to offer their healthcare insurances.
As opposed to a general agent who is linked to an insurance company and therefore has to meet commercial objectives for it, a broker is generally independent. The broker represents their clients.
Why go through an insurance broker?
As the representative of the person insured by the insurance company, the broker must offer their clients made to measure contracts: the most closely adapted to their profile in accordance with market offers. Thanks to the study carried out by the broker, their client saves time and money. Indeed, through their knowledge of the market, brokers know how to identify the most competitive offers and those most pertinent to their client’s needs. Furthermore, as professionals, they have the necessary expertise to optimize their client’s insurance portfolio and avoid double coverage. Lastly, their legal and financial knowledge allows brokers to optimize each clause of a contract. They must keep close watch on regulatory and legal issues in order to provide their clients with trustworthy advice.
Brokers do not just offer you the best contract. They provide support after the subscription. When claims arise, the broker deals with the insurance company – which often results in obtaining compensation.
How is an insurance broker paid?
A broker receives a commission from the insurance company on conclusion of a contract. This commission varies according to the individual case. It provides a remuneration and covers expenses. The broker will therefore not invoice the client for fees.
What contractual obligations does an insurance broker have in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, financial intermediaries who are not linked to an insurance company and who offer insurance contracts as brokers must be entered in the public register of insurance intermediaries held by the FINMA. Inscription is mandatory for natural and legal persons. To be registered, brokers must show proof of their professional qualifications and have contracted professional third-party insurance or provided the equivalent financial security. Other financial intermediaries such as salespeople acting on behalf of an insurance company are not obliged to register.
What are the challenges facing the insurance broker?
The profession of broker is rapidly changing and becoming more complex. For those insured, insurance is becoming more and more complex, which reinforces the pertinence of the advice provided by the broker. The profession of insurance broker faces three major issues: client follow-up, the precision of the follow-up and the rigor of the follow-up, in order to preserve the clients’ interests throughout the life of the contract. Companies are now confronting new risks such as fraud and cyber risk, in addition to natural catastrophes.
Furthermore, digitalisation and the more global innovations in technology also concern the brokerage world which must adapt to the evolution of client usage. Another innovation in service to the client: data management which provides an efficient tool to refine pricing methods as well as prevention programmes, by adapting to the client’s needs for risk coverage.
Why entrust the management of your calls for tender to insurance companies to a broker?
- Drawing up the documents for the call for tender
- Evaluation of the offers and help in decision-making
- Contractual negotiation up to the signing of the mandate or agreement
- Follow-up on the project