Who Comes First? The Carrier? Or My Broker? - Zupnick Associates

(by: Eseoghene Andre)

It’s a Joint Effort

Picture this: you’re in business for almost ten years before you’re enlightened to the fact that you need  employer’s liability insurance. You had to find out the hard way that it’s what can protect you from being sued, and it improves your attraction to hiring new talent. 

However, with all the other responsibilities of an employer,  you’re just not sure of the right channel for getting it. Your personality will determine how long you’ll struggle with the decision, but like all employers before you, you’ll have to pull the trigger. 

Direct? Or Third Party?

Is it possible for you to go directly to the insurance carriers, get quotes on the aspects of business insurance you’re familiar with, and run with it? Sure. It’s even possible to get several quotes, take your time, and feel confident in your decision. 

What’s not realistic, is to expect you’ll get a fraction of the value from your coverage, that you might with a broker, or agent. It’s also not realistic to think an individual with an existing full time job can take on the burden of sourcing, vetting, comparing & analyzing, and then getting executed, the kind of insurance businesses realistically need for adequate protection.  

Ultimately, it will come down to these two questions: ‘Do I do it myself? Or ‘Do I hire a broker?’ 

El Decision

Are you a CEO, an Owner Operator, a Benefits Advisor, or an HR Executive? Doesn’t matter. 

If you’re seeking business-related insurance, especially employer’s liability, you’ll be faced with the same daunting volume of carrier and plan options. Going through the wrong channel can mean unwarranted delays or less satisfying deals. It can be the defining factor in an objective emergency, or an employee’s existential crisis. 

We can’t make the decision for you, but if you appreciate its gravity, you won’t delay choosing and buying coverage.

Understanding Each 

To make the best decision for you and your team, consider the factors independently: what do you know about carriers? What do you know about brokers

The duties of both professionals are to provide you with coverage that protects you and your business / its employees, etc. The key difference between the two is that the carrier directly profits from your purchase, while the broker’s incentive is a long-standing, trusting relationship with you. 

Benefits of Hiring an Insurance Broker 

In reality, the pros of hiring an insurance broker, instead of winging it, far outweigh the cons. Insurance brokers make it their mission to be as intimate with the carriers and offered plans, as they are with your business. Their day-in-and-day-out routine is about improving your bottom line costs, while simultaneously improving your coverage. Insurance brokers are the guardian angels every business needs by their side. 

But it can be tough to find the right fit. 

Unlike guardian angels, insurance brokers are people, with personalities, and rates of effectiveness. Finding the right one can often be as difficult as finding a life partner. Worth it, but difficult, no doubt. 

 

PROS CONS
Works directly FOR you Finding the right match can be difficult
Has relationships with carriers
Experience in industry
Discovers new options before the public 
No out-of-pocket costs for employer

 

DIY – Finding the Right Insurance Carrier Yourself

An insurance carrier is another word for insurance provider aka insurance company. And the common way to interact with one is through their many agents. If you’re going for a carrier it means you fully trust them. 

 

Due to the affiliations of an agent with the insurance company, you would be able to close deals with a carrier. These agents are independent and serve as extensions of the carrier. Otherwise, they are directly employed by the carrier. 

 

The insurance carrier is responsible for writing and servicing your insurance policies. If you have any issues with your insurance policies you can only address them with the carrier. Even the agents they employ can not directly help you with that. 

 

PROS CONS
You may feel more in control No insider knowledge of insurance carriers
Speedier final options Insurance carriers benefit directly from overcharging 
Daunting options
Trial & Error will cost more, in the long run
No one to verify your choices with

 

Biased, Much? Maybe…

No shame in admitting we vy for the brokers. As insurance brokers with decades of experience covering employers and employees, we urge you to consider the facts before you, outside of the bias we may be demonstrating. 

 

Engaging with an insurance broker will bring you the peace and reassurance every employer needs, especially in light of recent uncertainties. Get the best broker, and they’ll get you the best carrier. 

 

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