WHAT ROLES DO BROKERS PLAY?
The importance of insurance to any Nation’s economic development cannot be overemphasised. Insurance, as a matter of fact, is the only business that exists to sustain other businesses. Experts have opined that Insurance could be used as a tool to protect nation’s wealth. Having the right insurance coverage may mean the difference between success and failure when faced with any form of calamity such as natural disaster, fire, accident, liability claim or any other form of loss.
But how can you be sure of having acquired the most proper coverage? It is so easy to get confused amongst hundreds of policies with different conditions, premiums and limitation. This is where professional insurance Broker can help. A good insurance Broker is supposed to help you to understand and identify your needs, to look for the best insurance proposals meeting your personal requirements, to make the ‘jargon’ found in most insurance contracts comprehensible, to look after smooth adjustment of losses that might occur during the policy period.
Oftentimes, some insurance consumers misconstrue the role and responsibility of Insurance Brokers and that of Agents. Although, their duties and responsibilities may look similar, but there are differences in their operations. In the eye of the law, the insurance brokers and agents are all regarded as agents but the two categories have distinct status and responsibilities. In general term, an agent is a person employed for a purpose of placing the principal in a contractual relationship with a third party. In other words, an agent is someone who acts for another in all those circumstances under which an agency can be assumed. Brokers on the other hand are a “go-between’ between the providers of insurance services, that is insurance and reinsurance companies and the consumers of such insurance services who are the insuring public.
Today, Insurance Brokers are universally recognized as insurance intermediaries employed to use their skills and expertise in arranging insurance protection in the very best interest of their clients who are the proposer or consumers. A Broker is presumed at law to have the necessary knowledge as well as ability to handle all his clients’ insurance problems and to advice the clients correctly and appropriately. Unlike insurance agent, who represents one insurance company, insurance Broker is independent and has access to many insurance companies, theoretically giving its clients the best coverage at the optimal price.
Insurance Brokers exist to assist clients in the following ways;
- Risk Evaluation and Assessment
- Advice on types of policies
- Rendition of personalised insurance services and consultancies
- Recommend and advice on the selection of Underwriters based on their strengths and weaknesses.
- Clients Administration.
- Ensuring prompt payment of claims
- Annual Review of Insurance Portfolio
- Periodic presentation of Summary of Insurance Cover to clients
- Ability to shop for the best combination of cover, tailored to meet needs of clients at competitive rates.
- Provision of technical expertise on developments and innovations within the insurance market, fully guided by the law.
Clients do not have to pay more by engaging Brokers, if anything; they even pay less for their insurances!