Why do people need insurance brokers? Can’t I just buy online?

A lot of people wonder exactly why they would need an independent insurance broker, when they can just buy online.

Well, let’s explore that question further. How do you find things like insurance online? You probably use search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Did you realize that companies, including insurance companies, pay these search engine companies a lot of money to be found easily when someone is searching for their product? Those are marketing dollars. Those dollars are then calculated into the company’s expenses which filters down to premiums charged. Bottom line is you pay more. If you are familiar with the insurance company name, it probably means you saw their advertising.

Using an independent broker, who actually has scores of companies to represent, can professionally shop and find the right product at the right price for your personal unique circumstances? There are several A+ Rated companies that don’t advertise, but rather market through  brokers. This means they don’t have large marketing budgets and can sell the exact same product at a lower premium. Bottom line, you save money!

An insurance professional is especially helpful if you have an underwriting concern. Examples can be overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues and even your occupation. It is never good for your application to be declined by an insurance company. That can follow you for many years or even a lifetime. Broker’s can have a good idea which way to submit your application to an underwriter known for taking a risk for your particular situation. Applying online will not help you in those regards.

How do I choose an independent insurance broker? First, find out how long the agent has been in the business. Roughly 80% of licensed agents leave the insurance industry in their first 2 years. Like any industry, experience is key to a knowledgeable agent. Second, find out how many carriers does the agent represent. If the agent represents one or just a few carriers, the agent is not really shopping for your best interest. Finally, find out if the agent is local. When the claim time comes, you don’t want your loved ones to be placed on hold or transferred around. A local agent will be there to get the benefit to them in a timely manner without all of the hassles.


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

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