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Shop the Broker, Not the Insurance

February 18, 2015 | 1 Comment

I received a referral from a business owner that was “shopping” for insurance because he had a renewal coming up in a couple months on his Property & Casualty insurance.  During our initial meeting, he said that he hates this process more than anything.  He said that every year he meets with several  brokers, who bring their proposals from different insurance companies, and he has the task of reviewing each one to make sure they are all “apples to apples,” based on the same coverage limits, gross sales, square footage, payrolls, etc.  He added that they all bring him their proposals a couple days before the renewal date, which doesn’t leave him much time for his comparisons.   He gets so beat down evaluating all the proposals and usually runs out of time and ends up renewing with his current program.   In the end, he isn’t sure he has made the best decision for his organization.

I asked if I can be candid and make a suggestion that will make the renewal process a more bearable, and probably assure him of getting the most competitive rates.  Rather than bring in multiple brokers to shop his insurance, shop for a broker rather than the insurance.

What I am suggesting is, outside his normal renewal cycle, maybe 6 months prior to the renewal, meet with multiple brokers and interview them.  Find out what that broker and their agency can provide to your organization.  From there, select the broker you feel most comfortable with, that will best represent your company, understands your needs and has access to enough insurance providers.

Once the broker has been selected, they will take your company to market and allow them to bring you a summary of the marketplace and present the insurance company offering the most competitive premiums for the coverage your company requires.  When multiple brokers shop the market, each broker has only a small piece of the market and does not have a clear picture as to the entire market to know if they are competitive.  By having one broker do the shopping, they will have a complete picture of the market, and even get the insurers to sharpen their pencils to bring their client the most competitive rate.  Contrary to popular belief, you will get the most competitive rate from using one broker, not multiple.

Once you choose a broker, stick with that broker for a few years.  You don’t have to interview brokers every year.  You may want to “shop” brokers every few years.  By doing that, the broker can better manage your account, and assure you are competitive every year.

It will put you at ease, as well as the broker.  The broker will be able to work on your behalf knowing that they have your trust and confidence.  This system works for both your property & casualty insurance and employee benefits.

Written by: Brad Snitzer, REBC, RHU, Vice President at The Cornerstone Insurance Group

Posted in Blog, Commercial, Risk management

One comment
  • My wife and I have been considering shopping for a group insurance broker after reading some of the benefits associated with doing so. I’m glad that I found your article, and that you mentioned staying with a broker for a few years after you choose one, and that you don’t have to interview new group insurance options every year. I think that knowing we should shop around every few years, and make sure that we’re competitive is a good strategy, and one we’ll have to keep in mind moving forward! Thank you!

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