By Elisabeth Axiak
So, you need insurance for your car, home, or business, but you don’t know where to start or who to talk to? You’ve come to the right place.
There are two main people you can buy insurance from: insurance brokers and insurance agents.
The Skinny on Insurance Agents
Insurance agents work for an insurance provider, and sells only that company’s insurance. There are also companies which you can only buy their insurance online or through their call centre. With both of these companies, each time you call or visit, you might be speaking with a different agent or licensed customer service representative.
Have you ever had to explain your problem to someone over the phone, only to have them transfer you to someone else, and you had to explain it all over again? It’s not fun.
Whereas insurance agents work for an insurance company, and sells only that company’s insurance, independent insurance brokers work for you. They have relationships with a number of insurance providers, allowing them to shop around and get the best coverage for the price, for each client on an individual basis. Now that’s value!
Your Own Personal Advocate
Having a broker is essentially having your own personal spokesperson. Your broker is your broker – they work with you through the entire process. They know you by name, not policy number. They will speak to the insurance provider on your behalf about your policy, premiums, and can even help you navigate through the sometimes tricky world of insurance claims.
Transparency is Key
Brokers in Ontario do receive a commission from the insurance company. However, they receive a commission by any insurance company they place your contract with, which is great for you. This means that your broker’s only incentive to use one provider over another is to simply find you the best coverage possible.
The RIBO Perks
Independent insurance brokers in Ontario are licensed and trained through the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). Because they are RIBO licensed, they are more knowledgeable about the industry, meet higher standards of practice, and are held accountable in ways that agents are not.
Their professional education is ongoing, so you can be sure that your broker has all of the latest industry knowledge.
You can sleep soundly at night, knowing that if anything happens to go wrong, you have an educated, trusted advisor on your side.
Check out our infographic below for the whole scoop on insurance brokers!
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Question 1 of 4
What does RIBO stand for?Correct
Question 2 of 4
Which of the following statements is incorrect?Correct
Correct. Insurance brokers need to complete a certain amount of professional education each year in order to keep their RIBO license.Incorrect
Incorrect. Insurance brokers need to complete a certain amount of professional education each year in order to keep their RIBO license.
Question 3 of 4
True or false: Insurance agents work for an insurance provider, and sells only that company’s insurance.Correct
Question 4 of 4
True or false: Because independent insurance brokers have relationships with multiple insurance providers, they are able to ‘shop’ around and get you the best coverage for the price.Correct
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