The Key Questions to Ask:
- Are you looking for great names or for great talent? The old saying that you can’t get fired for hiring IBM is not longer valid. Organizations nowadays want top-level service less the overheads.
- Is your current broker actively helping you take your organization’s risk management up to the next level?
- Does your broker reach out to you prior to the renewal process and check-in often in order to be a valuable resource as you make important changes to your business?
- Does your broker provide information and strategic advice throughout the year to help you remain in compliance with the ever-changing legal landscape?
- Is your broker proactively sharing key updates about crucial policy changes?
- Does your broker communicate what these changes mean specifically to your organization and offer you the tools and training to help your organization become compliant? You and your staff are busy and don’t have the time or resources to actively seek out this information, so finding an insurance broker who shares important updates in a timely manner will ensure you understand your options and will ultimately save you precious time and resources.
- What type of relationship does your insurance broker have with insurance carriers?
- Does your broker have a dedicated account representative to resolve important issues, if and when they arise, quickly and efficiently? What kind of experience does that person have? And at what level?
- Does your broker provide an analytical comparison of insurance rates so that you can compare benefit plan options as apples to apples?
- How detailed is the comparative analysis they provide?
- Does your broker look at the wider risk issues your organization faces or they just focus on your insurance policies only?
- Does your broker use all available markets, local and international, to your organization’s advantage?
Long before outsourcing was even a subject of discussion, major corporations relied on external service providers to secure their corporate insurance coverage, and with good reason. Insurance brokers have extensive resources, depth of knowledge and effective transactional capabilities. In addition, given the fragmented nature of the insurance marketplace, the broker can play a critical role in syndicating the placement of large insurance programs in accordance with individual insurer preferences.
Distinguishing Among Insurance Brokers
It is always difficult to distinguish among insurance brokers, in part, because the brokerage firms have difficulty defining their own individual identities. The key resources of the brokerage firm, its people, regularly move from one broker to another. Insurance brokers also tend to say the same things about themselves, emphasizing: “value added”, “customized solutions”, “superior service”, “the best industry professionals”, “transparency” and so on.
The Harvard vs. Yale Question
Overall, comparing brokers is not unlike comparing universities. Ultimately it becomes necessary to focus on individual professors. The right selection relates to specific talented individuals that you feel will serve your organization best.
A valuable broker does more than just providing insurance quotes. They serve as your advocate and strategic business partner to help you proactively plan for your specific risk related needs.
Answering the above questions is key in determining where you need to look for your next business partner.