Agents vs Brokers, What Difference Does It Make?
At Executive Edge Insurance, we are brokers. And we are Agents. Here is how it works...
If nothing else at all, here is what you need to know:
The primary difference is in our licensing. Brokers have the authority to represent many insurance companies which gives them the ability to compare contracts in order to determine which is best for the consumer. Brokers are also agents, but agents are NOT necessarily brokers.
Now for the rest
Brokers work for the consumer, you. Our loyalty is to YOU. We write up a contract (also known as an Insurance Policy) between you and whichever insurance company offers YOU the best value for the necessary coverage. Brokers are often referred to within the insurance industry as Independent Agents. Agents work for the company whose logo you see on their door. Example: Allstate, Farmers, State Farm. They can give you an insurance policy ONLY from that company. They are also commonly referred to as "captive agents" within the insurance industry. They don't have different policy contracts to offer & they can't maneuver around their eligibility guidelines. (Believe it or not, its more peaceful that way since you either take what they've got or leave it & go elsewhere.)
Executive Edge is different.
Almost all brokers were just agents at one time. Usually, when agents decide to become brokers it is because they have grown frustrated with the limitations, the ability to truly have the client’s best interest in mind is hard to claim when you've only got one contract you can offer. The agent who becomes a broker at some point got tired of being told their client had to “do without, or exclude” the coverage that they actually needed.
As Independent Agents/Brokers, we no longer have to tell you that you "can't have that coverage".
As great as I make it sound to be a broker, not all agents are interested in the additional job duties. It IS HARDER to be a broker, it is HARDER to learn many different contracts & remember their differences and perks and values. It is just as noble for them to stay where they are as it is for them to progress towards Independent channels.
Executive Edge was never captive, always Independent. We don't know what it's like to say, "There's no coverage for that".
Who needs a broker?
One popular myth is that only businesses need brokers. The only truthful aspect to this is that if you own a business you ABSOLUTELY NEED a broker, but the myth part is that only businesses need brokers.
Let us debunk that real quick. Here are a couple of examples: Let's say we were just insurance agents here at Executive Edge, and you came to us needing a homeowner’s insurance policy, and as we got to know you we learned that you've got a trampoline set up. Obviously you want coverage if someone is injured in connection with it, right? Well, if we only had ONE company we could offer a policy from, you might have to sign an exclusion stating that you agree to have NO coverage for that trampoline because that one company doesn't want to take the risk, and if you don’t agree to pay for claims out of your pocket, you can’t have the insurance policy.
Because they say it's not that big of a deal to exclude your trampoline.
Right. No big deal. A $300k lawsuit over a concussion or brain injury is no big deal. Your wages being garnished the rest of your life is no big deal. Wrong. It’s a big deal. And we want to make sure that no one ever takes that risk. Because we are brokers, we can tell an insurance company, “Thanks but no thanks we are moving the client to another insurer with a more appropriate policy & no exclusions for that trampoline”.
When my career began (around 2002), I worked as an agent for one of the captive companies, Allstate. This company abruptly stopped writing auto insurance in California. Mmmhmmm. So, I could only provide my clients a homeowner’s policy. I had to send them to another company, usually a broker, to get a policy for their cars, & while I tried to make sure the policy they bought from someone else met their needs, we lost the convenience & perks of keeping their policies together. Had I been a broker at that time, I would’ve had access to many other insurers who certainly could cover the cars and I’d never have been separated from my clients, whom often became “friends”. Both the client and I would have the peace of mind that the best policy was obtained for all of their needs & under one roof. As an agent, I was absolutely pinned down. Eventually, tiring of that situation around 2004, I went to work as an agent for another of the captive companies, State Farm, and they… wouldn’t ya know it… ceased writing homeowners policies! Now I was in a slightly different boat: I could only provide auto insurance & had to send my clients OUT for homeowners policies! How silly. I learned that being just an “Agent” wasn’t for me. As many agents come to find out, there is a way to better serve your clients and friends & they deserve stability any which way they can get it.
Being a broker is A LOT more work, a lot more knowledge is required,
& simply put, it’s a bigger job.
As brokers, Executive Edge has the authority to work with MANY insurance companies and we would make sure your policy was written to include a trampoline if you've got one. Or diving boards. Or pool slides. Or all 3. If an insurance company won’t insure your toys, we simply choose not to work with them and we work with someone who insures YOU properly. We have no incentive to wrap you into ONE insurance company’s idea of a good policy when that policy doesn't meet your needs or cover your highest risks. And, no one can talk us into doing that to you.
Likewise with commercial insurance. We are not limited by what one company sees as a “good policy for you”. We have MANY companies that compete to insure your assets and we work with you to compare policies to be sure you've got the best value for your money and peace of mind. An insurance policy is a contract. No two contracts are alike.
With Executive Edge Insurance, you will have the best of all the worlds. You will have an insurance broker who has your best interests in mind, you will be doing business locally, we will know you by name, and there is a brick and mortar office to visit. There is a lot to be said about that nowadays.