An insurance broker is someone who specialises in risk management and insurance. A qualified broker has in-depth knowledge of all aspects related to risk management. These aspects include risk management, the insurance market, and the insurance policies that are available to their clients.
Brokers act on behalf of their clients and consult with them to identify the personal or business risks they face. Then, they help their clients manage their risks and protect their assets through insurance or other ways.
In some cases, a broker acts as an agent of an insurer. A broker may also specialise in a specific type of insurance, for example, property insurance or life insurance.
Ideally, a broker should know the benefits, exclusions, and terms and conditions of competing policies so they can help their clients find the best one for their needs. If their clients want to file a claim, a broker will also assist them with the procedure and technical advice.
How to Choose a Broker
Unlike an insurance agency, an insurance broker represents you and your interests. A broker will negotiate the insurance price for you. The advantages of choosing the right broker are that you will have sufficient coverage for your property, and you will not end up with a hefty repair bill when disaster strikes.
To choose the best broker, start by determining the coverage you need. Use the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) Need-a-Broker service to find a broker in your area with a license and a NIBA membership. Make sure that the broker you appoint has the necessary know-how to help you with your insurance requirements.
The insurance broker you choose in Australia should have an Australian Financial Services (AFS) license. A broker can also be an authorised representative of an AFS license holder.
Additionally, all brokers should meet the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) standards. In terms of their AFS license, brokers also have to be members of an authorised external dispute-resolution scheme. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) resolves matters between brokers and their clients, and brokers have to adhere to this organisation’s decisions.