The insurance industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. It offers a wide range of financial products and services that include life, health, dental, property/casualty and retirement products. There are even car insurance companies who specialize in financing vehicles for those with poor credit.

Although it may not seem like it at first glance, insurance brokers are actually very helpful to consumers and are worth investing your time to learn about.

Why Do I Need An Insurance Broker?
The answers to the question as to why you may need an insurance broker are many. Each policy can cover a wide range of different circumstances, such as life or health insurance, but the most common reason for needing an insurance broker is because you want to find a specific type of coverage that you're not already getting from your current provider. For example, if you currently have homeowners, auto and renter's insurance through one company but are looking for comprehensive home and auto insurance options as well as a higher deductible for your renters' policy, then you need an independent agent who can be able to help you find those specific options.

I'm A Newbie...
If you're just learning about the insurance industry or are a consumer who's never worked with an agent or broker before, then the first thing you need to know is that you have options. Insurance companies are all about great customer service and being able to provide you with the product that will suit your specific needs. The competition in the insurance market is very high and each company routinely offers special incentives and inclusive policies to attract new customers. No matter what your credit history is, if you're interested in finding an insurance broker, then you should be able to find one who can assist you.

Here Are The Best Places To Find A Broker...
- Ask a friend or family member if they would be interested in working with an insurance broker. Once you've established a relationship with someone in the industry, this is a great way to get help.
- Check out your employer's benefits page. Many companies offer financial incentives for employees to get insurance through work. Generally this is an easy way to comparison shop since each company has similar plans and products available. For certain types of policies, you may even qualify for coverage even if you're not full time.
- Call your state's insurance department and ask about licensed agents and brokers they recommend.
- Check through online directories that include listings for brokers and agents. Some of these directories will offer a list of company websites where you can access the information offered. One example is A.M. Best, which partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers to launch the Best's Brokers & Agents Directory.
- Search Google for "broker" or "agent". If you find a site that looks reputable, then it's likely they're registered with state insurance departments as well as other agencies in your market area that may be investigating members who are dishonest or unlicensed.
- Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ask them how you can check out any potential member before you decide to work with them.
- Check or ask your insurance provider if they have a list of recommended agents/brokers for you to choose from.
- Contact your state government regulatory agencies and ask them what requirements must be met by someone who wants to be an insurance broker.
Other Things To Keep In Mind...
The following tips will help make finding an agent that much easier: - One thing you should know is that price isn't always the determining factor when you're comparing policies. Although it can help to show you the range of what's available, you'll want to look at how comprehensive each policy is and also the quality of customer service offered. The price tag is only one portion of this equation.
- Although you may want to compare rates from multiple insurance companies, it's recommended that you only see one agent when you first start comparing. This allows the agent to get to know your needs and wants quickly so that you can be easily able to find the type of coverage that's right for you.
- When comparing policies, don't forget to ask about deductibles and other coverage options. This doesn't mean the policy with the lowest price is necessarily a bad option, but if there are areas where you'd like those features added on, then be sure they're included at a premium cost.
- Be sure to ask about any type of life insurance the agent mentions. Life insurance can be expensive and if you're trying to decide between two policies, it's a good idea to ask which features are included in each one.
- Never give your Social Security number or personal information over the phone unless you're interested in placing a policy with that person and they've been cleared by the proper authorities. This is some of the most vulnerable data out there and you should never have to worry about giving it over the phone or online.
- If you're shopping for an agent online, then use a secure form on their website or portal rather than just sending them an e-mail. This way you can be sure no one else can claim your information, even if you accidentally send it to the wrong address.
– It's never a good idea to buy life insurance from someone you don't know or trust. Many people who are interested in getting life insurance at an early age are enrolled in what's called a viatical settlement. This is when a person sells their current life insurance policy for cash, which they would use to purchase a new one with more coverage and better premiums. However, there have been many cases where scammers have taken advantage of those who are ill or in need of financial assistance. Always make sure you're dealing with an agent or insurance company that is licensed to handle this type of transaction.
If you're trying to decide whether or not it makes sense to use an independent insurance broker, then be sure you feel confident that you're working with someone who can provide you the best options out there. Otherwise, it's always best that you contact your current provider and get the information from them directly!
- James Johnson -
As a former business consultant and debt management professional, James Johnson has been reviewing providers in the insurance market since 2005. His current focus is on small business insurance, though he's also written and spoken on a variety of topics in the personal finance industry. For more information, please visit:
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About The Author: James Johnson is a self-employed insurance professional who contributes to the online community as well. He's been involved with online consumer communities for over 11 years and has earned a reputation for being thorough with his research, providing unique advice based on hard data and bringing both sides of an argument to the table for readers to decide what is best for their own situation.

So, what do you think about this topic? I'd love to say thanks for reading and if you would like to know more are there any topics you would like me to come back and write about, please let me know in the comments section below.
Hope you have a good day. Thanks again!
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