Working with an expert wholesale intermediary who can service a range of markets and niches is a real game change for insurance brokers. For brokers, knowing they have an experienced and specialized professional on the end of the phone or email helps create peace of mind. Working with a top level intermediary also helps a broker increase their day-to-day efficiency and concentrate more of their time on what matters most: serving their clients.
But for brokers who haven’t developed close ties with an intermediary, what should they look out for? “It’s really important to ensure the intermediary carries Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance and Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance with a recognized, licensed Canadian insurer for substantial limits,” says Barb Pattenden, Director, Insurance Operations, South Western Insurance Group.
Pattenden also advises brokers to investigate the range of products that an intermediary offers and in which markets they specialize. Getting this information before you make any decisions is imperative for your clients. “Brokers really should check on the markets the intermediary represents,” Pattenden says. “Solid, well-known Canadian licensed insurers will indicate the credibility and strength of the intermediary.”
Getting a strong understanding of the markets that a client requires is an important step that brokers should take. “Be extremely careful if an intermediary is using non-admitted or unlicensed markets, particularly for business of a general nature,” Pattenden says. “Your E&O may not cover you for using an unlicensed market. Insist on only licensed markets being used for your business.”