Brokers: just glorified salespeople?

Brokers: just glorified salespeople?

Everyone within the insurance industry is aware of the highly skilled and vital role brokers play, but it seems the impression many on the outside have is that brokers are merely self-serving salespeople.

There is a saying in marketing that perception is everything. So is insurance broking suffering from a public image problem?

Proper qualified research and direct insurer feedback proves that businesses are better off with a broker. For anyone with a knowledge of the insurance industry, the value of brokers is almost undeniable. There are validations of that view here and here.

But Insurance Business has spotted some revealing pieces of advice that have been published in the last week alone.

The Public Liability Insurance Australia advice website last week published an article: “Should You Use A Broker?” It listed the advantages and disadvantages of such a move:

Advantages 

  • They can provide personal advice and recommendations on your needs
  • They can compare the coverage and quotes from numerous insurers at once
  • You can rely on their experience and expertise in the insurance industry
  • You can deal with a single broker who will get to know you and your business
  • They will be there to assist you with any future claims or issues

Disadvantages

  • Some brokers charge an additional broker fee on top of the premium
  • Some people don’t like the ‘salesman’ aspect associated with some brokers
  • It can be difficult to tell a good insurance broker from a salesman

Overall the piece was positive and for the sake of balance, there had to be some disadvantages of using a broker. What did jar is how centred those negatives were on the notion that brokers are self-serving salespeople. While it might be rash to suggest such brokers don’t exist, it does create a perception that insurance brokers are more like loud-mouthed middle-men than they are highly skilled and qualified advisors.

Indeed, this was not the only site to write such a story recently, www.tradesmaninsurance.com.au also published ‘Should You Use a Broker or Go Direct?’. Can you guess what one of their broker cons was too?: 

  • Some brokers can come across as sales people

There is nothing unique about these two recent examples. Blogs and articles fill the internet with writers warning consumers that insurance brokers are like salespeople.