The job of an Insurance Broker is to sell life, health, property, car, and other types of insurance coverage to their clients. They may work independently or for an insurance brokerage firm. Insurance Brokers may work with individual customers or with businesses with assets they wish to protect. They create complex coverage plans to provide the best service for their customers.
There are two types of Insurance Brokers: retail and commercial. Retail Insurance Brokers work directly with individuals and companies to provide coverage for people, vehicles, travel, or property. Commercial Insurance Brokers, on the other hand, work with high-value coverage plans. They deal with insurance plans for airplanes, ships, heavy machinery, and other expensive assets.
Insurance Brokers share many similar traits with Insurance Agents, so it is a common mistake to confuse the two professions and many people believe that the term can be used interchangeably. However, there’s a key difference that sets the two positions apart. Insurance Agents work for a specific insurance company, only promoting or selling their products to clients, businesses, or brokerage firms. Insurance Brokers, however, work independently from insurance companies, meaning they can sell products from several different companies in exchange for a commission of what the company charges the policyholder.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Insurance Brokers are required to complete.
- Selling different types of insurance policies available:
- Promoting different products to new and existing clients;
- finding the best policy for each client;
- explaining each point of the policy to their clients; and
- carrying out the necessary paperwork to sell the insurance policy.
- Interviewing new clients to assess their risks when selling a life or health insurance:
- Investigating their personal background;
- arranging for medical examinations when selling health or life insurance;
- evaluating financial records, medical histories, criminal records, or other documents when necessary; and
- deciding on the best policy available for them.
- Inspecting assets when selling a property or car insurance:
- Determining the state of the property or vehicle;
- looking for signs of previous damage;
- assessing possible risks (e.g. location of a property, it’s state, main driver of a vehicle, colour of the vehicle, and mileage); and
- consulting with an Insurance Adjuster or other experts to determine which policy is the most appropriate for them.
- Ensuring all policy requirements are met:
- Verifying that all paperwork is completed according to regulation.
- Customizing or creating special coverage packages for clients:
- Creating a coverage plan that satisfies all of the client’s needs using different plans from different insurance companies.
- Calculating payment plans, methods, and premiums:
- Taking all costs into consideration;
- coordinating payment arrangements with the corresponding insurance company; and
- processing payment transactions.
- Performing administrative tasks:
- Keeping records of all clients;
- contacting clients when there’s an issue with their payment;
- keeping records of all transactions; and
- coordinating policy renewals with insurance companies.
- Handling insurance claims:
- Collecting information on client and policy coverage;
- explain coverage to client;
- assisting their client during the claim process; and
- monitoring claims to ensure an equitable payment.
- Creating and selling insurance coverage plans to new and existing clients, individuals, or others.
- Receiving new plans and promotions from insurance companies.
- Meeting and interviewing new customers.
- Assisting clients when processing insurance claims, responding to their questions and inquiries.
- Contacting Insurance Adjusters and medical examiners when necessary.
- Contacting clients and insurance companies regarding payment issues.
- Charging insurance companies a percentage of what they sell.
The average Insurance Broker salary is $39,496 per year or $20 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $28,000 while most experienced workers make up to $55,000. These results are based on 51 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding customer service and sales skills:
- Providing high levels of customer service to existing and potential customers;
- being persuasive enough to be able to convince clients;
- being polite and patient while dealing with difficult clients; and
- identifying and assessing customers’ needs and concerns.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, to effectively explain their recommendations to clients using non-technical language so they can easily understand;
- having a friendly and appealing personality to engage in positive interactions with clients, customers, and coworkers; and
- listening carefully and understanding clients’ inquiries in order to be able to assess and resolve any issues promptly and efficiently.
- Excellent time management and organizational skills:
- Being capable of taking on several tasks at the same time;
- being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment; and
- being able to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner.
- Adaptive personality with the ability to learn and apply new sales strategies quickly:
- Being resilient when facing challenges.
- Being resourceful, energetic, driven, structured, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
Entry-level jobs as an Insurance Broker are offered by insurance brokerage firms. The educational requirements for these jobs include a completed secondary education, as well as possessing a college or university degree in Business, Economics, Administration, Management, Mathematics, Finances, or Statistics. Having at least 2 years of previous work experience in Retail, Sales, or Customer Service related fields can also be a good asset for professionals looking to enter this field.
In Canada, all professionals in the Insurance field are also required to be properly licensed by the governing entity of the province or territory where they are located. The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec each have their own regulators tasked with, among other things, issuing the necessary licences that all professionals working in Insurance need to have. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and the Northwest Territories are all under the jurisdiction of the National Superintendent of Insurance.
Insurance Brokers usually work during the standard office hours, 9 to 5 on a Monday through Friday basis. However, it is not uncommon for them to have to work outside their regular business hours when a client has an emergency or needs assistance with filing a claim outside office hours. Moreover, it is quite common for Insurance Brokers to visit their customer’s premises when negotiating a contract or processing policy renewals. Therefore, applicants are often required to possess a driver’s licence.