Insurance Agent vs Insurance Broker – What is the difference?

Back when I was working in a brokerage, I was constantly hearing people refer to us as Agents and / or Brokers.  It occurred to me that many do not realize that there is actually a difference between the two.  Do you know how to tell them apart?

Well the first thing to realize is that there are only minor differences between the two.  Both sell various types of insurance to the public.  The real difference is who they are selling for.

An Agent works on behalf of the insurance company by selling only one product.  If you have seen insurance company advertising from other provinces, you may have heard of State Farm.  In a State Farm office, they can only sell State Farm Products thus making them State Farm Agents.  These are also referred to as Direct Writers in the insurance world.

A Broker works on behalf of the client to ensure that they are able to find the best product that fits the clients’ needs.   In many insurance offices across Manitoba, you will find that the office represents many different types of companies.  This is to ensure they can find a product that best meets their clients’ needs.

In these offices, they tend to be independently owned and operated by individuals – not insurance companies.  It is important to know this so you understand why brokers are working for you.  While they always keep the insurance companies needs in mind, at the end of the day it is their clients who they really work for.

By using an Independent Insurance Broker, you know that you are getting trusted advice and that your insurance policy is being priced with more than one company to ensure you are getting the best coverage available to you.

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