Choosing insurance policies for your company and its employees is an important decision. Not only are benefits like health and dental insurance commonplace in today’s society, but they are sought-after by job seekers. If your business is in the market for a new insurance policy, you may have come across the term “insurance consultant.” Speaking with a consultant can help you determine which policies are best suited for your company.
What is an Insurance Consultant?
An insurance consultant is an industry expert that helps individuals and businesses assess their insurance needs. Using information gathered, the consultant can help a person or company develop a plan that meets their unique needs and budget. When working with businesses, a consultant will look at a number of factors that could influence decision-making. Consultants also identify risks and recommend insurance policies that will adequately cover potential liabilities. The primary job of an insurance consultant is to provide information about insurance plan options, as well as discuss fees and help companies set up their insurance contracts.
Some consultants work directly for a specific insurance company. The problem with hiring an insurance consultant that works with a particular insurance company is that there is a conflict of interest as the consultant stands to profit from a business’s particular choices. To avoid bias, it is often favorable to work with an independent consultant that does not work on behalf of any particular insurance company and does not stand to profit from recommending one policy over another. Most qualified consultants are licensed, certified, and have expert training.
Do They Sell Insurance?
Despite some misconceptions that surround this area of work, insurance consultants do not actually sell insurance. Instead, an independent consultant provides information about insurance policies and advises people and businesses in the area of health, life, disability, and other types of insurance.
As independent consultants do not work for insurance companies directly, they are able to deliver unbiased information to help these businesses make knowledgeable and informed decisions about their coverage options. Once you have obtained enough information to make a decision about what insurance to buy, you can then speak with an insurance agent to complete your purchase. An insurance agent sells insurance and typically works on a commission from an insurance company.
Why Should I Hire an Insurance Consultant?
You may be wondering why you should hire an insurance consultant when you could go directly to an agent. The truth is, an insurance consultant could potentially save your company a significant amount of time, frustration, and possibly thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and claims costs. A consultant can help you lower your high insurance costs, ensure that you have proper coverage based on the unique risks faced by your business, and help you compare bids you may have received from multiple agents. An insurance consultant can help you navigate the claims process as well.
How do I Choose an Insurance Consultant?
When comparing insurance consultants, there are a number of things you will want to look at to ensure you make the right decision. First, find out if the consultant is licensed. While not all states require consultants to be licensed, having the proper licenses signifies that the consultant went through the necessary steps to prove that they are an expert in their field. A great insurance consultant will also have experience and extensive knowledge in areas of insurance, including:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Life insurance
- E&O insurance
- General liability insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
- Property coverage insurance
- Directors & officers insurance
There are other things you will want to consider when comparing consultants. Ask whether the consultant has worked for businesses of a similar size and what their background and expertise of their consulting team is, not just the lead consultant. In addition, it can be helpful to obtain references from the consultant. Be wary of consultants who refuse to provide you with references. Also, take the time to look into the insurance consultant’s certifications. Many qualified insurance consultants take the necessary steps to obtain industry certifications that further prove their dedication.
Speak to a Professional Insurance Consulting Agency
As the cost of providing benefits to employees continues to rise, more and more companies are taking the necessary steps to reevaluate their insurance choices. There is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy or employee benefits package. Each business faces its own set of unique risks, has its own set budget, and requires varying amounts of coverage. That is why it is important to approach the area of insurance carefully to ensure that you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford. For more information or to speak with a professional insurance consultant, reach out to BenefitCorp today.