Written by Chuck Ellison
Zehr Insurance Brokers Ltd.
The age old question… Why use an insurance broker?
When you start your journey of looking for an insurance provider there are many different options as to whom you can make that purchase from. There are Insurance agents, 1-800 numbers, direct online options or (my favorite) an Insurance broker.
While they can all get you some sort of insurance, how will you know if it is the insurance that you need? How will you know if they will be there if you were to suffer a loss? What have they done to ensure that you have the insurance policy that is best for you and will give you the coverage you need if you were to have a claim? These are a few of the questions that may run through your mind, as you are looking into the various options available to you.
We work for you – the customer
Most of the options are people who are employed by the insurance companies. Where Insurance Brokers are independent business people who work for you – the customer. As a broker we are regulated by The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario, we are a self-governing body that was put in place to protect the rights and interests of the consumers. We are held to the highest level of standard, have yearly education requirements, and a code of ethics which include honesty and integrity as the some of the main pillars.
Our job as an insurance broker is to learn the needs of our clients and find the best policy to fit those needs. As a broker we are going to give you choice. As every insurance policy is as unique as our clients, we take the time to find the one that is going to make sure you have the coverage you need in the event of a claim. Insurance brokers live and work in your community. Our clients are our neighbors, a parent at our child’s hockey game, a friend we see at church every week.
As insurance brokers we do more than just sell insurance. We pride ourselves as being contributing members of our communities and help our communities by giving back. That comes in so many forms as well. As an insurance brokerage, Zehr Insurance supports BIC – Brain Injury Canada and Helmets for Life to name a couple.
Many individual brokers also give back in their communities by coaching sports teams, volunteering with the PTA, sitting on various community association boards and we even have Fire Fighters that are on our broker team. Giving back isn’t what we have to do… It is what we love to do. You won’t just hear or see us when it is time to renew your insurance. You will see us coaching a local ball team, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop, being real people, real friends that you can count on. Because being insurance brokers means we care and we are here as part of your community.
As Brokers, we have the education and knowledge to ask you the right questions, see what you are looking for and help you find not only the coverage you think you need but also recommend the coverage you may not have thought about or at the same time maybe didn’t know you needed. Every client is unique and so is their insurance needs. With Zehr Insurance Brokers you are not just a number. You are valued client and we want to make your insurance experience the best we possibly can.
After we complete a thorough discovery into what your needs are, we take that information and go to market and we shop your insurance for you. Essentially, by choosing an insurance broker you are hiring a personal shopper for your insurance. By market I mean we go to every single insurance company that we have selected to work with and in a sense, we let them “work” for your business. The best PRICE will not always be the BEST place for you.
As a broker we work for YOU, the client, not the insurance company. Our job is to offer and explain the quotes to you and let you pick. We will give you the advice and knowledge that we have but the end decision is always left to you. Yes, we will be there to help you pick what one is may be a better fit for your situation, but we will also be there to help you understand what company might fit you and YOUR needs better then one of the other companies. Price isn’t always the best way to go. Coverages & Claims Service are a few key things that we have the “inside scoop” on.
We will be there to help you understand what company might fit you and YOUR needs, better then one of the other companies.
Finding the right insurance program for you.
Coverage is the first place to start when we get it ready to find the right insurance program for you. All companies have their own special packages that they offer but what we do as brokers is find that one package that fits your needs. Long and short, what fits your needs. We aren’t all cut from the same cookie cutter, our insurance should reflect that and that is why they are all different. Being able to take your insurance to market lets us do that. Agents & Banks only have their company to write with and that is it! Brokers search our list of companies for you so you don’t have to do it. We do the work for you. Letting us do what we do best, help you!
You pay for insurance so that if a claim does happen you will be taken care of and put back in the same financial position you were prior to that claim. Claims service one of the biggest things to consider when selecting your insurance provider. Yes, we hope that we never have to use it. At the same time, we want to know you are properly covered if you need to use it. How smoothly a claim process goes can make a big difference on what in some cases could feel like the worst day of your life. Knowing that the right company was chosen for you and your situation and therefore you can be confident that the coverage you have is what you need to help get you back on your feet. As a broker we know from the many companies that we have that some specialize in certain areas better than others. We share that with you, because we are on your side.
As no one wants to have and insurance claim one of the ways the insurance companies and brokers work together is on risk mitigation. This is us all working together to help protect you, our clients, and their assets.
The two main things, coverage and claims service. We hope we never have to use them but in a way don’t we use them every single day? When you go to bed at night, do you get a good sleep? Or do you lay there and thing “what if my house burned to the ground tonight, would I have coverage? If my car gets stolen, am I covered?” Chances are you have good night sleep and don’t ever really think about it. Because you have purchased the right insurance policy by and educated professional that will protect you are your family if the worst were to happen. Brokers are a huge part of that because we care.
Insurance Brokers are also your advocate.
As they work for you not the insurance company, we are here to help facilitate the claims process if necessary. As an example, the things I do in case of an emergency such as let’s say a fire, I make sure I am there to help any way possible. First and foremost make sure you and your loved ones are safe and ok. You will have a lot of questions and inquires. I help by sharing my knowledge on how the process works and explain what you can expect over the next bit of time. I truly believe “Our clients are not just a number, they become like family.” I care about them and their wellbeing and want to be there to help in whatever capacity that they need. This often starts by talking to my clients and gather the details to get the claim started. Help pass info along to the adjusters to make things as smooth as they can be in an unfortunate event such as a fire or other claim for that matter.
Sometimes there are things that don’t always go as planned. That is where we as Brokers get to step up and help explain what you really mean to the insurance companies. A translator if you will. We are everyday people just like you and the next person. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. The difference is, we do INSURANCE every day. It is our knowledge and understanding that makes us different in the insurance world.
Helping people is a way of life.
Being a broker is an amazing and satisfying job. Helping people is not just a job, it is a way of life. Caring and sharing our knowledge of the insurance world is fun and exciting. The Insurance world is always changing. As Brokers, we are constantly in contact with the multitudes of insurance companies keeping in the loop of what is coming up in ways of changes and new offerings. So that we are able to take that information and let our clients know of new and emerging risks or coverages that may be of benefit to them.
Your best insurance is an Insurance Broker.
We are here to help and educate, here when you need us. We are more than just your broker. We are your neighbors, coaches, community volunteers and friend.