There are forces that work against you in the client broker relationship and, after time it is probable that your broker has stopped working hard on your behalf. There are a number of reasons for this.
The first is the sheer volume of customers a brokers has. Brokers are human and it much easier to renew your business with the same carrier and the same policy time after time. Just moving the paperwork along.
Another reason could be that you are helping him fill his quota with a specific insurance company and a third is — finding you a better deal might effect the amount of his commission. Smaller deal smaller paycheck.
Whatever the reason it is important that you bump your broker from time to time. Here are some key questions you can ask to make sure that he or she is making an honest effort on your behalf.
1. How many carriers did you shop with?
If the answer is one or two you know that minimal effort is being made.
2. How many carriers are you directly appointed and are you appointed with these
carriers yourself or are you using a Managing General Agent (MGA)?
This goes to the brokers relationships with the carriers. How many will give you an idea of what your options are. Also, There are carriers that won’t work with smaller brokers. In order to get access the brokers use an MGA. The problem with this is that using an MGA adds costs and fees to the premium. It’s essentially adding a middleman.
3. Can I see the next two best quotes?
This is a good one because that information should be readily available. If your broker doesn’t have it you know that he didn’t shop for the best rate and that it is time to shop him for a better broker.
4. How many credits did I get initially and what did I end up with?
Basically, how many times did you go back to the well on my behalf to get me the maximum credits/discounts?
5. When did you start shopping?
This is an important question. The earlier a broker starts looking into a best rate for you the better. You can start shopping 90 days before expiration and the early bird gets the best rate because carriers can get the “first look” and offer lower more incentives. It’s like airlines, book in advance before they “know” they can fill the plane. Shopping for Workers Comp three weeks before expiration is too late.
So remember Shop your Comp! If your broker isn’t doing it the Shop Your Broker. For more tips or if you want to get the process of getting you the best rate possible going, contact us. We’d love to see what we can do for you and we think you’ll love what we come up with.