When you need insurance, you can go about it in at least two different ways. You can seek out an insurance company yourself, or you can use an insurance broker. To understand why using an insurance broker is often a smart way to purchase insurance, you must first learn what an insurance broker is and what they can, and cannot, do for you.

What an insurance broker is

An insurance broker acts as an impartial representative for insurance companies.

They present offers of insurance policies from many different providers. They are not employed by any one insurance company, and therefore are not obligated to represent any single insurance company in particular.

What they can do

Insurance brokers provide a service of comparing your data and needs with the services that various insurance companies provide. They then give you several different options for insurance that you can compare for price, service and customer satisfaction. They can then make your application process go smoother by handling all the submittal process details. If necessary, they can often provide financing options for more expensive types of coverage, such as liability insurance.

What they can't do

Insurance brokers can't guarantee that your application will be accepted by the insurance company. Since they don't work for the company, they can't handle any claims that you submit once you sign up with an insurance company. Insurance brokers can't promise any kind of claims resolution, and they can't represent you in any way once you choose your final insurance company.

How an insurance broker can help

Insurance brokers actually save you time as well as money. They have an inside look at which insurance companies specialize in the type of coverage you're asking for. They also know which insurance companies are reliable, and they maintain statistics of the financial health of certain insurance companies. Usually, insurance brokers will only offer insurance quotes from companies that have proven to be reliable, stable and that have good feedback from past customers.

If you look for an insurance company yourself, you may find that it's a very time consuming process. There are hundreds if not thousands of insurance carriers that compete for your business. However, not all of them offer the coverage you need in the area you live in. There may be other factors you need to consider, such as family coverage, preferred provider lists, and qualifications for specialist referrals.

An insurance broker from a firm like Cambridge Insurance Brokers (Preston) Ltd can take care of filtering out the insurance companies that won't meet your needs, and offering you coverage from the ones with the best company histories and premiums.