This is a common question we hear from our clients. While it is true that often these terms are used interchangeably, let’s discuss some key differences in approaches taken by health insurance professionals when working with clients.
Agent – A person or business authorized to act on another’s behalf. A health insurance agent is a captive agent working for a health insurance company often out of a call center, they only sell policies for one company. Agents will typically only talk with the consumer one time, when the sale is made. After the enrollment, the consumer will not hear from the agent again. The focus of the agent is the transaction. A consumer can find a suitable health insurance policy through an agent, assuming the company the agent represents has a suitable policy for said consumer. The agent will only market policies for their respective company.
Broker – An agent who buys or sells a property (insurance policy) for a principal (insurance company) on a commission basis without having title to the property. A broker is an agent that sells health insurance on commission for multiple health insurance carriers. A broker is one step up from an agent, albeit a very large step. A broker will be motivated to find the best policy for the consumer, regardless of what company it is sold by because the broker has the ability to sell (and be paid for) policies from many different companies. Additionally, because the broker is paid via commission, if the consumer cancels the policy shortly after the enrollment then the broker will not be paid for the sale, this reinforces the need of the broker to find the best policy for the consumer.
Advisor – One who gives advice. Quite simply, a health insurance advisor gives advice on which health insurance plan would be the best for the consumer. A health insurance advisor is also a broker and does all the things that a broker does, the difference comes largely after the sale has been made. The role of a broker and also a simple agent would end once the sell is made; however, the advisor will continue the relationship with the consumer to be a resource for them for anything regarding their health insurance needs, claims, finding providers, filing appeals, renewals, etc. The focus of the advisor is the relationship with the consumer rather than the transaction.
As was mentioned earlier, many people will use these three terms interchangeably, but here at Compass Insurance Advisors we strive to conduct our business as advisors in the truest sense of the word. We pride ourselves in our focus on the consumer and in having a relationship focused business rather than a transactional focused business. Call (801) 901-3519 or get talk to an advisor HERE.